Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Foley Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Foley AL, you might be pondering just how to choose the ideal program to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant factors when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. And if you are interested in studying at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options 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 normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Foley AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Foley AL employers will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Classes Online
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online school, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Foley pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Foley AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech programs to choose from in the Foley 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 covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Foley residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Foley AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire 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 also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Foley AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Foley AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Foley AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 due to work, illness or family obligations.
Find Out More about How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Foley
Enroll in the Right Foley Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician colleges include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Foley Alabama.
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