Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Pick the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Glendale AZ, you may be wondering how to choose the best school to get your education and training. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many prospective students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be evaluated as well. You may also want to take a look at some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an approved Glendale AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Glendale AZ employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, 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 candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Glendale pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Glendale AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Glendale AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Glendale home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify 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. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid 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 Glendale 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 every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Glendale AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Glendale AZ after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Glendale AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Glendale Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Glendale Arizona.