Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Pine Bluff AR

How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician School near Pine Bluff 71601

Pine Bluff AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Pine Bluff AR, you may be thinking about how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Pine Bluff AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Pine Bluff AR pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out 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 the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Pine Bluff AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Pine Bluff AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Pine Bluff AR pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Pine Bluff ARPrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online school, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Pine Bluff pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Pine Bluff AR home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Pine Bluff AR area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast 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 Pine Bluff home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Pine Bluff AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way 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 prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Pine Bluff AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Pine Bluff AR after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Pine Bluff AR home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pine Bluff AR area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Pine Bluff AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Pine Bluff is the tenth-largest city in the state of Arkansas and the county seat of Jefferson County.[3] It is the principal city of the Pine Bluff Metropolitan Statistical Area and part of the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Pine Bluff Combined Statistical Area. The population of the city was 49,083 in the 2010 Census[4] with 2017 estimates showing a decline to 42,984.[5]

The city is situated in the Southeast section of the Arkansas Delta and straddles the Arkansas Timberlands region to its west.[6] Its topography is flat with wide expanses of farmland, consistent with other places in the Delta Lowlands. Pine Bluff has numerous creeks, streams, and bayous. (Bayou Bartholomew is the longest bayou in the world and is the second most-diverse stream in the United States).[7] Large bodies of water include Lake Pine Bluff, Lake Langhofer (Slack Water Harbor), and the Arkansas River.

The area along the Arkansas River had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of various cultures. They used the river for transportation as did European settlers after them, and for fishing. By the time of encounter with Europeans, the historical Quapaw were the chief people in the area, having migrated from the Ohio River valley centuries before.[citation needed]

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Pine Bluff AR

Pine Bluff AR corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Pine Bluff AR.

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