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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Tech Program near Gustavus 99826

Gustavus AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Gustavus AK, you may be thinking about just how to choose the ideal school to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school 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 discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Gustavus AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Gustavus AK pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Gustavus AK pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Gustavus AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Gustavus AK pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Gustavus AKBefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Gustavus pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Gustavus AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the Gustavus AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Gustavus home. If you are willing 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 factors that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don’t forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Gustavus AK employers 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 mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be met 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 job experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Gustavus AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Gustavus AK upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Gustavus AK residence. Those 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gustavus AK area, check that they are available. 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 might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Gustavus AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Gustavus, Alaska

Gustavus, formerly known as "Strawberry Point", lies on the outwash plain created by the glaciers that once filled Glacier Bay. Two hundred years ago, it was primarily a single large "beach". The native Tlingit people and others used the area for fishing, berry picking, and other similar uses. The town itself is less than one hundred years old. The first settlers arrived in 1914, but left shortly afterward. The first permanent homestead was established in 1917, when Abraham Lincoln Parker moved his family to Strawberry Point. Many Gustavus residents are descendants and relatives of the original Parker homesteaders.

In 1925 the name became "Gustavus", when the U.S. Post Office required a change for its new post office, although locals continued calling it "Strawberry Point" long afterwards. The new name came from Point Gustavus at the mouth of Glacier Bay.

In 1793 George Vancouver named Point Adolphus (at the northern tip of Chichagof Island, and today a well-known humpback whale feeding area) after Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of King George III. In 1878, W.H. Dall, while working on a coastal survey, saw "Adolphus" on the map and assumed it was for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The point across Icy Strait from Point Adolphus at the mouth of Glacier Bay was not named on the map, so Dall called it "Gustavus". Another possibility is that Dall named Gustavus for Gustavus C. Hanus, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who had extensive experience throughout southeast Alaska, and both Dall and Hanus served with the Coast Survey in Alaska. Hanus laid out the first streets in Juneau and helped quell the trouble in Klukwan in 1881.

Select the Best Pharmacy Tech School Gustavus AK

Gustavus AK corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Gustavus AK.

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