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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Westford MA

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Technician School near Westford 01886

Westford MA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Westford MA, you may be pondering how to pick the ideal school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Function of Pharmacy Technicians

Westford MA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Westford MA 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 preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

Westford MA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westford MA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Westford MA employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Westford MABefore selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Westford pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Westford MA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program 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 study with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have determined whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Westford MA area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Westford residence. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other variables that you need to consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have earned 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 evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Westford MA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on 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 School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Westford MA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Westford MA upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out 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 an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Westford MA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Westford MA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 emergencies.

Enrolling in a Westford MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westford, Massachusetts

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was said to be the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns.[4] Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War.[2] Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow.[citation needed]

By the end of the American Civil War, as roads and transportation improved, Westford began to serve as a residential suburb for the factories of Lowell, becoming one of the earliest notable examples of suburban sprawl.[citation needed] Throughout the 20th century (and with the invention of the automobile), Westford progressively grew, continuing to serve as residential housing for the industries of Lowell, and later, Boston.

By the 1990s, Westford was home to offices for Red Hat, Samsung, Sonus Networks, Seagate, Iris Associates, Visual Solutions, and many other technology firms, most located along Massachusetts Route 110, parallel to I-495. It is also the North American headquarters for Puma, which holds a road race in town.[6] The leading manufacturer of EEG electrodes, HydroDot Inc., located here in 2007.

Choose the Best Pharmacist Tech Program Westford MA

Westford MA corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools include both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right education and determination you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Westford MA.

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