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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Winchester KS

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech College near Winchester 66097

Winchester KS pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Winchester KS, you might be thinking about how to select the best school to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many future students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Winchester KS pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Winchester KS pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Winchester KS pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Winchester KS pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Winchester KS employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two 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 one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Winchester KSPrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Winchester pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Winchester KS home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Once you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Winchester KS area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Winchester home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you need to consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have obtained 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 screened and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance 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 Winchester KS pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This condition can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician 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 a working relationship with Winchester KS area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Winchester KS after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Winchester KS 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 importance. One thing 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Winchester KS area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Winchester KS Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Winchester

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen.[2] It is situated 61 miles (98 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800. [3]

Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The city is home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the United Kingdom still using its original buildings.

The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with three Iron Age hillforts, Oram's Arbour, St. Catherine's Hill, and Worthy Down all in the nearby vicinity. In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. It was overrun by the confederation of Gaulish tribes known as the Belgae sometime during the first century BCE. It seems to have been known as Wentā or Venta, from the Brittonic for "town" or "meeting place".[4]

Choose the Right Pharmacy Tech Training Program Winchester KS

Winchester KS corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right education and commitment you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Winchester KS.

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