Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Select the Right One Near Moody Alabama
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Moody AL, you might be thinking about just how to pick the right school to get your education and training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you subsequently enroll in the ideal one? When checking out pharmacy technician schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. You might also choose to take a look at a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers and 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 degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Moody AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:
- Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
- Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved Moody 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 provide a more comprehensive 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 get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Moody AL employers 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 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist tech online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Moody pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Moody AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to choose from in the Moody AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Moody residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Moody AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Moody AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Moody AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator 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 graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Moody AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Find Out More about How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Moody
Enroll in the Best Moody Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Moody Alabama.
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