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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician Program near Riverside 02915

Riverside RI pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Riverside RI, you may be wondering how to select the right program 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 start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Riverside RI pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Riverside RI pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must 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. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor 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 weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is a very fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Riverside RI pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Riverside RI pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Riverside RI pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Riverside RIPrior to selecting a pharmacist technician online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Riverside pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Riverside RI home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the right solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer 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 pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Riverside RI area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Riverside home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Riverside RI 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 numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Riverside RI area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Riverside RI after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Riverside RI home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Riverside RI area, make certain 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Riverside RI Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Riverside, Rhode Island

Riverside is a suburban neighborhood of Providence. Adjoining Riverside are the town of Barrington in Bristol County to the south, Narragansett Bay to the west, the rest of East Providence to the north, and the Runnins River and Seekonk, Massachusetts to the east.

Riverside most notably became a tourist attraction in the late 19th and early 20th century due to the presence of Crescent Park Amusement Park, known as the “Coney Island of the East”. The 50 acre park operated from 1886 until 1979, and was famous for its Rhode Island Shore Dinners as well as the Alhambra Ballroom, where famous Big Bands played, and the bustling midway which included roller coasters, kiddie land, rides and games. Although the park in now gone, the famous 1895 Crescent Park Looff Carousel has been preserved and continues in operation every summer. The Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works.[2]

Many hotels, guest houses and shore dinner halls operated in Riverside in the late 19th century to accommodate the influx of summer visitors escaping the big city. Also available were several tent sites like Camp White and Camp Fuller. The Vue de l'Eau Hotel was built around 1860. The four-story Riverside Hotel boasted its own wharf and a huge ballroom overlooking the bay. After a few years, it was dismantled and shipped by barge to Nantucket. Pomham House opened in 1867 with its own wharf. The popular Silver Spring Hotel was opened two years later by developer, Hiram Maxfield. In addition to the hotel, it included a shore dinner hall and summer cottages.

Pick the Right Pharmacy Tech Training Riverside RI

Riverside RI corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician programs include both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the right training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Riverside RI.

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