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

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Program near Northport 35473

Northport AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Northport AL, you may be pondering how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Northport AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Northport AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Northport AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Northport AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 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 down the road. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Northport AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Northport ALBefore selecting a pharmacy tech online program, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Northport pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Northport AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (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 study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Northport AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Northport home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national 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 evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Northport AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to ready 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 qualification may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with 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 tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Northport AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Northport AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Northport AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Northport AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Northport AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Northport, Alabama

Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013.[3] It incorporated in 1871.[6] It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Pick the Right Pharmacist Technician Training Northport AL

Northport AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Northport AL.

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