How to Find the Right Pharmacist Technician Program Near Auburn Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near AuburnAL, you might be thinking about how to select the ideal program to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved Auburn AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Auburn AL area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Auburn residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Auburn AL 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 many pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of 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 degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Auburn Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Auburn AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL residence. Those who have chosen 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Right Auburn Pharmacy Technician Program
Receiving the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician colleges include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the proper education and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Auburn Alabama.