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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Winterport ME

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Winterport 04496

Winterport ME pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Winterport ME, you may be thinking about how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation should be evaluated also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

Winterport ME pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Winterport ME pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact 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 job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Winterport ME pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished 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. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Winterport ME pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Winterport ME pharmacies will only employ a technician 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 at least 18 years old, 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 required every 2 years by each program, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Winterport MEPrior to choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Winterport pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Winterport ME home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often 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 comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Winterport ME area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Winterport residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected 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 also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Winterport ME pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Winterport ME area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Winterport ME upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Winterport ME home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom 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 colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Winterport ME area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Winterport ME Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Winterport, Maine

First settled in 1766 as part of Frankfort, it was set off and incorporated on March 12, 1860.[5] It was named Winterport because of its fine harbor on the Penobscot River estuary, which generally remained ice free, and so became a busy local terminus for trade and shipping during winter months. When the upper Penobscot River froze, commodities like flour were hauled in large quantities from here to Bangor.[6]

In 1841, Theophilus Cushing opened a large steam mill which manufactured 11,000,000 feet of lumber annually. It also made sugar box shooks, lath, clapboard, and soap and candle boxes. The town had two cooperage factories. Other industries produced harnesses, cheese and butter, and men's vests. Until the Panic of 1857, Winterport was a shipbuilding center. But the principal business for most of the town was agriculture.[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.05 square miles (95.96 km2), of which, 35.52 square miles (92.00 km2) of it is land and 1.53 square miles (3.96 km2) is water.[2] Drained by the Marsh River, Winterport is bounded by the Penobscot River.

Find the Ideal Pharmacist Technician College Winterport ME

Winterport ME corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this 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 technician programs include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Winterport ME.

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