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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech Program near Evergreen 36401

Evergreen AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Evergreen AL, you might be wondering how to choose the right college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Evergreen AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Evergreen AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to 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 would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Evergreen AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Evergreen AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician programs opt to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Evergreen AL employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Evergreen ALBefore choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Evergreen pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Evergreen AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Evergreen AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Evergreen home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you must consider in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Evergreen AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Evergreen AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Evergreen AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Evergreen AL residence. Those who have chosen 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. One thing 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Evergreen AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Evergreen AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Evergreen, Conecuh County, Alabama

Early settlers to the area came from Georgia and South Carolina beginning in 1818. Evergreen was founded officially in 1819 when Revolutionary War veteran James Cosey and several other men settled within the present limits of the city. The Reverend Alexander Travis first called the town by its present name of Evergreen for the abundance of surrounding green foliage, plants, and ferns.[4]

The former county seat of Sparta was burned in a federal raid during the Civil War. In 1866, the county seat was moved to Evergreen as it was more centrally located in the county. Evergreen was incorporated as a city on March 28, 1873.[4]

In 1882, a tornado hit the city, destroying every building except for the Episcopal church. On November 7, 1895, fire destroyed every business and house located on the east side of the railroad. Five days later, fire destroyed every business and house on the west side. The Conecuh County Courthouse burned in 1868, 1875, 1885, and 1895.[4]

Select the Best Pharmacy Tech Degree Program Evergreen AL

Evergreen AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech programs include both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper education and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Evergreen AL.

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