Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Find 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 right training to build a career in the rewarding profession of medicine. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? A number of prospective students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. You may also want to look into some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Juneau AK pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 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 down the road. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Juneau AK employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Classes Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacy tech online program, it's important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Juneau pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Juneau AK home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the right solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Juneau AK area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Juneau home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you must consider in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Juneau AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Juneau AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Juneau AK after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Juneau AK residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, check 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Juneau Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the right education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Juneau Alaska.