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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Spanish Fort AL

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech Program near Spanish Fort 36527

Spanish Fort AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Spanish Fort AL, you may be wondering just how to choose the ideal program to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of future students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Spanish Fort AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Spanish Fort AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage 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 typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Spanish Fort 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 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Spanish Fort AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Spanish Fort AL pharmacies will only employ 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Spanish Fort ALPrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Spanish Fort pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Spanish Fort AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive 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 program you are considering 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 structured form of education, then online training might be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Spanish Fort AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Spanish Fort home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Spanish Fort AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program should 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 qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Spanish Fort AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Spanish Fort AL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Spanish Fort AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 want to monitor one or more classes before making your final 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 College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Spanish Fort AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Spanish Fort AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Spanish Fort is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 6,798.[3] It is a suburb of Mobile and is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area.

In November 2012, Spanish Fort built a community center to house its administrative offices and city amenities. The center is home to the city library, administrative offices, the office of the mayor, and other city-run services. The municipal complex is roughly 30,000 square feet and cost around $5 million to build. It sits on 17-acres of prime land and features a large pond with two fountains and a pavilion. The city also hosts community outreach events along with city council and budget meetings.

Spanish Fort is located at 30°40'7.403" North, 87°55'19.844" West (30.668723, -87.922179),[4] above the east shore of the Blakeley River where it enters Mobile Bay. U.S. Routes 90 and 98 (Battleship Parkway) lead west across the Mobile River and its distributaries 9 miles (14 km) to Mobile. Interstate 10 passes just to the south of Spanish Fort, with access from exits 35 and 38, and leads west across Mobile Bay to Mobile as well.

Pick the Best Pharmacist Technician Program Spanish Fort AL

Spanish Fort AL corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper training and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Spanish Fort AL.

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    Rite Aid
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    Walgreens
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