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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Washington DC

How to Enroll In a Pharmacist Tech Program near Washington 20001

Washington DC pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Washington DC, you may be pondering just how to choose the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer rather than 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 take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Washington DC pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Washington DC pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily duties 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
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Washington DC pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Washington DC pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Washington DC pharmacies will only hire 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 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Washington DCPrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online school, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Washington pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Washington DC home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want 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 select from in the Washington DC area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Washington 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 issues that you should consider in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacist 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also obtain 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 in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Washington DC pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire 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 meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Washington DC area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Washington DC upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some support. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Washington DC home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Washington DC area, verify that they are available. 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Washington DC Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States of America.[4] Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father.[5] Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977.[6] Washington has been described as an important political capital, owing to its status as the seat of the United States federal government.[7] Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.[8][9]

The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.

Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.

Choose the Right Pharmacist Technician College Washington DC

Washington DC corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained “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 vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician colleges include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Washington DC.

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