Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – West Helena AR

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Tech School near West Helena 72390

West Helena AR pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near West Helena AR, you may be pondering how to pick the ideal program to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home by means 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 go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

West Helena AR pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed West Helena AR pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete 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 techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

West Helena AR pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents 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 training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted West Helena AR pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of West Helena AR employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

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

Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in West Helena ARPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in an area West Helena pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your West Helena AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the ideal solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to select from in the West Helena AR area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your West Helena residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of West Helena 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 techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with West Helena AR area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in West Helena AR upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their West Helena AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 consider is that if you decide 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 commonly 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 sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse 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 finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Helena AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a West Helena AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Helena–West Helena, Arkansas

Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States.[3] The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.[4]

The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.

A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.[5]

Select the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Degree Program West Helena AR

West Helena AR corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician schools incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in West Helena AR.

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    Hickory Hill Pharmacy
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    Drugstores, Health Markets
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    109 Hickory Hills Dr, Helena, AR 72342