How to Find the Best Pharmacist Technician Training Program Near Fairbanks Alaska
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near FairbanksAK, you might be wondering how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many potential students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's review the diploma and degree options available.
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Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
A pharmacy technician diploma or certificate program can be completed in one year or less and provides the basic education and training needed to sit for the Certified Pharmacy Technician exam. These programs introduce students to basic concepts in pharmaceutical technology, record keeping, pharmacy law and ethics, and pharmacology. They typically include a combination of classroom learning and lab training so that students learn how to dispense medication, prepare sterile products, and manage prescription orders. Students interested in a more comprehensive educational experience can enroll in a pharmacy technician associate degree program. Although a degree is not required to apply for entry-level positions, some students choose to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree so they can advance in their careers and apply for jobs as a compounding lab technician, pharmacy service technician, pharmacy implementation specialist or similar roles. Earning an associate degree can also help a student prepare for a Bachelor of Pharmacy or a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade 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 Fairbanks home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you must consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have acquired 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 screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Fairbanks AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on 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 Fairbanks Alaska area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Fairbanks AK upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Find out if the schools you are considering 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 college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairbanks AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Find the Right Fairbanks Pharmacy Tech Course
Finding the ideal pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Fairbanks Alaska.