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What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Courses
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Prattville AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Prattville home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you must consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Prattville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Prattville Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Prattville AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Prattville AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Prattville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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.