Pharmacy Tech School
How to Choose the Best One Near Tillmans Corner Alabama
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician certificate or degree program near Tillmans Corner AL in order to receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding field of medicine. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Description
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Tillmans Corner AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech might perform are:
- Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
- Fill prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
- Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is a very rewarding career helping people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an accepted Tillmans Corner AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed 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 furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Tillmans Corner AL employers will only hire 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 applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just 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 Programs Online
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Tillmans Corner pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Tillmans Corner AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
After you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Tillmans Corner AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Tillmans Corner residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you must consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned 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 offer a complete quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Tillmans Corner 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 mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Tillmans Corner AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Tillmans Corner AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some help. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Tillmans Corner AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tillmans Corner AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Tillmans Corner Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Tillmans Corner Alabama.