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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Fairbanks 99701

Fairbanks AK pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Fairbanks AK, you may be wondering just how to choose the best school to get 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 begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer rather than 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 reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Fairbanks AK pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Fairbanks AK pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

Fairbanks AK 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 generally 2 options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Fairbanks AK pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive 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 decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Fairbanks AK pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Fairbanks AKBefore selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Fairbanks pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Fairbanks AK home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain 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 a large number of pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Fairbanks home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Fairbanks AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied 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 clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Fairbanks AK area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Fairbanks AK after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairbanks AK residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final 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 tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fairbanks AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Fairbanks AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605,[7] making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.

Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old.[8] From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing.[9] In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years.[10] Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.[8]

Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross.[11] Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.[12]

Select the Right Pharmacy Tech Degree Program Fairbanks AK

Fairbanks AK corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the right education and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Fairbanks AK.

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