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

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician Program near Oakman 35579

Oakman AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Oakman AL, you might be pondering how to choose the best college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

Oakman AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Oakman AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the common daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Oakman AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives 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 usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Oakman AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Oakman AL employers will only employ a technician 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 finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Oakman ALPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Oakman pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Oakman AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are reviewing 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 supervised form of education, then online classes may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges

Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Oakman AL area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Oakman residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you must consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Oakman AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician school should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Oakman AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Oakman AL upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Oakman AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Oakman AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Oakman AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Oakman, Alabama

Oakman is a town in Walker County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 789, down from 944 in 2000. Initially named Day (or Day's) Gap, it was renamed Oakman and incorporated in 1895.[3]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 944 people, 386 households, and 265 families residing in the town. The population density was 303.1 people per square mile (117.2/km²). There were 449 housing units at an average density of 144.1 per square mile (55.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 79.66% White, 19.60% Black or African American, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 386 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.

Select the Ideal Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Oakman AL

Oakman AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Oakman AL.

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