Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Blytheville AR

How to Choose a Pharmacist Technician Course near Blytheville 72315

Blytheville AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Blytheville AR, you might be wondering how to choose the right college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Blytheville AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Blytheville AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Add 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 audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Blytheville AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether 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 offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Blytheville AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Blytheville AR pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Blytheville ARBefore choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Blytheville pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Blytheville AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical 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 example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Blytheville AR area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Blytheville residence. If you are willing to move 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 should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Blytheville AR employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Blytheville AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Blytheville AR after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Blytheville AR residence. Those who have opted 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may 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 for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Blytheville AR area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Blytheville AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Blytheville, Arkansas

Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman Henry T. Blythe in 1879. It received a post office in 1879, was incorporated in 1889, and became the county seat for the northern half of Mississippi County (Chickasawba District) in 1901. Blytheville received telephone service and electricity in 1903, and natural gas service in 1950.[3]

Forestry was an early industry, spurred by the massive harvesting of lumber needed to rebuild Chicago following the Great Fire of 1871. The lumber industry brought sawmills and a rowdy crowd, and the area was known for its disreputable saloon culture during the 1880s and 1890s.[3]

The cleared forests enabled cotton farming to take hold, encouraged by ongoing levee building and waterway management; the population grew significantly after 1900. On Blytheville’s western edge lies one of the largest cotton gins in North America, and soybeans and rice have also become important crops.[3]

Select the Best Pharmacist Tech Training Program Blytheville AR

Blytheville AR corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the proper training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Blytheville AR.

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