Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near El Mirage AZ, you may be pondering just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when picking a school, they are not the only 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 prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved El Mirage AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many El Mirage AZ employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Schools
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in a local El Mirage pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place 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 alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are looking at 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 formal type of education, then online classes might be the ideal solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the El Mirage AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your El Mirage residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available 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 earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with El Mirage AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in El Mirage AZ after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their El Mirage AZ home. 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Learn More on Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in El Mirage
Choose the Right El Mirage Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech schools incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in El Mirage Arizona.
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