Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Pick the Right One Near Millbrook Alabama
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy tech degree or certificate program near Millbrook AL in order to receive the right training to build a career in the rewarding field of healthcare. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? Many prospective students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a school, 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. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will want 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.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Millbrook AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician may perform are:
- Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
- Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career helping people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Millbrook AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Options
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs opt to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Millbrook AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Classes Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online training program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Millbrook pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Millbrook AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Millbrook AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Millbrook home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Millbrook AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech 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 colleges have a working relationship with Millbrook AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Millbrook AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Millbrook AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Millbrook AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
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Choose the Best Millbrook Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready 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 colleges so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Millbrook Alabama.
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