Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Chandler AZ, you may be wondering how to pick the best program to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. When checking out pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and 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 benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved Chandler AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Chandler AZ employers will only employ a tech 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 work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Before deciding on a pharmacy tech online training program, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Chandler pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Chandler AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may 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 employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Chandler AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Chandler residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Chandler AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled 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 practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Chandler AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Chandler AZ after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any support. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Chandler AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Chandler Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician programs include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Chandler Arizona.