Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Trussville Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Trussville AL, you may be thinking about just how to choose the right school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are significant factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs present 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 Trussville AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Trussville AL employers will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Programs
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online training program, it's important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Trussville pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Trussville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the right solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Trussville AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Trussville home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Trussville 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 all states, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Trussville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Trussville AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Trussville AL home. Those who have chosen 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, make sure that they are available. 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find Out More on Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Trussville
Enroll in the Best Trussville Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Trussville Alabama.
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