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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech College near Westminster 01473

Westminster MA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Westminster MA, you may be thinking about how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Duties of Pharmacy Techs

Westminster MA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Westminster MA 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 directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas

Westminster MA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westminster MA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the proper amount 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 numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Westminster MA employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Westminster MABefore choosing a pharmacist tech 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 typically satisfied in an area Westminster pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Westminster MA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

After you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Westminster MA area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Westminster home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Westminster MA 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 prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have associations with Westminster MA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Westminster MA after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Westminster MA residence. Individuals 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westminster MA area, verify 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 enroll in. 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 Westminster MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westminster, Massachusetts

The town achieved national news in November 2014 when the Board of Health proposed banning all sales of tobacco. The meeting between the Board of Health and concerned citizens did not go well with citizens raising objections to the governmental over-reach.[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.3 square miles (97 km2), of which 35.5 square miles (92 km2) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), or 4.90%, is water.

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 6,907 people, 2,529 households, and 1,954 families residing in the town. The population density was 194.5 people per square mile (75.1/km²). There were 2,694 housing units at an average density of 75.9 per square mile (29.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.50% White, 0.46% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.14% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population. 17.6% were of French, 15.0% Irish, 13.2% French Canadian, 9.0% English, 9.0% Italian, 8.5% Finnish and 5.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

Select the Right Pharmacist Tech Program Westminster MA

Westminster MA corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Westminster MA.

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      Upon completion of the certificate program and after attaining a 75% or better score on the Board of Pharmacy Qualification Exam, the student will be able to apply and be licensed as a Pharmacy Technician in Massachusetts. Graduates are prepared to apply and sit for the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

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