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What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
Once you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Muscle Shoals AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Muscle Shoals home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Muscle Shoals AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Muscle Shoals Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Muscle Shoals AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Muscle Shoals AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Muscle Shoals AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.