Pharmacy Tech College
How to Pick the Best One Near Anniston Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Anniston AL, you may be pondering how to choose the ideal college to get your education and training. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Anniston AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Anniston AL employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Before deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Anniston pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Anniston AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the ideal solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, 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 a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Anniston AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anniston home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Anniston AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Anniston AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Anniston AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Anniston AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Learn More about How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Anniston
Enroll in the Best Anniston Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to select a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate education and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Anniston Alabama.
Anniston Pharmacy Technician Courses | Anniston Pharmacy Tech Schools Online