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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – West Columbia SC

How to Choose a Pharmacist Technician Course near West Columbia 29169

West Columbia SC pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near West Columbia SC, you might be wondering how to select the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for 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 comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

West Columbia SC pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed West Columbia SC pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription information 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 techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very rewarding career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

West Columbia SC pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted West Columbia SC pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of West Columbia SC pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in West Columbia SCPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online school, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local West Columbia pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your West Columbia SC home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, 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 training may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

After you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the West Columbia SC area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your West Columbia home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you must consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of West Columbia SC pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech 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 programs have associations with West Columbia SC area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in West Columbia SC upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their West Columbia SC residence. Students who have decided 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy technician program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Columbia SC area, make sure 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 West Columbia SC Pharmacy Tech School?

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

West Columbia, South Carolina

West Columbia is a city and commuter town in the suburban eastern sections of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population was 14,988. It is a part of the greater Columbia, SC metropolitan statistical area.

West Columbia lies west of Columbia, South Carolina, directly across the Congaree River. It is near Columbia's city center or downtown district as well as the South Carolina State House and the Congaree Vista, known locally as "the Vista."

West Columbia was incorporated in 1894 as Brookland, but the United States Postal Service called the town "New Brookland" since there was another town called Brookland. In 1936, the name was changed to West Columbia to emphasize its proximity to Columbia, South Carolina.[1] Numerous businesses, churches and a high school retain the Brookland and New Brookland names.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Technician Training West Columbia SC

West Columbia SC corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way 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 technician schools incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true 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 colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper education and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in West Columbia SC.

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    CVS Pharmacy
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    900 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29201

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    Phone:
    2224 Augusta Rd, West Columbia, SC 29169

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    2854 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia, SC 29169

    CVS Pharmacy
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    2401 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia, SC 29169

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    1013 Broad River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210

    Medicine Mart
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    Walgreens
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    Cosmetics & Beauty Supply, Drugstores, Convenience Stores
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