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

How to Enroll In a Pharmacist Tech Course near Jackson 36545

Jackson AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Jackson AL, you might be wondering just how to choose the right program to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Jackson AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Jackson AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Jackson AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Jackson AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Jackson AL employers will only hire a technician 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Jackson ALBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s necessary to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Jackson pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Jackson AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as 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 may be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Jackson AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Jackson residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you must take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Jackson AL employers 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 mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Jackson AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Jackson AL after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some help. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Jackson AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Jackson AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Jackson AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Al Jackson Jr.

Albert J. Jackson Jr.[1] (November 27, 1935 – October 1, 1975) was an American drummer, producer, and songwriter. He was a founding member of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, a group of session musicians who worked for Stax Records and produced their own instrumentals. Jackson was affectionately dubbed "The Human Timekeeper" for his drumming ability. He was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jackson's father, Al Jackson Sr., led a jazz/swing dance band in Memphis, Tennessee. The young Jackson started drumming at an early age and began playing on stage with his father's band in 1940, at the age of five. He later played in producer and trumpeter Willie Mitchell's band and at the same time was holding down a chair in the popular Ben Branch Band.

Future bandmates Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn first heard Jackson playing in Mitchell's band at the Flamingo Room, and the all-white Manhattan Club. Mitchell had also hired Booker T. Jones for his band. It was Jones who suggested Jackson be brought to Stax. He said, "You guys need to know about Al." Dunn said that Jackson almost caused his wife to divorce him, because after finishing his own gig at one o'clock, he would stop by a club to hear Jackson and would get home at four or five in the morning; "He was that good!" said Dunn. At first, Jackson was reluctant to join Stax. He felt he could make more money playing live than doing session work. He wanted a guaranteed regular salary to come over to Stax (although he continued to play on sessions produced by Mitchell for Hi Records). And so he became the first Stax session musician to be on a weekly salary.[3]

Choose the Right Pharmacist Tech School Jackson AL

Jackson AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a school 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 colleges so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right training and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Jackson AL.

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