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Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Courses
After you have determined whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Opelika AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Opelika home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you must consider in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Opelika AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Opelika Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Opelika AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Opelika AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Opelika AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.