How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician School Attalla AL

How to Select the Right Pharmacy Tech College near Attalla Alabama

Attalla AL pharmacy technician dispersing prescriptionsNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Attalla AL, you might be pondering how to pick the ideal college to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of 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 critical factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Attalla AL pharmacy tech filling prescriptionPharmacy techs have many job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Attalla AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.

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Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

Attalla AL pharmacy techIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Attalla AL pharmacy or similar 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 expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Classes Online

Attalla AL student attending online pharmacy tech courseBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online program, it’s important to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Attalla pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Attalla AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the right choice for you.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Attalla AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Questions to ask Attalla AL pharmacy technician schoolsOnce you have decided whether you wish 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 narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Attalla AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Attalla residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Attalla AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Attalla AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Attalla AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies 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 commuting distance of their Attalla AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician School Attalla Alabama

Attalla AL pharmacy medicine supply shelvesFinding the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician School and wanting more information on the topic Pharmacy Tech Trade School. But if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the right education and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Attalla AL.

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    Attalla, Alabama

    The town occupies the site of an Indian village which was of considerable importance during the Creek War. It was in Attalla that David Brown, a Cherokee assisted by the Rev. D. S. Butterick, prepared the Cherokee Spelling Book.

    Attalla was not founded until 1870, on land donated by W. C. Hammond, a plantation owner. It was incorporated as a city government on February 5, 1872. The town was officially named "Attalla" in 1893, from the Cherokee language word meaning "mountain".[5] Attalla was prosperous until the railroads that it depended on went into bankruptcy.[citation needed]

    William Lewis Moore, a U.S. postman and white civil rights activist, was murdered here on April 23, 1963 as he tried to walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to deliver his letter in support of civil rights to Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. The suspected murderer, Floyd Simpson, was never charged with the crime.[7]]].

     

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