Pharmacy Tech School
How to Find the Best One Near Badger Alaska
Having made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Badger AK, you might be wondering how to choose the right school to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician schools, many potential students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are significant factors when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Badger AK pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech might carry out are:
- Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
- Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their prescriptions 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 technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Badger AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Badger AK employers will only hire 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 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it's important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Badger pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to acquire some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Badger AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the ideal solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
After you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Badger AK area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Badger residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Badger AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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 fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Badger AK area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Badger AK upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Badger AK home. Students who have decided 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Badger AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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.
Choose the Right Badger Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting 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 purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Badger Alaska.