Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Little Rock AR

How to Pick a Pharmacy Tech College near Little Rock 72201

Little Rock AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Little Rock AR, you might be thinking about just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Little Rock AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Little Rock AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare 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 standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Little Rock AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to becoming 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 normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Little Rock AR pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Little Rock AR employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Little Rock ARBefore selecting a pharmacy technician online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Little Rock pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Little Rock AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have determined whether you want 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 narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Little Rock AR area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Little Rock residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Little Rock AR pharmacies 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 all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Little Rock AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Little Rock AR upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Little Rock AR residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Little Rock AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Little Rock AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County. It was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" (French: La Petite Roche) by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 193,524 at the 2010 census. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.[4][5]

Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the South. Several cultural institutions are in Little Rock, such as the Arkansas Arts Center, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the hiking, boating, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Little Rock's history is available through history museums, historic districts or neighborhoods like the Quapaw Quarter, and historic sites such as Little Rock Central High School. The city is the headquarters of Dillard's, Windstream Communications, Acxiom, Stephens Inc., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Heifer International, the Clinton Foundation, and the Rose Law Firm. Other large corporations, such as Dassault Falcon Jet and LM Wind Power have large operations in the city. State government is a large employer, with many offices being in downtown Little Rock. Two major Interstate highways, Interstate 30 and Interstate 40, meet in Little Rock, with the Port of Little Rock serving as a shipping hub.

Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called the "Little Rock" (French: La Petite Roche). The Little Rock was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The Little Rock is across the river from The Big Rock, a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry.[6]

Select the Ideal Pharmacy Technician School Little Rock AR

Little Rock AR corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech schools incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the appropriate education and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Little Rock AR.

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