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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech School near Sylacauga 35150

Sylacauga AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Sylacauga AL, you might be pondering just how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. And if you prefer studying at home by means 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 address these qualifications 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 degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Sylacauga AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Sylacauga AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by 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
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Sylacauga AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Sylacauga AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the proper amount 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 a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Sylacauga AL employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Sylacauga ALBefore choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Sylacauga pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Sylacauga AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the ideal solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Sylacauga AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Sylacauga residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Sylacauga AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Sylacauga AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Sylacauga AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some support. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Sylacauga AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sylacauga AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Sylacauga AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Sylacauga, Alabama

Sylacauga is known for its fine white marble bedrock. This was discovered shortly after settlers moved into the area and has been quarried ever since. The marble industry was the first recorded industry in the Sylacauga area.

Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 4 kg (9 lb) piece of what became known as the Hodges Meteorite crashed through the roof of an Oak Grove house, bounced off a radio, and badly bruised Mrs. Ann Hodges, who was taking an afternoon nap.

The first historical account of the area comes from de Soto's chroniclers as he marched south along the east bank of the Coosa River in 1540, encountering the town of Talisi at the edges of the Mississippian-era chiefdoms of Coosa and Tuskaloosa.[5] The inhabitants of the Coosa River Valley were later united as the Creek Indians, whose encounters with the Spanish and French had a significant influence on the history of Sylacauga. Events that occurred between these three groups were partly responsible for the settlement of the village of Chalakagay in 1748 near modern Sylacauga by refugee Shawnee Indians led by Peter Chartier, and Chalakagay was later listed in the French territorial records in 1759 as being a town inhabited by 50 Shawnee Indian warriors.[6][7] Late in the summer of 1836 all of the Indians remaining in Alabama were taken west by the United States government. The name Sy-la-cau-ga is derived from the Indian words Chalaka-ge which mean "The Place of the Chalaka Tribe".[citation needed] The city was first incorporated in 1838 as Syllacoga and again in 1887 as Sylacauga.

Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Sylacauga AL

Sylacauga AL corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as 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 best choice. With the appropriate training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Sylacauga AL.

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