How to Select the Right Pharmacy Tech Training Program Near Decatur Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near DecaturAL, you may be pondering just how to select the best school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. Let's take a look at the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Decatur AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacist Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Decatur AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the applicant 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 examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Programs
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online program, it's important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Decatur pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Decatur AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the ideal option for you.
Enroll in the Right Decatur Pharmacy Technician Course
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. With the right training and determination you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Decatur Alabama.