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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Pleasant Grove AL

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician School near Pleasant Grove 35127

Pleasant Grove AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Pleasant Grove AL, you might be wondering how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges 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 tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Pleasant Grove AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have many job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Pleasant Grove AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the common daily services a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Pleasant Grove AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Pleasant Grove AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Choices

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Pleasant Grove AL employers will only employ a tech 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 applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Pleasant Grove ALBefore choosing a pharmacy technician online school, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Pleasant Grove pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Pleasant Grove AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Pleasant Grove AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Pleasant Grove home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you should consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance 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 Pleasant Grove AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Pleasant Grove AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Pleasant Grove AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Pleasant Grove AL residence. Those who have chosen 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 keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average 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 several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pleasant Grove AL area, check 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 enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Pleasant Grove AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Pleasant Grove, Alabama

It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.

During the mid to late 30s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.

The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.

Select the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Training Pleasant Grove AL

Pleasant Grove AL corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the proper training and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Pleasant Grove AL.

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