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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Anchorage AK

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Anchorage 99501

Anchorage AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Anchorage AK, you might 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 degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Anchorage AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Anchorage AK pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is a very gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Anchorage AK pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various elements 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 Anchorage AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Anchorage AK employers 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 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 applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Anchorage AKBefore selecting a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in an area Anchorage pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Anchorage AK home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the best solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to select from in the Anchorage AK area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anchorage residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to verify 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 make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Anchorage AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prepare 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 should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get 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 meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Anchorage AK area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Anchorage AK after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Anchorage AK home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anchorage AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Anchorage AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage; Dena'ina: Dgheyaytnu) is a unified home rule municipality in the U.S. state of Alaska. With an estimated 298,192 residents in 2016,[7] it is Alaska's most populous city and contains more than 40 percent of the state's total population; among the 50 states, only New York has a higher percentage of residents who live in its most populous city. All together, the Anchorage metropolitan area, which combines Anchorage with the neighboring Matanuska-Susitna Borough, had a population of 401,635 in 2016, which accounts for more than half of the state's population. At 1,706 square miles of land area, the city is the fourth largest city by land in the United States and larger than the smallest state, Rhode Island, at 1,212 square miles.[8][9]

Anchorage is in the south-central portion of Alaska, at the terminus of the Cook Inlet, on a peninsula formed by the Knik Arm to the north and the Turnagain Arm to the south.[10] The city limits span 1,961.1 square miles (5,079.2 km2) which encompass the urban core, a joint military base,[11] several outlying communities and almost all of Chugach State Park.[12]

Due to its location, almost equidistant from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within ​9 1⁄2 hours by air of nearly 90% of the industrialized world.[13] For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and home to a major FedEx hub, which the company calls a "critical part" of its global network of services.[14]

Choose the Best Pharmacy Tech Training Anchorage AK

Anchorage AK corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the right education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Anchorage AK.

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    Walgreens
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