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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Albertville AL

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Technician Course near Albertville 35950

Albertville AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Albertville AL, you may be wondering just how to select the right program to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Albertville AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Albertville AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily services a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Albertville AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Albertville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Albertville AL employers will only hire 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 one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Albertville ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online program, it’s necessary to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Albertville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Albertville AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Albertville AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Albertville home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Albertville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This qualification may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Albertville AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Albertville AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Albertville AL residence. 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Albertville AL 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 credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Albertville AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Albertville, Alabama

The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.[5]

The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891.[1][6] A post office was established in 1910.[7]

At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908."[8] The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville.[9] Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Technician School Albertville AL

Albertville AL corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the right training and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Albertville AL.

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