Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
It’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Knik Fairview AK in order to get the right training to begin a career in the rewarding field of medicine. But just how do you go about comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately enroll in the best one? When checking out pharmacy technician programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. You may also choose to look into a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifications and 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 benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy techs have many job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Knik Fairview AK pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:
- Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
- Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very gratifying career helping customers with their health and well-being.
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 a GED. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, 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 typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an accepted Knik Fairview AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Knik Fairview AK pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Online Classes
Prior to choosing a pharmacy tech online program, it's important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Knik Fairview pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Knik Fairview AK home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online 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 any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Knik Fairview AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Knik Fairview residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Knik Fairview AK employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a school 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. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Knik Fairview AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Knik Fairview AK upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Knik Fairview AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Knik Fairview AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Learn More about Becoming a Pharmacy Tech in Knik Fairview
Choose the Right Knik Fairview Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Knik Fairview Alaska.
Knik Fairview Pharmacy Technician Classes | Knik Fairview Pharmacy Tech Schools