Tag Archives: Online Pharmacy Technician Programs Florence AL 35630

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

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech Course near Florence 35630

Florence AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Florence AL, you might be thinking about just how to choose the right program to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing 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 classes.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Florence AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Florence AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Florence AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Florence AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth 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 Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Florence AL employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Florence ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in an area Florence pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Florence 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 degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the ideal solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Florence AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Florence home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected 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 comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Florence AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Florence AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Florence AL upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Florence AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Florence AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Florence, Alabama

Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.

Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.

Florence and Lauderdale County had one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM was a 358-bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital was completed in December 2018.

Select the Best Pharmacy Tech School Florence AL

Florence AL corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper training and dedication you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Florence AL.

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