Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Jacksonville Alabama
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Jacksonville AL in order to receive the proper training to build a career in the rewarding field of healthcare. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, many potential students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be considered also. You might 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 qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school 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 whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Jacksonville AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Jacksonville AL pharmacies will only hire a technician 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 applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Before deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Jacksonville pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Jacksonville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering 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 best choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Jacksonville AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Jacksonville residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you should consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Jacksonville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Jacksonville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Jacksonville AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Jacksonville AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jacksonville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Jacksonville Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to choose a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Jacksonville Alabama.