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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Soldotna AK

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Technician Course near Soldotna 99669

Soldotna AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Soldotna AK, you might be wondering how to choose the ideal school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and 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 benefits of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Soldotna AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple 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 Soldotna AK pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

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

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Soldotna AK pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Soldotna AK pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Soldotna AK employers will only hire a technician 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 applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only 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 satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Soldotna AKPrior to choosing a pharmacist tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Soldotna pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Soldotna AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Soldotna AK area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Soldotna home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges 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 exclusively with online or distance 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. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Soldotna AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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 meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Soldotna AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Soldotna AK after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Soldotna AK home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Soldotna AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Soldotna AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Soldotna, Alaska

Soldotna is a home rule[5] city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 4,163, up from 3,759 in 2000. It is the seat of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Soldotna is located in the Southcentral portion of Alaska on the central-western portion of the Kenai Peninsula. The city limits span 7 square miles along the Kenai River, which empties into the Cook Inlet in the nearby city of Kenai. The Kenai River was selected by CNN Travel as one of the "World's 15 Best Rivers for Travelers," due to its fishing and hunting opportunities.[6] Soldotna is located on the western edge of the vast Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area spanning nearly 2 million acres and home to bears, moose, caribou, sheep, and many fish and bird species.

The city is located at the junction of the Sterling Highway and the Kenai Spur Highway, which has enabled Soldotna to develop as a service and retail hub for the Central Peninsula as well as for travelers between Anchorage and Homer. The Central Peninsula Hospital serves the medical needs of the region's residents and tourists. The Kenai Peninsula College, a branch of the University of Alaska Anchorage, operates the Kenai River Campus in Soldotna. Additionally, the headquarters of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District are located in the city.

Find the Best Pharmacy Technician Training Program Soldotna AK

Soldotna AK corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right education and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Soldotna AK.

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