How to Choose the Best Pharmacist Technician Program Near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near AnchorageAK, you might be pondering just how to select the best program to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's review the diploma and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Anchorage AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required 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 should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Anchorage AK area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anchorage home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you should take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national 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 certified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don't forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Anchorage AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Anchorage Alaska area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Anchorage AK after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating 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 Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Anchorage AK home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Anchorage Pharmacy Technician Course
Finding the best pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Anchorage Alaska.