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

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician Course near Bessemer 35020

Bessemer AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Bessemer AL, you may be thinking about just how to select the ideal college to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential 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 deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Function of Pharmacy Technicians

Bessemer AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Bessemer AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff 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 Technician Degrees

Bessemer AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Bessemer AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Bessemer AL pharmacies will only hire a technician 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, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Bessemer ALBefore selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Bessemer pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Bessemer AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving 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 critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Bessemer AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Bessemer home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you need to consider in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Bessemer AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Bessemer AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Bessemer AL upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Bessemer AL residence. Students 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bessemer AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Bessemer AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Bessemer, Alabama

Bessemer is a city southwest of Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States.[4] The population was 27,456 at the 2010 Census.[5] It is within the Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, of which Jefferson County is the center. It developed rapidly as an industrial city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The town was founded in the postbellum era by the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company, named after Henry Bessemer and owned by coal magnate Henry F. DeBardeleben. He had inherited Daniel Pratt's investments.[6] The mayor and councilmen voted to incorporate the city of Bessemer on September 9, 1887.[7] Located 16 miles southwest of Birmingham, Bessemer grew rapidly and its promoters believed that it might overtake the other city in economic power.

Given the iron ore, coal and limestone deposits in the area, the city became a center of steelmaking from about 1890 through the 20th century. It attracted rural migrants from across the South, as well as European immigrants. By the 1950s, the city was majority African American in population.[8]

Find the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Training Program Bessemer AL

Bessemer AL corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their health is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the proper education and dedication you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Bessemer AL.

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