Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Select the Right One Near Goodyear Arizona
It’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Goodyear AZ in order to get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding field of medicine. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? When looking for pharmacy technician schools, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are critical concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. You might also want to take a look at some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers 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 benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to training to be a tech regardless if 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 offer an introduction 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 Goodyear AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Goodyear 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 at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Classes
Prior to selecting a pharmacist technician online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Goodyear pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Goodyear AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured 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 obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Goodyear AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Goodyear residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Goodyear AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school should prep 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 qualification can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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. Check if the schools have associations with Goodyear AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Goodyear AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some help. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Goodyear AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Goodyear AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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.
Enroll in the Best Goodyear Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Goodyear Arizona.