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

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Andalusia 36420

Andalusia AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Andalusia AL, you might be pondering just how to choose the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. And if you are interested in studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover 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 certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Andalusia AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Andalusia AL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control 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 typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Andalusia AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Andalusia AL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Andalusia AL employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Andalusia ALBefore choosing a pharmacy 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 fulfilled in a local Andalusia pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Andalusia AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Andalusia AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Andalusia home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Andalusia 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 required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Andalusia AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Andalusia AL after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching 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 a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Andalusia AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Andalusia 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 credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Andalusia AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Andalusia, Alabama

Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.[4]

Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.[citation needed]

Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479).[7] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.[3]

Select the Best Pharmacist Tech Training Andalusia AL

Andalusia AL corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the proper education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Andalusia AL.

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