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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician College near Russellville 72801

Russellville AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Russellville AR, you may be thinking about how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Russellville AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Russellville AR pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily duties a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit 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 typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is a very gratifying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Russellville AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Russellville AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Russellville AR pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Russellville ARPrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online college, it’s necessary 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 typically satisfied in a local Russellville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Russellville AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Russellville AR area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Russellville 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 issues that you must take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned 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 screened and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Russellville AR 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 a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Russellville AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Russellville AR upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Russellville AR home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Russellville AR area, check 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Russellville AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Russellville, Arkansas

Russellville is the county seat and largest city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 27,920, according to the 2010 Census. It is home to Arkansas Tech University and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas' only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River.

Before the town was named Russellville, it was known as Chactas Prairie, The Prairie, or Cactus Flats. In the early 19th century, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement. The first settler in the area was P.C. Holledger in 1834.

One year later, Dr. Thomas Russell[4] bought Holledger's house. The first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. This building still exists today, and is known as the Shinn Building. It was built at the intersection of an east-west road from Little Rock to Fort Smith and a north-south buffalo trail to a ford on the Arkansas River. Early travelers used these established trails to pass through the valley. When the town's residents decided to name the town, it came down to two choices: Shinnville or Russellville, and Russellville won.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacist Tech School Russellville AR

Russellville AR corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech programs include both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate training and commitment you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Russellville AR.

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