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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Program near Wasilla 99654

Wasilla AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Wasilla AK, you may be thinking about just how to select the best program to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over 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 benefits of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Wasilla AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Wasilla AK pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Wasilla AK pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Wasilla AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Choices

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Wasilla AK pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Wasilla AKPrior to choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Wasilla pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Wasilla AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction might be the best solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

After you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Wasilla AK area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Wasilla residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you should consider so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional 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 screened and verified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it might help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Wasilla AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Wasilla AK area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Wasilla AK after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Wasilla AK home. Students who have opted 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 concern. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some 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 pharmacist tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wasilla AK area, check that they are available. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Wasilla AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Wasilla, Alaska

Wasilla is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, United States and the sixth-largest city in Alaska. It is located on the northern point of Cook Inlet in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of the southcentral part of the state. The city's population was 7,831 at the 2010 census, up from 5,469 in 2000. Estimates in 2016 put the population at roughly 9,748. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 396,142 in 2013.

Established at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and Old Carle Wagon Road, the city prospered at the expense of the nearby mining town of Knik. Historically entrepreneurial, the economic base shifted in the 1970s from small-scale agriculture and recreation to support for workers employed in Anchorage or on Alaska's North Slope oilfields and related infrastructure. The George Parks Highway turned the town into a commuter suburb of Anchorage.[5] Several state and federal agencies have offices in Wasilla, including the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Divisions of Public Assistance, Social Services.

Wasilla gained international attention when Sarah Palin, who served as Mayor of Wasilla before her election as Governor of Alaska, was chosen by John McCain as his running mate for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 United States presidential election.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacist Technician School Wasilla AK

Wasilla AK corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician colleges include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Wasilla AK.

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