Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Find the Best One Near Foley Alabama
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Foley AL so you can get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding field of healthcare. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over 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 courses.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Duties
Pharmacy techs have various job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Foley AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so 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 relating to medications or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily duties a pharmacy tech might perform are:
- Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
- Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and control inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority 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 occasionally being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Foley 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 expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Foley AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges
Before choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it's necessary to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Foley pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Foley AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to pick from in the Foley AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Foley residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you need to consider in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Foley 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 mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Foley AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Foley AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent 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 Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Foley AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More about How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Foley
Enroll in the Right Foley Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes 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 choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Foley Alabama.
Foley Pharmacy Tech Certificate | Foley Pharmacy Technician Schools