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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Tech College near Fairhope 36532

Fairhope AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Fairhope AL, you might be thinking about just how to choose the ideal school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Fairhope AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Fairhope AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Fairhope AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Fairhope AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Fairhope AL pharmacies will only hire a technician 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Fairhope ALBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Fairhope pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Fairhope AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses 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 schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training might be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Fairhope AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Fairhope home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national 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 evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Fairhope AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

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

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Fairhope AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Fairhope AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairhope AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Fairhope AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Fairhope, Alabama

Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326.[4] Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.[5]

Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa.[6] Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:

In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds.[citation needed] The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.[8]

Choose the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Program Fairhope AL

Fairhope AL corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a gratifying occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician schools incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Fairhope AL.

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