Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Fountain Hills AZ, you might be pondering how to pick the best school to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. You may also decide to research some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will want 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 advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Programs
Before choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Fountain Hills pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Fountain Hills AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Fountain Hills AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fountain Hills home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you should consider in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This condition can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Fountain Hills AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Fountain Hills AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some support. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, ask 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 means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Fountain Hills AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Fountain Hills Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians 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 techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the right training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Fountain Hills Arizona.