Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – West Memphis AR

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech Course near West Memphis 72301

West Memphis AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near West Memphis AR, you may be pondering just how to select the right program to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many future students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means 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 go over these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

West Memphis AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed West Memphis AR pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

West Memphis AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, 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 lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted West Memphis 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 offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many West Memphis 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 requires that the candidate 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 only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in West Memphis ARBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area West Memphis pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your West Memphis AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 training might be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the West Memphis AR area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your West Memphis residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many West Memphis AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways 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 prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with West Memphis AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in West Memphis AR after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their West Memphis AR home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Memphis AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a West Memphis AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

West Memphis, Arkansas

West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census,[3] ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis.

Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.

Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.

Choose the Ideal Pharmacy Technician Degree Program West Memphis AR

West Memphis AR corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in West Memphis AR.

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