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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Providence RI

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech Course near Providence 02901

Providence RI pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Providence RI, you might be pondering just how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes 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 address these qualifications and 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 tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Providence RI pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Providence RI pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Providence RI pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Providence RI pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Providence RI employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 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, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Providence RIPrior to selecting a pharmacist technician online program, it’s necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Providence pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Providence RI home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

Once you have determined whether you wish to attain 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 options. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Providence RI area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Providence residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Providence RI employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of 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 in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Providence RI area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first job in Providence RI after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Providence RI home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Providence RI area, verify 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Providence RI Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States.[6] It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Providence was one of the first cities in the country to industrialize and became noted for its textile manufacturing and subsequent machine tool, jewelry, and silverware industries.[7][8] Today, the city of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning which have shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains some manufacturing activity. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry"; it began rebranding itself as the "Creative Capital" in 2009 to emphasize its educational resources and arts community.[9]

Providence was settled in June 1636 by Roger Williams and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies. Williams and his company were compelled to leave Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Providence quickly became a refuge for persecuted religious dissenters, as Williams himself had been exiled from Massachusetts.[10]

Pick the Best Pharmacy Tech Program Providence RI

Providence RI corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential 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 other tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper training and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Providence RI.

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