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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech School near Saraland 36571

Saraland AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Saraland AL, you might be thinking about how to select the right school to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Saraland AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Saraland AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Saraland 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 equivalent. There are basically two options to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Saraland AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Saraland AL employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Saraland ALBefore deciding on a pharmacy technician online school, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Saraland pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Saraland AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Saraland AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Saraland home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Saraland AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional 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 train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Saraland AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Saraland AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out 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 signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Saraland AL home. 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Saraland AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Saraland AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Saraland, Alabama

Saraland is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, and a suburb of Mobile. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 13,405. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan area. Saraland is the third largest city in Mobile County.

The land area that was to become the present-day Saraland, was included in a Spanish land grant to Don Diego Alvarez. Hence, descendants of Alvarez were the ones to give the community its first name: Alvarez Station. Later land squatters moved into the area and were able, legally, in 1800 to begin purchasing property. In 1807, a land office was opened in St. Stephens to handle all land transactions. Some of the pioneer families who seized the opportunity to buy up sections were named Alvarez, Rice, Hartley, Moore, LaCoste, Williams, Tool and Cleveland. Ultimately, Alvarez Station was called Cleveland Station. The present name of the city is reported to have been given by C.J. DeWitt, a retired minister editor who moved south in 1890 for health reasons. He opened the first post office on the Southern Railroad in 1895. The community is purported to be the namesake of his beloved wife, Sara.

Saraland was sparsely populated during the first part of the 20th century, until an industrial and population boom occurred in neighboring Mobile. Northward expansion of Mobile in the 1940s and 50s brought about the incorporation of Saraland in 1957. At the time of incorporation, the city reported only 125 residents. By the 1960 U.S. Census, annexations had swelled the population to 4,595. In 1980, census figures cited 9,844 Saraland residents. Current census records report that as of 2017, Saraland's population is estimated to have grown to 14,576.

Find the Right Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Saraland AL

Saraland AL corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the right training and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Saraland AL.

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