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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Shinnston WV

How to Select a Pharmacist Technician College near Shinnston 26431

Shinnston WV pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Shinnston WV, you might be pondering how to choose the right college to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many potential students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. 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 included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Shinnston WV pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Shinnston WV pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily services a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. 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 having to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Shinnston WV pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives 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 typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets 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 Shinnston WV pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Shinnston WV pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Shinnston WVPrior to selecting a pharmacist technician online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Shinnston pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Shinnston WV home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to choose from in the Shinnston WV area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Shinnston home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Shinnston WV pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree 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 Shinnston WV area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Shinnston WV after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Shinnston WV residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 decide 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Shinnston WV area, make sure that they are available. 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 need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Shinnston WV Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Shinnston, West Virginia

Shinnston is a city and former coal town in Harrison County, West Virginia, United States, along the West Fork River. In 1778 Levi Shinn constructed his log home along what is now Route 19; today it is the oldest standing structure in north-central West Virginia.[6] As of the 2010 census, Shinnston had a population of 2,201.[7]

The roots of Shinnston date back to 1778, when Levi Shinn constructed his log home. The log house, located along Route 19, is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia. It is maintained by the Shinnston Historical Association, which opens the home for tours by the general public.

In 1815, the town was laid out with three streets, running parallel with the river, and with four crossing streets running at right angles to them. The town was incorporated in 1852 as Shinn's Town by an act of the Virginia legislature, as West Virginia did not yet exist as an independent state. Solomon S. Fleming was elected as the first mayor.

Pick the Best Pharmacy Tech Training Shinnston WV

Shinnston WV corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Shinnston WV.

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