How to Choose the Best Pharmacy Technician Training Program Near Hueytown Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near HueytownAL, you may be wondering how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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The Role of a Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Hueytown AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician may carry out are:
- Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Fill prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
- Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Hueytown AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacist Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Hueytown AL pharmacies will only hire a tech 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Programs
Prior to selecting a pharmacist technician online program, it's necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Hueytown pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Hueytown AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Courses
Once you have determined whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Hueytown AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Hueytown home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you must consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Hueytown AL 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 many employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain 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 in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Hueytown Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Hueytown AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Hueytown AL residence. Students who have chosen 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, make certain 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Find Out How to Learn to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Hueytown
Enroll in the Right Hueytown Pharmacy Technician Course
Receiving the ideal pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech schools incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Hueytown Alabama.
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