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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Training Program near Theodore 36582

Theodore AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Theodore AL, you might be wondering just how to pick the best college to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and 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 diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Theodore AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Theodore AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control 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 very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Theodore AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Theodore AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Theodore AL employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

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

Pharmacist Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Theodore ALPrior to choosing a pharmacist tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Theodore pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Theodore AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example 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 best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Theodore AL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Theodore residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Theodore AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

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

Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Theodore AL after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any support. Ask if the schools you are researching 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 college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Theodore AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Theodore AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Theodore AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Theodore, Alabama

Theodore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population was 6,130 at the 2010 census.[3] It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. Prior to 1900 this area was known as Clements, but is now named for William Theodore Hieronymous (a sawmill operator and postmaster).[4]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 6,811 people, 2,483 households, and 1,926 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 571.6 people per square mile (220.6/km²). There were 2,697 housing units at an average density of 226.3 per square mile (87.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 71.11% White, 25.58% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,483 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.11.

Choose the Ideal Pharmacy Technician College Theodore AL

Theodore AL corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech schools include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper education and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Theodore AL.

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