Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Best One Near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Anchorage AK, you might be thinking about just how to choose the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. You might also want to research several accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and some 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 advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Anchorage AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it's important to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Anchorage pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Anchorage AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Anchorage AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anchorage residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you should consider so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional 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 evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Anchorage AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prepare 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 qualification may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Anchorage AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Anchorage AK upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Anchorage AK home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Anchorage Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their health is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way 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 technician schools include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the proper training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Anchorage Alaska.