Pharmacy Tech College
How to Pick the Right One Near Daphne Alabama
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Daphne AL so you can receive the proper training to build a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently pick the right one? A number of future students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job responsibilities, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Daphne AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily functions a pharmacy tech may carry out are:
- Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
- Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and control inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Daphne AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Daphne AL employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are 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 only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Schools Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online school, it's important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Daphne pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Daphne AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as 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 might be the best solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Daphne AL area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Daphne 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 a number of other variables that you should consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Daphne 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 numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Daphne AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Daphne AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships 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 Daphne AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously 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 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical 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 also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Daphne Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to choose a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the proper education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Daphne Alabama.