Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Pick the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near El Mirage AZ, you might be wondering just how to pick the ideal school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved El Mirage AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of El Mirage AZ pharmacies 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Programs Online
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online school, it's necessary to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in an area El Mirage pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your El Mirage AZ 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 schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the El Mirage AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your El Mirage home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program 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 Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with El Mirage AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in El Mirage AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their El Mirage AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, verify 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right El Mirage Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician schools include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the proper education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in El Mirage Arizona.