How to Select the Best Pharmacy Tech Training Program Near Badger Alaska
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near BadgerAK, you may be thinking about how to pick the best program to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should 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 program 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 first, let's discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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The Function of Pharmacy Techs
Pharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Badger AK pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily duties a pharmacy technician might perform are:
- Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
- Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career helping people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be 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 accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Badger AK pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Badger AK pharmacies will only hire 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, has graduated from high school, 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 both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacist Tech Online Schools
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online school, it's important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Badger 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 so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Badger AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Badger AK area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Badger home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among 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 offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Badger AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a 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 train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Badger Alaska area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Badger AK after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Badger AK residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 decide to enroll in a program 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 for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Badger Pharmacy Technician Course
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Badger Alaska.