Pharmacy Tech School
How to Enroll In the Best One Near Moody Alabama
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Moody AL so you can get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. You might also choose to research a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Moody AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Prepare 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 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 being required to work after hours is a very gratifying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Moody AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Moody AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, 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 candidate has a high school diploma 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 Tech Online Programs
Prior to selecting a pharmacy tech online program, it's necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Moody pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Moody AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Moody AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly 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 program, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should consider so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional 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 evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Moody AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Moody AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Moody AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Moody AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, make certain 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 need 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 Best Moody Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Moody Alabama.