Home >> Alabama >> Vestavia Hills >> Pharmacy Technician Classes


Receive Free Info on Pharmacy Technician Training Vestavia Hills AL 35209

How to Select the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program Near Vestavia Hills Alabama

Vestavia Hills Alabama pharmacy technician taking prescription from shelfNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Vestavia HillsAL, you might be thinking about just how to select the right school to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you prefer studying in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Vestavia Hills Alabama hospital pharmacy tech wearing lab coat

Pharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Vestavia Hills AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily services a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Vestavia Hills Alabama pharmacy stockIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Vestavia Hills AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Vestavia Hills AL employers 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 candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Programs Online

Vestavia Hills Alabama young lady enrolled in pharmacy technician classes onlinePrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online training program, it's important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Vestavia Hills pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Vestavia Hills AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Vestavia Hills AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Vestavia Hills residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national 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 verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Vestavia Hills AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Vestavia Hills Alabama area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Vestavia Hills AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Vestavia Hills AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Vestavia Hills AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in Vestavia Hills

Enroll in the Right Vestavia Hills Pharmacy Tech Program

Getting the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech schools include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the right education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Vestavia Hills Alabama.



 

Vestavia Hills Pharmacy Technician Training | Vestavia Hills Pharmacy Technician Courses