Training to become a pharmacy technician is a very smart investment of your time and for your future. You are venturing into the health care field which can allow you to have a financially and emotionally rewarding career. Although there are some major benefits to this career choice, getting the training is something that will take hard work and dedication. I have been working in a pharmacy for over 15 years, and I still remember the vigorous pharmacy technician training that I had to go through to achieve that technical diploma. Although I went to a brick and mortar institution, there are many online opportunities that have been made available over the past 5-10 years. Here are some deciding factors if you are undecided as to which route is best for you to take.
Online Pharmacy Technician Training Schools
Like I said before, I received a technical diploma from an actual brick and mortar school, but going the online route can be beneficial in certain ways. For starters, most online schools have a rolling admissions policy. This means that the student can start at various times of the year. The student is not limited to the traditional September/January semester start times.
We all have busy schedules and sometimes things arouse unexpectedly. When this occurs, you may miss that dreaded semester registration deadline. With a rolling admission policy, if you miss the registration date no problem, you can sign up for another session that starts a few weeks later. This will ease the tension and allow you to sign up when you are ready.
Most online pharmacy technician schools are cheaper financially. Many times you are paying for the actual manuals required for the training and for any type of special software. Actually this can go both ways. You could be paying less for your training or you could be paying more. It really all depends on the credibility of the online/offline school. At the moment, that’s all the benefits I can think of when it comes to attending an online pharmacy technician training program. Now let us take a look at the benefits of attending an offline pharmacy training program.
Offline Pharmacy Technician Training Schools
Okay here I will list the many benefits that are granted when attending an offline training facility:
- You Get hands on Training
- The instructor is live and in person
- Cost of attending
- Job placement services
- Nationally accredited and recognized
Let’s start out with the hands on training. Pharmacy is a career that involves the use of many types of machines and requires constant learning and implementing of new knowledge. There are devices, techniques, and procedures that can only be taught properly with the help of continuous hands on training. If you decide to work in a hospital setting, you may be called on to prepare intravenous solutions. This procedure is best taught with hands on training. Speaking from experience, it is difficult to learn the proper way to handle a syringe by reading some type of manual or watching a training video. With the growing number of hospitals adopting the 797 compounding procedures, preparing solutions using aseptic technique is something else that a technician cannot learn from an online course. Although it may be more convenient to attend one of the many online programs, getting hands on training will be more beneficial to your career.
The presence of the instructor does wonders. Have you ever had a question about something? Who can you ask? The answer is not located in your training manual. What are your options? This is one of the major benefits of attending an offline pharmacy technician training program. The presence of the instructor to help out when needed. You have a trained professional ready and willing to answer any and every question that you may have.
Online programs do offer assistance, but for the most part the assistance is limited to a certain degree. For example, if you are holding the syringe wrong, you have the instructor to correct you on the spot. What about testing issues? After taking an exam or quiz, you may meet with the instructor personally to go over test scores or any material that you didn’t have a firm understanding.
Another major roadblock that may arise is the cost of attending the program. For the most part, many online programs require special software. With this special software comes a higher price for tuition. When attending an offline program, you have the regular cost of admission and the cost of your textbooks. Usually those are your only fees. If you are not getting any type of financial assistance, the total cost of the program can be the deciding factor as to where you complete your training.
Have you ever wondered if you will be able to find a job when you complete some type of schooling or special training? That is something that many graduates experience after graduating. They are not able to locate employment after graduation. In fact many graduates find employment in areas that are totally opposite to what they studied for. Here is where many offline pharmacy technician training programs shine. Many of them have career placement services that are offered to their graduates for life. Regardless, if you graduated one, three, five, or even 11 years ago, you have complete access to their career placement services.
Is your training program certified? This is something that you should pay close attention too. Many of the training programs that are popping up now have not been accredited. This simply means that after completing the training and you get the diploma or certificate, it has no value. Make sure the program that you attend is accredited by certain organizations. Make sure they follow proper procedures laid out by highly respected and recognized organizations. If you are taking the time to do the in-depth training, make sure you are getting the proper credit for it.
One final benefit of attending an offline pharmacy technician training program is the networking side of things. The people that you meet today can be the employers or friends of employers that you work for tomorrow. Meeting someone in person can leave a lasting impression on them. This can lead to career advancements, new job opportunities, and lasting friendships that you never knew existed. With offline training programs you may attend, social gatherings, form study groups, or just form lasting friendships that can motivate you the rest of your life. Never take networking lightly or take it for granted.
There you have it, a full rundown of the pros and cons of attending offline/online pharmacy technician training programs. They both have their place, but if you want to get more hands on training program choose the offline setup. It will prepare you both physically and mentally.