Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Clanton AL

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Clanton 35045

Clanton AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Clanton AL, you may be wondering just how to select the ideal school to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many future students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing 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 benefits of online courses.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Clanton AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Clanton AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff 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 Technician Degree Programs

Clanton AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Clanton AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Clanton AL employers will only hire a tech 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 at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Clanton ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Clanton pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Clanton AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training might be the best option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Clanton AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational 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 Clanton residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Clanton AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Clanton AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Clanton AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Clanton AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clanton AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Clanton AL Pharmacy Tech School?

If you are planning to attend a Pharmacy Technician Certificate or Degree Program in the Clanton Alabama area, you may find the following background information about the location of your school campus interesting and informative.

Clanton, Alabama

Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619.[4] The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is near the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama.

The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Prior to establishment in 1868, the Town of Clanton was known as the community of "Goose Pond". Baker County was renamed to Chilton County and the community of "Goose Pond" became the Town of Clanton.[5] Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town.[1]

Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.[6]

Select the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Clanton AL

Clanton AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs incorporate both laboratory and classromm work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Clanton AL.

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    Rite Aid
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