Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Pick the Best One Near Glendale Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Glendale AZ, you may be thinking about just how to select the best college to get your education and training. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? When checking out pharmacy technician programs, many potential students start by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational 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 various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Glendale AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Glendale AZ employers will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Programs Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online program, it's important to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Glendale pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Glendale 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 colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify 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 supervised form of education, then online training might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Glendale AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Glendale home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Glendale AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Glendale AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Glendale AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Glendale AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glendale AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Glendale Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the right training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Glendale Arizona.