Tag Archives: Pharmacist Technician Courses Near Me Huntsville AL 35801

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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech School near Huntsville 35801

Huntsville AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Huntsville AL, you might be thinking about how to choose the ideal school to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Huntsville AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Huntsville AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting 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 terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Huntsville AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Huntsville AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Huntsville AL pharmacies 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 requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Huntsville ALBefore selecting a pharmacist tech online college, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Huntsville pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Huntsville AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance 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 choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

Once you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Huntsville AL area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Huntsville residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Huntsville AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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 fulfill the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Huntsville AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Huntsville AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance 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 appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Huntsville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Huntsville AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville is a city primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama.[9] It is the county seat of Madison County.[10] The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County[11] and south into Morgan County.[12]

It was founded in 1805 and became an incorporated town in 1811. The city grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.[13]

The city's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census, making it Alabama's fourth-largest city.[14][15] Huntsville is the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area.[16] The Huntsville metropolitan area's population was 417,593 in 2010,[17] making it the second most populous metropolitan area in the state.[18] The Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.[19]

Pick the Best Pharmacy Tech Training Program Huntsville AL

Huntsville AL corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the right training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Huntsville AL.

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