Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Select the Right One Near Fort Payne Alabama
It’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Fort Payne AL in order to receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding field of medicine. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. You might also decide to take a look at some accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Technician Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have many job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Fort Payne AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might perform are:
- Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
- Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, 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 fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved Fort Payne AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide 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 every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Fort Payne AL pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Classes Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Fort Payne pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Fort Payne AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have determined whether you would like 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 a large number of pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Fort Payne AL area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Fort Payne residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional 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 certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Fort Payne AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Fort Payne AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Fort Payne AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Fort Payne AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance 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 last you must confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fort Payne AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Fort Payne Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, 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. Most pharmacy tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Fort Payne Alabama.