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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech Program near Camden 71701

Camden AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Camden AR, you may be pondering just how to choose the best school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Camden AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have many job responsibilities, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Camden AR pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Camden AR 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 generally 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Camden AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Camden AR employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work 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 may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Camden ARBefore selecting a pharmacist technician online college, it’s important to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Camden pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Camden AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the ideal solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Camden AR area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Camden residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Camden AR pharmacies 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 pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Camden AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Camden AR upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Camden AR residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even 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 frequently 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 back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Camden AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Camden AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Camden, Arkansas

In 2000, Camden had a population of 13,154, but it lost 7.4 percent of its residents and recorded 12,183 in 2010. The municipality in 2010 was 56 percent African American.[3] Camden is the principal city of the Camden Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ouachita and Calhoun counties.

Indigenous peoples of various cultures lived along the rivers of Arkansas for thousands of years and created complex societies. Mississippian culture peoples built massive earthwork mounds along the Ouachita River, beginning circa 1000.

The region was part of French Louisiana from 1682-1762. The Indians who had given their name to the river had died out or moved on by the mid-1700s. The land along the Ouachita River was inhabited by remnants of several Indian tribes, and the river was home to a small population of mostly French hunters, trappers and traders. Then, in 1763, Spain acquired Louisiana by treaty, but the culture remained decidedly French.

Find the Right Pharmacy Tech College Camden AR

Camden AR corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as 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 right education and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Camden AR.

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