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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech School near Marion 36756

Marion AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Marion AL, you may be wondering how to pick the right program to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes 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 go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Function of a Pharmacy Tech

Marion AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Marion AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

Marion AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to training to be 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 typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Marion AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Marion AL employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

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

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Marion ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Marion 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 obtain some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Marion AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the ideal solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Marion AL area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Marion home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you must consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned 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 evaluated and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Marion AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Marion AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Marion AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Marion AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marion AL area, confirm that they are available. 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Marion AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Marion, Alabama

Marion is a city in, and the county seat of, Perry County, Alabama, United States.[3] As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,686, up 4.8% over 2000. First known as Muckle Ridge, the city was renamed after a hero of the American Revolution, Francis Marion.

Formerly the territory of the Creek Indians, it was founded shortly after 1819 as Muckle Ridge. The city was renamed in honor of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," hero of the American Revolutionary War, in 1822. It incorporated as a town the same year and also became the second county seat after the hamlet of Perry Ridge was unsuitable. In 1829, it upgraded from a town to a city.[4] From the very early days, Marion created considerable history for a small town on the western frontier of Alabama. The old City Hall (1832) is but one of many antebellum public buildings, churches, and homes in the city today.

At the 1844 meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention in Marion, the "Alabama Resolutions" were passed. This was one of the factors that led to the 1845 formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Training Program Marion AL

Marion AL corner drugstoreGetting the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech schools include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right training and dedication you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Marion AL.

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