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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Technician College near Trussville 35173

Trussville AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Trussville AL, you may be pondering how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you are interested in studying 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 qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Trussville AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Trussville AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Trussville AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Trussville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Trussville AL 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 requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Trussville ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Trussville pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Trussville AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as 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 might be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Trussville AL area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Trussville residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Trussville AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Trussville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Trussville AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Trussville AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some 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 tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Trussville AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Trussville, Alabama

Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.[3]

Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families,[4] listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs,[5] and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.[6]

The first European settler to establish residence in the area was Warren Truss, who entered the area with his brothers and constructed a grist mill on the Cahaba River in 1821. Truss was a North Carolina man of English descent.[8] Trussville remained an agricultural community until after the Civil War, when the Alabama-Chattanooga Railway was built through the city. By 1886 a blast furnace was built on what is now the site of the new Cahaba Elementary School. Trussville was listed as an incorporated community on the 1890[9] and 1900[10] U.S. Census rolls. At some point after 1900 until its reincorporation in 1947, it did not appear on census records.

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Training Trussville AL

Trussville AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the right training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Trussville AL.

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