Pharmacy Tech College
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Hueytown Alabama
It’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Hueytown AL in order to get the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. When checking out pharmacy technician programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. You might also decide to research a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy techs have numerous job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Hueytown AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
- Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory
As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is a very satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an accepted Hueytown AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Hueytown AL employers will only hire a tech 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 candidate 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 applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online college, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Hueytown pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Hueytown AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you want to attain 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 numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Hueytown AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Hueytown home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you should consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and vocational 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 screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Hueytown AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get 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 a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Hueytown AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Hueytown AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Hueytown AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 Hueytown Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech schools include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the right education and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Hueytown Alabama.