Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Select the Right One Near Jasper Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Jasper AL, you may be pondering how to choose the best program to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are important factors when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. You may also want to look into a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two 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 completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Jasper AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. 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
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Jasper AL pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. 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 work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school 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 Technician Online Programs
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online college, it's necessary to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Jasper pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Jasper AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the best solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want 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 pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Jasper AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Jasper residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you must consider so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and trade 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Jasper 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 every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Jasper AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Jasper AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, 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 demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Jasper AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to 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 hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller 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 classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor 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 opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Jasper AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Jasper Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech schools include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Jasper Alabama.