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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician School near Jonesboro 72401

Jonesboro AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Jonesboro AR, you may be thinking about how to choose the best school to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation should be considered 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 college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some 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 advantages of online courses.

The Function of a Pharmacy Tech

Jonesboro AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Jonesboro AR pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Jonesboro AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Jonesboro AR pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Jonesboro AR pharmacies will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Jonesboro ARPrior to selecting a pharmacy technician online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Jonesboro pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Jonesboro AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be decreased 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 certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Jonesboro AR area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Jonesboro residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Jonesboro AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Jonesboro AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial position in Jonesboro AR upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Jonesboro AR home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jonesboro AR area, check 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Jonesboro AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro is a college town and the fifth-largest city in Arkansas. Located atop on Crowley's Ridge, Jonesboro is the first county seat of Craighead County and the home to Arkansas State University. According to the 2010 Census,[3] the city had a population of 71,551.

Jonesboro is the largest principal city in northeastern Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2010, the Jonesboro metropolitan area had a population of 121,026[4] and a population of 163,116 in the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area.[5]

The Jonesboro area was first inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples. At the time of European encounter, historic tribes included the Osage, the Caddo, and the Quapaw.[6] The name of the state of Arkansas comes from the Quapaw language.[6] French and Spanish traders and trappers had relations with these groups.

Enroll in the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Program Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro AR corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs 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 prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the proper education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Jonesboro AR.

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