Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Pick the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
It’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Juneau AK in order to get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding field of healthcare. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are critical concerns when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. You might also choose to take a look at a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will want 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 classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 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 typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved Juneau AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Juneau AK pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Juneau pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Juneau AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Juneau AK area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Juneau residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Juneau AK pharmacies 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 mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Juneau AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Juneau AK after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Juneau AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Juneau Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Juneau Alaska.