How to Find the Right Pharmacist Technician School Near Tillmans Corner Alabama
Having made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Tillmans CornerAL, you might be wondering just how to choose the best program to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need 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 benefits of online programs.
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The Job of a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy techs have many job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Tillmans Corner AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily services a pharmacy tech might carry out are:
- Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
- Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is a very gratifying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Tillmans Corner AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Tillmans Corner 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 requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Before choosing a pharmacist technician online college, it's important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Tillmans Corner pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Tillmans Corner AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can 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 critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Tillmans Corner AL area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Tillmans Corner home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Tillmans Corner AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Tillmans Corner Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Tillmans Corner AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Tillmans Corner AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type 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. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tillmans Corner AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Best Tillmans Corner Pharmacy Technician School
Getting the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select 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 other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Tillmans Corner Alabama.