Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Find the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Oro Valley AZ, you might be thinking about just how to select the right program to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and 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 advantages of online courses.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Oro Valley AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Oro Valley AZ pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Classes
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Oro Valley pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Oro Valley AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the ideal solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Oro Valley AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Oro Valley residence. If you are willing 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 issues that you should consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Oro Valley AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be met through 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 degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Oro Valley AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Oro Valley AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Oro Valley AZ home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oro Valley 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Oro Valley Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Oro Valley Arizona.