Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Hueytown Alabama
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy tech certificate or degree program near Hueytown AL in order to receive the right training to build a career in the rewarding field of medicine. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the right one? A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Hueytown AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Hueytown AL employers 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 candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online training program, it's important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Hueytown pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Hueytown AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Hueytown AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Hueytown home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you need to consider in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Hueytown AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work 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 fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Hueytown AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Hueytown AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some help. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Hueytown AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Hueytown Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's important to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Hueytown Alabama.