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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Virginia IL

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Virginia 62691

Virginia IL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Virginia IL, you may be wondering how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need 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 courses.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Virginia IL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Virginia IL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Virginia IL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Virginia IL pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Virginia IL employers will only employ a technician 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 at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Virginia ILBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Virginia pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Virginia IL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the Virginia IL area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Virginia residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you must consider in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among 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 complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don’t forget 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Virginia IL employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Virginia IL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Virginia IL upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Virginia IL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Virginia IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Virginia IL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Virginia, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Virginia has a total area of 1.237 square miles (3.20 km2), of which 1.18 square miles (3.06 km2) (or 95.39%) is land and 0.057 square miles (0.15 km2) (or 4.61%) is water.[6]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,728 people, 724 households, and 453 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,593.2 people per square mile (617.8/km²). There were 794 housing units at an average density of 732.0 per square mile (283.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.84% White, 0.12% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

There were 724 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.

Find the Best Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Virginia IL

Virginia IL corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician programs include both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a program 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 colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the proper education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Virginia IL.

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