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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech School near Centreville 35042

Centreville AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Centreville AL, you might be thinking about just how to choose the ideal program to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Centreville AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Centreville AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

Centreville AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Centreville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Centreville AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Centreville ALPrior to choosing a pharmacist technician online training program, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Centreville pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Centreville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have determined whether you wish to earn 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 narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Centreville AL area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Centreville residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally earn 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 in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can 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 many Centreville AL pharmacies 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 needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Centreville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Centreville AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement 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 demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Centreville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician college 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 need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Centreville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Centreville AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Centreville, Alabama

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Centreville has a total area of 9.6 square miles (24.9 km2), of which 9.5 square miles (24.5 km2) are land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.52%, is water.[3]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Centreville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [4]

Centreville is the site of the highest recorded temperature in the state of Alabama. On September 6, 1925, the temperature in Centreville reached the state record of 112 ºF.[5] The data below are for the years 1916 to 1974.[6]

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Technician School Centreville AL

Centreville AL corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician programs include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Centreville AL.

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