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

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Sheffield 35660

Sheffield AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Sheffield AL, you might be wondering just how to choose the right college to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Sheffield AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Sheffield AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions 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 job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Sheffield AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Sheffield AL pharmacy or other 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 offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Sheffield AL pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Sheffield ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online college, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Sheffield pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Sheffield AL 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 colleges are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are reviewing 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 training may be the right solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools

After you have determined whether you want 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 narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Sheffield AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Sheffield home. If you are able 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 need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national 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 evaluated and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don’t forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Sheffield AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire be 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 also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Sheffield AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Sheffield AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Sheffield AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 pharmacist technician program as well.

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

Enrolling in a Sheffield AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Sheffield, Alabama

Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039.[3] Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.

Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592),[4] on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.

Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.

Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Sheffield AL

Sheffield AL corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies 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 pharmacy technician schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Sheffield AL.

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    Colbert Pharmacy
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    Pharmacy
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    500 S Montgomery Ave, Ste 108, Sheffield, AL 35660

    Florence Pharmacy
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