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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Woodbridge VA

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Technician Program near Woodbridge 22191

Woodbridge VA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Woodbridge VA, you might be pondering how to pick the ideal school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

Woodbridge VA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Woodbridge VA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply 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 evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Woodbridge VA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Woodbridge VA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two 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 should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Woodbridge VA pharmacies will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only 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 satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Woodbridge VAPrior to selecting a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Woodbridge pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Woodbridge VA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Woodbridge VA area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Woodbridge residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you must consider in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Woodbridge VA pharmacies 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 mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Woodbridge VA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Woodbridge VA after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Woodbridge VA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Woodbridge VA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Woodbridge VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Woodbridge, Virginia

Woodbridge is a census-designated place (CDP) in Prince William County, Virginia, United States, located 20 miles (32 km) south of Washington, D.C.[3] Bounded by the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, Woodbridge Magisterial District had 54,275 residents at the 2010 census.[4] The Woodbridge census-designated place comprises just one portion of the magisterial district and had a population of 4,055 in the 2010 census.[5] The census-designated place consists solely of the section north of Occoquan Road and Dawson Beach Road, and east of Interstate 95.

Woodbridge offers a variety of amenities for residents and visitors, including the Potomac Mills shopping mall and the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Centre Shopping Centers. Woodbridge is served by the Prince William County Public Schools, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College borders the district. Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, formerly Potomac Hospital, recently expanded and now has the capacity to serve 183 patients.[6] Transportation includes access to Interstate 95, two VRE commuter train stations, bus service, and a local “slugging” system, offering residents a variety of transit options.

Woodbridge offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for resident and visitors. The Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life including the bald eagles and ospreys. Veteran’s Park and Leesylvania State Park are located on the Potomac River and provide swimming, boating, picnic and hiking services. Close-by is Rippon Lodge, the oldest house in Prince William County, which is open for tours throughout the summer. Trails at Leesylvania Park lead to the ancestral home of the Lee family.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Tech Training Program Woodbridge VA

Woodbridge VA corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Woodbridge VA.

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    Goodcare Pharmacy
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