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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician School near Mena 71953

Mena AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Mena AR, you might be pondering how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

Mena AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Mena AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Mena AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a tech whether 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 different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Mena AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Mena AR employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Mena ARBefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online school, it’s important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Mena pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Mena AR home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced 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 employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Mena AR area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Mena home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected 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 complete quality 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 check that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Mena AR employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Mena AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Mena AR upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Mena AR home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average 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 speak with several 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 need to confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mena AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Mena AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Mena, Arkansas

Mena was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell during the building of the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (now the Kansas City Southern), which stretched from Kansas City, Missouri to Port Arthur, Texas. Train service to Mena began in 1896.

Stilwell named the town in honor of Folmina Margaretha Janssen-De Goeijen, the wife of his friend and financier Jan De Goeijen, whom Mr. De Goeijen affectionately called Mena. Janssen Park in the center of Mena is also named for her.

In 1901, a black man, Peter Berryman, was lynched after an alleged altercation with a white girl. No one was arrested for the crime.[7] Several other instances of racially motivated hate and violence towards Mena's black community had been noted. This, combined with declining job prospects after the railway shops left town, led many blacks to leave Mena. By 1910, just 16 remained.

Enroll in the Right Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Mena AR

Mena AR corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classromm training. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to select a college 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 follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right training and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Mena AR.

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