Pharmacy Tech School
How to Choose the Right One Near Auburn Alabama
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Auburn AL in order to receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be evaluated also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an approved Auburn AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Auburn AL pharmacies will only hire a tech 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Before deciding on a pharmacist tech online training program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Auburn pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Auburn AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Auburn AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Auburn home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Auburn AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech 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 programs have associations with Auburn AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Auburn AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, 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 signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Auburn AL home. Individuals 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Auburn Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper education and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Auburn Alabama.