Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Marana Arizona
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Marana AZ so you can get the right training to begin a career in the rewarding field of medicine. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting 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. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address 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 diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be 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 usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an approved Marana AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Marana AZ pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are two 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 completed 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 required every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Schools
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online program, it's important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Marana pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Marana AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to select from in the Marana AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Marana home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned 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 furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Marana AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Marana AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Marana AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Marana AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably 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 want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, make sure that they are available. 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 enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Marana Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the right pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech programs include both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the proper education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Marana Arizona.