Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Select the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy tech degree or certificate program near El Mirage AZ in order to get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding profession of medicine. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? When looking for pharmacy technician programs, many potential students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are important factors when choosing a college, they are not the sole 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 decide to take a look at several accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers 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 benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted El Mirage AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many El Mirage AZ employers will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Classes Online
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online college, it's important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area El Mirage pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your El Mirage AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician programs to select from in the El Mirage AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your El Mirage home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you should consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of El Mirage AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with El Mirage AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in El Mirage AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any help. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their El Mirage AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right El Mirage Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in El Mirage Arizona.