Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Decatur AR

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician School near Decatur 72722

Decatur AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Decatur AR, you may be pondering just how to choose the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Function of a Pharmacy Tech

Decatur AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Decatur AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly 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 satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Decatur AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Decatur AR 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 provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Decatur AR employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Decatur ARPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Decatur pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Decatur AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses 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 colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Decatur AR area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Decatur residence. If you are able to relocate 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 must take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm 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 guarantee that you receive a superior education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Decatur AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Decatur AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Decatur AR upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, 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 creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Decatur AR residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Decatur AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Decatur AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Decatur, Arkansas

Decatur is a city, in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,699 at the 2010 census.[3] It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. This town is named after Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr.

Decatur is located in western Benton County at 36°20′15″N 94°27′24″W / 36.33750°N 94.45667°W / 36.33750; -94.45667 (36.337541, -94.456721).[4]Arkansas Highway 59 passes through the city, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Gravette and 13 miles (21 km) to the Missouri border, and south 13 miles (21 km) to Siloam Springs. Arkansas Highway 102 leads east 16 miles (26 km) to Bentonville and west 10 miles (16 km) to the Oklahoma border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Decatur has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2), of which 4.4 square miles (11.5 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.21%, is water.[3]

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Training Program Decatur AR

Decatur AR corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the right training and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Decatur AR.

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