Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Madison Alabama
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Madison AL, you might be pondering how to pick the ideal college to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Madison AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician may carry out are:
- Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
- Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. 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 at times being required to work after hours is a very fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an approved Madison AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Madison 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 requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, 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 both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Classes
Prior to choosing a pharmacy tech online program, it's necessary to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Madison pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Madison AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Madison AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Madison 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 issues that you should consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among 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 certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Madison AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech school 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 work experience. This qualification may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Madison AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Madison AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges 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 school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Madison AL home. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Madison AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Learn More on How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Madison
Enroll in the Right Madison Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's important to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Madison Alabama.
Madison Pharmacy Tech Certificate | Madison Pharmacy Technician Schools