Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Oxford AL

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Program near Oxford 72565

Oxford AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Oxford AL, you might be pondering how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical concerns when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when comparing 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 classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Oxford AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Oxford AL pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Oxford AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Oxford AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Oxford AL employers will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Oxford ALBefore choosing a pharmacy technician online college, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Oxford pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Oxford AL home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting 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 essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, 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 right choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Oxford AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Oxford home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Oxford AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of 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 work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Oxford AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Oxford AL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication 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 employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Oxford AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Oxford AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Oxford, Alabama

Oxford is a city in Calhoun and Talladega counties in the State of Alabama. The population was 21,348 at the 2010 census,[3] an increase of 46.3% since the 2000 Census. Oxford is one of two principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Founded in the early 1850s, Oxford was the first city in Calhoun County to be incorporated, in 1852.[4] The name "Oxford" was due to the presence of a narrow crossing of Chocolocco Creek that allowed farmers to ford cattle from one side of the creek to the other. Since 1970, Oxford has annexed large amounts of land to the south and west, including the communities of Coldwater and Bynum. In 1970, it was all in Calhoun County, but today it includes areas in Talladega County.[5]

A smaller municipality, Hobson City, was once a part of Oxford. The area, then known as the Mooree Quarter, is one square mile, and is located north and west of Oxford, and south and west of Anniston. In the last years of the 19th century, according to tradition, in the course of political elections, a black man managed to be elected justice of the peace in Oxford. This being unacceptable to the city fathers, they appealed to the powers in the state capital, and an 'arrangement' was made. The city boundaries were redrawn, in similar fashion to a gerrymander, and the quarter was excluded, becoming a town unto itself. The new town became incorporated on August 16, 1899 as Hobson City, taking the name of a naval hero of the Spanish–American War.[6] The intention was that the largely black population of this quarter would no longer skew the elections of the now almost exclusively white Oxford. Another result was the creation of only the second town in the United States (after Eatonville, Florida) with 100% black government, and an almost 100% black population (at least at first).[7]

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Technician School Oxford AL

Oxford AL corner drugstoreGetting the ideal pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician programs include both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to enroll in a school 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 follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the right training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Oxford AL.

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