Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Selma Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Selma AL, you may be pondering just how to choose the best college to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. You might also decide to look into a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and some 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 advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Selma AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Selma AL pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Programs
Before selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Selma pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Selma AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged 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 classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Selma AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical 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 Selma home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you must consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Selma 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 all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Selma AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Selma AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Selma AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Selma AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Selma Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the ideal 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. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician programs incorporate both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Selma Alabama.