Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Find the Right One Near Florence Arizona
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Florence AZ, you might be pondering how to pick the best program to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front 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 go over these qualifications and others that you will want 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 courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Florence AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Florence AZ pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Programs
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Florence pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Florence AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Florence AZ area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Florence residence. 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 many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired 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 verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Florence AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Florence AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Florence AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Florence AZ residence. Those who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Florence Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician programs incorporate both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the appropriate education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Florence Arizona.