Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Pick the Right One Near Tillmans Corner Alabama
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Tillmans Corner AL, you might be thinking about how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing 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 classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Tillmans Corner AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician might perform are:
- Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Fill prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
- Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Tillmans Corner AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires 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 in the future. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Tillmans Corner AL employers will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two 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, be a high school graduate, 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 exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Schools Online
Prior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online college, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Tillmans Corner pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Tillmans Corner 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 programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. 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 check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Tillmans Corner AL area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Tillmans Corner residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Tillmans Corner AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with 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 certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tillmans Corner AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Tillmans Corner AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Tillmans Corner AL residence. Those who have chosen 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tillmans Corner AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Tillmans Corner Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Tillmans Corner Alabama.