Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Goodyear AZ, you may be wondering just how to select the ideal program to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. You may also want to take a look at a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifications and some 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 advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Goodyear AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Goodyear AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician 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 candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Schools Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist technician online school, it's important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Goodyear pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Goodyear AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Goodyear AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Goodyear home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you should consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy 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 verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Goodyear AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Goodyear AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Goodyear AZ after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Goodyear AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers 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 trained techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Goodyear Arizona.