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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Salem 72576

Salem AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Salem AR, you may be pondering just how to select the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Salem AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Salem AR pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

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

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Salem AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Salem AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Salem AR employers will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional 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 satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Salem ARBefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Salem pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Salem AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Salem AR area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Salem residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Salem AR employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train 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 satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Salem AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Salem AR after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Salem AR residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student 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 an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Salem AR area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Salem AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Salem, Arkansas

Find the Right Pharmacy Tech Degree Program Salem AR

Salem AR corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacist tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way 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 tech schools include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and commitment you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Salem AR.

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