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Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
After you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Muscle Shoals AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Muscle Shoals home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Muscle Shoals AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Muscle Shoals Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Muscle Shoals AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Muscle Shoals AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Muscle Shoals AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.