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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Technician Course near Paragould 72450

Paragould AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Paragould AR, you may be wondering just how to select the right college to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Paragould AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Paragould AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily duties a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription 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 on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Paragould AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two options 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 completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Paragould AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Paragould AR pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Paragould ARBefore selecting a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s important to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Paragould pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Paragould AR home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical 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 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 training might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

After you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Paragould AR area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Paragould home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a complete quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Paragould AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Paragould AR area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Paragould AR upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Paragould AR home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Paragould AR area, check that they are available. 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, learn 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 Paragould AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Paragould, Arkansas

Paragould is the county seat of Greene County, and the 19th-largest city in Arkansas, in the United States. The city is located in northeastern Arkansas on the eastern edge of Crowley's Ridge, a geologic anomaly contained within the Arkansas delta.

Paragould is the principal city of the Paragould, Arkansas Micropolitan Statistical Area and is also a part of the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area. The Paragould micropolitan area's population was 42,090 at the 2010 census,[3] and the Jonesboro-Paragould Combined Statistical Area's population was 163,116.[4]

The city's name is a blend combining the last names of competing railroad magnates J. W. Paramore and Jay Gould. Paramore's Texas & St. Louis Railway (later the Cotton Belt) and Gould's St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway (later the Missouri Pacific) intersected here in 1882. A group of citizens chose the name, and it is believed to be the only city in the world with this name. Gould objected to his name's being second and refused to list the new town on his schedules.[7]

Pick the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Paragould AR

Paragould AR corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician programs incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the right education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Paragould AR.

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