Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Phenix City Alabama
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy tech certificate or degree program near Phenix City AL so you can get the right training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of medicine. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately pick the best one? When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. You may also want to research several accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Phenix City AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Phenix City AL pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Programs Online
Before deciding on a pharmacist technician online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Phenix City pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Phenix City AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college 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 formal type of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Phenix City AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Phenix City residence. 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 a number of other factors that you need to consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate 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 obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Phenix City AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school 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 requirement may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Phenix City AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Phenix City AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement 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 profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Phenix City AL home. Those who have opted 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide 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 commonly 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 far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Phenix City AL area, make certain that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Phenix City Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper training and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Phenix City Alabama.