Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Pick the Right One Near Dothan Alabama
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Dothan AL in order to get the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. You might also want to research a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Dothan AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:
- Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Prepare 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 standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether 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 provide an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Dothan AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Dothan 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 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, 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 called for every two years by both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Classes Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Dothan pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Dothan AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Dothan AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Dothan residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Dothan AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Dothan AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Dothan AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Find out if the colleges 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 a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Dothan AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer 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 technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Learn More about Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Dothan
Enroll in the Best Dothan Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Dothan Alabama.
Dothan Pharmacy Technician Programs | Dothan Pharmacy Technician Classes