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

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Technician Program near Fultondale 35068

Fultondale AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Fultondale AL, you may be wondering how to select the best program to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need 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 courses.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Fultondale AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Fultondale AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Fultondale AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Fultondale AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two 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 in the future. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Fultondale AL pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Fultondale ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online school, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Fultondale pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Fultondale AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Fultondale AL area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fultondale home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you need to consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs 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 only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fultondale AL employers 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 every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Fultondale AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Fultondale AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Fultondale AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor 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 perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fultondale AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Fultondale AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Fultondale, Alabama

This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview"). This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some cases simply "old US 31."[6]

Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.2 square miles (32 km2), all land. Fultondale is located along one of the many ridgelines that comprise the southern end of the Appalachian Mountain chain. The area has been thoroughly mined for coal and other minerals in the past 100 years. The city is served by two major north/south highways, Interstate 65 and US Highway 31. The new Interstate 22 encroaches on the city's western edge and on June 20, 2016, the interchange with I-65 just south of Fultondale opened. I-22 will provide direct interstate access to Memphis, Tennessee. Upon completion of Interstate 22, Fultondale will become the fourth Alabama city (after Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile) to be directly served by more than one two-digit interstate highway (I-65 & I-22). The only east/west thoroughfare of note is Walkers Chapel Road (west of US 31) and New Castle Road (east of US 31). Rail lines run north/south along the city's eastern edge from Boyles Yard in Tarrant to points north and east. Air travel is available from nearby Birmingham International Airport.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacist Technician College Fultondale AL

Fultondale AL corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Fultondale AL.

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