Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Oxford Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Oxford AL, you may be wondering just how to choose the right school to get your education and training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. You might also decide to look into a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option 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 Technician Degrees and Certificates
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives 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 typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Oxford AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Oxford AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Oxford pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Oxford AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, 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 solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Oxford AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Oxford residence. If you are able to move or are going 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 take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Oxford AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Oxford AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Oxford AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Oxford AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for 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 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 also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Oxford Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Oxford Alabama.