Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Select the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Chandler AZ so you can receive the right training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address 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 degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Chandler AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Chandler AZ employers will only employ a technician that is certified. There are two 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist technician online school, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Chandler pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Chandler AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Chandler AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Chandler home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you must consider in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Chandler AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Chandler AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Chandler AZ upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance 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 field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Chandler AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the appropriate education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Chandler Arizona.