Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Troy Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Troy AL, you might be pondering how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. You might also want to look into a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing 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.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Troy AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option 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 can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Troy AL employers will only hire a technician that is certified. 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Classes
Before deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Troy pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Troy AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online 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 verify that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Troy AL area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Troy residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Troy AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire 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 prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Troy AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Troy AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out 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 indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Troy AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, make sure that they are available. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Troy Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a program 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 make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Troy Alabama.