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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician School near Palmer 99645

Palmer AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Palmer AK, you may be pondering how to select the best program to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when picking a school, 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 by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Palmer AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Palmer AK pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit 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 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 wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Palmer AK pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Palmer AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Palmer AK employers will only employ a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Palmer AKBefore selecting a pharmacist technician online college, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Palmer pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Palmer AK home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Palmer AK area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Palmer residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned 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 verified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Palmer AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Palmer AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Palmer AK upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Palmer AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Palmer AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Palmer AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Palmer, Alaska

Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.

The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They moved throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after Palmer.[4]

In the late 19th century, the U.S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904. The advent of World War I created a need for high quality coal to fuel U.S. battleships, and by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers, miners and homesteaders began to populate the area. The Palmer Post Office was opened July 6, 1917 under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley.

Choose the Right Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Palmer AK

Palmer AK corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Palmer AK.

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