Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Goodyear Arizona
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Goodyear AZ in order to get the right training to build a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are critical concerns when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some 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 benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Goodyear AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed 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 can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Goodyear AZ pharmacies 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 requires that the applicant 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 only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, 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 fulfilled in an area Goodyear pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Goodyear AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be reduced 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 securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance 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 best option for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Goodyear AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Goodyear residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you should consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Goodyear AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Goodyear AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Goodyear AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement 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 generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can offer 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 Goodyear AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Goodyear Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right training and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Goodyear Arizona.