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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Tech Program near Alexandria 36250

Alexandria AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Alexandria AL, you might be pondering how to choose the ideal school to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than 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 some others that you will want 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 classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Alexandria AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Alexandria AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Alexandria AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Alexandria AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Alexandria AL employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two 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 Alexandria ALBefore choosing a pharmacist tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Alexandria pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Alexandria AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Alexandria AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Alexandria residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you must consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Alexandria AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Alexandria AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Alexandria AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Alexandria AL residence. Students who have opted 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexandria AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Alexandria AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Alexandria

Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/;[3]Egyptian Arabic: إسكندريه‎ Eskendereyya; Arabic: الإسكندرية‎ al-ʾIskandariyya; Coptic: ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ Alexandria or ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakote, Greek:Αλεξανδρεία) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.

Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great,[4]king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.

Enroll in the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Training Alexandria AL

Alexandria AL corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and 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 best choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Alexandria AL.

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