How to Enroll In the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program Near Daphne Alabama
Now that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near DaphneAL, you may be pondering how to select the right college to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians have many job responsibilities, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Daphne AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
- Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and control inventory
As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational 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 overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Daphne AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Daphne AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed 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 two years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Classes
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Daphne pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Daphne AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges 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 a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges
Once you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Daphne AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Daphne home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you must consider in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Daphne AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Daphne Alabama area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Daphne AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Daphne AL residence. Students 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 importance. Something 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Find the Best Daphne Pharmacy Technician Course
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the proper training and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Daphne Alabama.