How to Choose the Best Pharmacist Technician Program Near Decatur Alabama
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near DecaturAL, you might be pondering just how to select the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. Let's take a look at the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Decatur AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacist Technician Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Decatur AL 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, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Technician Online Schools
Prior to choosing a pharmacist technician online training program, it's necessary to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Decatur pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Decatur AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.
Find the Right Decatur Pharmacy Technician Course
Getting the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. With the right training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Decatur Alabama.