Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Best One Near Foley Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Foley AL, you may be wondering how to select the ideal program to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. You may also choose to take a look at several accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees
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 generally 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab 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 generally involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Foley AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online college, it's necessary to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Foley pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Foley AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized 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 classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools 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 most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Foley residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you should consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Foley 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 required in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate 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 a working relationship with Foley AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Foley AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Foley AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Foley Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Foley Alabama.