Category Archives: Louisiana

Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Shreveport LA

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician School near Shreveport 71101

Shreveport LA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Shreveport LA, you may be thinking about how to select the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Shreveport LA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Shreveport LA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is a very fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Shreveport LA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to becoming a tech 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 accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Shreveport LA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Shreveport LA 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 completed 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 called for every two years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Shreveport LABefore choosing a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Shreveport pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Shreveport LA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 training may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

After you have determined whether you wish 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 many pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Shreveport LA area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Shreveport home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional 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 certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Shreveport LA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college 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 can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Shreveport LA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Shreveport LA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Shreveport LA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Shreveport LA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Shreveport LA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Shreveport, Louisiana

Shreveport (/ˈʃriːvpɔːrt/ SHREEV-port) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area, the third most-populous metropolitan area in Louisiana and 123rd in the United States. Shreveport ranks 126th in the U.S. and third in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The bulk of the city is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat.[5] Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River (most notably at Wright Island, the Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park, and Bagley Island) into neighboring Bossier Parish. Shreveport and Bossier City are separated by the Red River. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.[6] The United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036.[7]

Shreveport was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas. Prior to Texas becoming independent, this trail entered Mexico.[8] The city grew throughout the 20th century and, after the discovery of oil in Louisiana, became a national center for the oil industry. Standard Oil of Louisiana (absorbed by Standard Oil of New Jersey and now part of ExxonMobil) and United Gas Corporation (now part of Pennzoil) were headquartered in the city.

Shreveport is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region, where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. It is the location of Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist University. Its neighboring city Bossier is the location of Bossier Parish Community College. Companies with significant operations or headquarters in Shreveport are AT&T, Chase Bank, Regions Financial Corporation and APS Payroll.

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Technician School Shreveport LA

Shreveport LA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech schools incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Shreveport LA.

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