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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician School near Madison 35756

Madison AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Madison AL, you may be wondering just how to choose the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means 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 address these qualifiers and some others that you will need 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 advantages of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Madison AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Madison AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

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

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

Madison AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Madison AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Madison AL employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Madison ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online training program, it’s important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Madison pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Madison AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

After you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Madison AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Madison home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Madison AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician 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 associations with Madison AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Madison AL after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Madison AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Madison AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Madison AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Madison, Alabama

Madison is a city located primarily in Madison County, near the northern border of the U.S. state of Alabama. Madison extends west into neighboring Limestone County. The city is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the second-largest in the state, and is also included in the merged Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 42,938.[4] Madison is bordered by Huntsville on all sides.

Madison's first European-American resident was John Cartwright, who settled in the area in 1818. The city was originally known as Madison Station, and it developed in the 1850s around a stop of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Textile mills were built in the area in the late 19th century for processing of cotton.

Madison was the site of a battle in the American Civil War. On May 17, 1864, Col. Josiah Patterson's 5th Alabama Cavalry, supported by Col. James H. Stuart's cavalry battalion and a section of horse artillery, drove Col. Adam G. Gorgas's 13th Illinois Infantry Regiment from the city. Patterson's men captured the 13th Illinois Regiment's wagon train, taking 66 prisoners. They also burned Union supplies and tore up the railroad tracks before retreating. Portions of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, the 59th Indiana Infantry and the 5th Iowa Infantry were sent in pursuit from Huntsville. They skirmished with Patterson's rear guard that evening at Fletcher's Ferry on the Tennessee River south of Madison.

Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Program Madison AL

Madison AL corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech schools include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper education and determination you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Madison AL.

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