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

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Tuscumbia 35674

Tuscumbia AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Tuscumbia AL, you may be thinking about how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be considered also. And if you prefer studying at 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 address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

Tuscumbia AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Tuscumbia AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Tuscumbia AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Tuscumbia AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Tuscumbia AL pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Tuscumbia ALBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online school, it’s necessary to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Tuscumbia pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Tuscumbia AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Tuscumbia AL area and throughout the United States, so you should 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 resources and driving distance from your Tuscumbia residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained 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 superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Tuscumbia AL pharmacies 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 mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Tuscumbia AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Tuscumbia AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Tuscumbia AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuscumbia AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Tuscumbia AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Tuscumbia, Alabama

Tuscumbia was the hometown of Helen Keller (Ivy Green) and much of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tuscumbia Historic District. The city serves as the location for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city.[6] The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa[1] and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring[7] and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.[6][8][9]

Although shoals on the nearby Tennessee River made the river nearly impassable, a federal highway completed in 1820 provided the area with good access to markets. Tuscumbia soon became the center for agriculture in northern Alabama.[9] A line to the town on the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad was completed in 1832, and by 1850 Tuscumbia was a major railroad hub for train traffic throughout the South.[9]

Enroll in the Right Pharmacist Technician Training Program Tuscumbia AL

Tuscumbia AL corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Tuscumbia AL.

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