Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Find the Best One Near Montgomery Alabama
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy tech degree or certificate program near Montgomery AL in order to receive the right training to build a career in the rewarding field of medicine. But just how do you approach comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many future students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing 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 Tech Degrees
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Montgomery AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Montgomery AL pharmacies 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 requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished 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 mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Schools
Prior to choosing a pharmacy technician online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Montgomery pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Montgomery AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech 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 go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Montgomery AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Montgomery home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance 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 recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Montgomery AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Montgomery AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Montgomery AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any help. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Montgomery AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Montgomery Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prep 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 compare programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Montgomery Alabama.