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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech Course near Westport 02790

Westport MA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Westport MA, you may be thinking about just how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some 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 advantages of online classes.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Westport MA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Westport MA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order 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 give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

Westport MA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade 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 overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westport MA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Westport MA pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Westport MAPrior to choosing a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Westport pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Westport MA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, 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 training may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Westport MA area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Westport home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Westport MA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work 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 fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Westport MA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Westport MA after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Westport MA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westport MA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Westport MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westport, Massachusetts

The village of North Westport lies in the town. Other named areas of the town are "Westport Point" with the dock on the Westport River where Main Road meets the river, "Central Village" with town offices, retail stores and businesses, "Head of Westport" at the head of the east branch of the river and the area referred to either as "Acoaxet" or "Westport Harbor," which is between the west branch of the river and Rhode Island. This area is actually cut off from the rest of Massachusetts by water and Rhode Island.

Westport, so named because it was the westernmost port in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was first settled in 1670 as a part of the town of Dartmouth by members of the Sisson family. The river, and the land around it, was called "Coaksett" in the original deed; the name, now spelled "Acoaxet," lives on in the southwestern community along the western branch of the Westport River. Like many areas in the region, Westport was affected by King Philip's War, when the native Wampanoag population rebelled against the oppression of the English settlers. Several small mills were built along the Westport River, and in 1787, the town, along with the town of New Bedford, seceded from Dartmouth.

During the late 18th century, into the early 19th century, a Quaker businessman, sea captain, patriot, and abolitionist named Paul Cuffee and his wife settled in the town, on the banks of the Westport River where he launched a shipyard. Cuffee became one of the richest free blacks in the United States at the time, and helped the effort to try to emigrate black slaves to Sierra Leone in Africa.

Select the Right Pharmacy Tech Program Westport MA

Westport MA corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper training and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Westport MA.

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