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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Anniston AL

How to Choose a Pharmacist Tech Program near Anniston 36201

Anniston AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Anniston AL, you may be wondering just how to pick the best program to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many future students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Anniston AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Anniston AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer data 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 control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Anniston AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Anniston AL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires 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 in the future. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Anniston AL employers will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate 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.

Pharmacist Technician Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Anniston ALPrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online training program, 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 typically satisfied in a local Anniston pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Anniston AL home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Anniston AL area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Anniston home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you need to consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Anniston AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Anniston AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Anniston AL after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. 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 appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Anniston AL residence. Individuals 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Anniston AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Anniston, Alabama

Anniston is the county seat of Calhoun County in Alabama and is one of two urban centers/principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 23,106.[4] According to 2013 Census estimates, the city had a population of 22,666.[2]

Though the surrounding area was settled much earlier, the mineral resources in the area of Anniston were not exploited until the Civil War. The Confederate States of America then operated an iron furnace near present-day downtown Anniston, until it was finally destroyed by raiding Union cavalry in early 1865. Later, cast iron for sewer systems became the focus of Anniston's industrial output. Cast iron pipe, also called soil pipe, was popular until the advent of plastic pipe in the 1960s.[citation needed]

In 1872, the Woodstock Iron Company, organized by Samuel Noble and Union Gen. Daniel Tyler, rebuilt the furnace on a much larger scale,[6] and started a planned community named Woodstock, soon renamed "Annie's Town" for Annie Scott Tyler, Daniel's daughter and wife of railroad president Alfred L. Tyler. Anniston was chartered as a town in 1873.[7]

Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician Program Anniston AL

Anniston AL corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the proper training and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Anniston AL.

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