Pharmacy Tech School
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Fountain Hills AZ, you might be thinking about just how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. You may also want to take a look at several accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Classes Online
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Fountain Hills pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Fountain Hills AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Fountain Hills AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fountain Hills home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you must consider in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional 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 schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it might help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Fountain Hills 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 required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Fountain Hills AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Fountain Hills AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Ask 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 indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Fountain Hills AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back 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 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the proper training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Fountain Hills Arizona.