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

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Program near Montgomery 36101

Montgomery AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Montgomery AL, you might be pondering how to pick the ideal college to get 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 prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need 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 benefits of online classes.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Montgomery AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Montgomery AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily duties a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage 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 very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

Montgomery AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Montgomery AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes 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 Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Montgomery AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Montgomery ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in an area Montgomery pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Montgomery AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the best solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Montgomery AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade 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 Montgomery residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should consider in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Montgomery AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree 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 associations with Montgomery AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Montgomery AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Montgomery AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Montgomery AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County.[6] Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf is Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 205,764. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham,[7] and is the 118th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.[8]

The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement,[9] including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.

In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama;[10] and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician School Montgomery AL

Montgomery AL corner drugstoreGetting the ideal pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician programs incorporate both laboratory and classromm training. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Montgomery AL.

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