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

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Tech Program near Chelsea 35043

Chelsea AL pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Chelsea AL, you might be pondering how to select the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Chelsea AL pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Chelsea AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

Chelsea AL pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives 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 typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Chelsea AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Chelsea AL pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 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, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Chelsea ALBefore choosing a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Chelsea pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Chelsea AL home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Chelsea AL area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Chelsea residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Chelsea AL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep 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 qualification can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Chelsea AL area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Chelsea AL upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Chelsea AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chelsea AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Chelsea AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Chelsea, Alabama

Chelsea is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham metropolitan area. Chelsea was incorporated on March 1, 1996, with a population of 906. At the 2000 census the population was 2,949.[citation needed] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2010 population for Chelsea was 10,183.[3] Its seasonal campsite for visitors is Hargis Retreat which began in 1984. Chelsea is widely considered the fastest growing city in Shelby County, which is the fastest growing county in the state of Alabama.[4]

In 2010, Chelsea had a population of 10,183. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 90.5% white or Caucasian, 4.7% black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from some other race, 1.3% from two or more races and 3.2% Hispanic or Latino of any race.[7]

At the 2000 census,[8] there were 2,949 people, 1,022 households and 849 families residing in the city. The population density was 293.6 per square mile (113.4/km2). There were 1,091 housing units at an average density of 108.6 per square mile (42.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.78% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 0.88% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 0.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Pick the Best Pharmacy Tech Program Chelsea AL

Chelsea AL corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacist tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Chelsea AL.

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