Tag Archives: Online Pharmacy Technician Programs Helena AL 35080

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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Course near Helena 35080

Helena AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Helena AL, you may be wondering just how to pick the ideal school to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to 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 need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Helena AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Helena AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must 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. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

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

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Helena AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as 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 attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Helena AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes 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. Either program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Helena AL pharmacies will only employ a tech 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 applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished 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 examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Helena ALBefore selecting a pharmacist tech online program, it’s important to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Helena pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Helena AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have decided whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Helena AL area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Helena residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you need to consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Helena AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Helena AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Helena AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Helena AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the School 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 especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Helena AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Helena AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Helena, Alabama

Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793. Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week named Helena the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007.[4] It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91.[5] The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).[6]

Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers.[7] It did not first appear on the U.S. Census until 1920, giving credence to the later date of incorporation.

The initial settlers to Helena, initially named Cove, were veterans of the final campaigns of the War of 1812. Members of Andrew Jackson's army who cut through the brush were attracted to the quiet, peaceful valleys and streams after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. These first settlers were reported to arrive in 1849 and were predated by the Creek Indian tribes who these settlers had battled. By 1856, the Cove post office opened. Shortly thereafter, the settlers changed the name of the town to Hillsboro.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Technician College Helena AL

Helena AL corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists 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. A large number of pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Helena AL.

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