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

How to Enroll In a Pharmacist Tech Program near Westwood 02090

Westwood MA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Westwood MA, you might be wondering how to pick the right school to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Westwood MA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Westwood MA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills 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 need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Westwood MA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westwood MA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead 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 get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Westwood MA employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide 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 just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Westwood MABefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Westwood pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your Westwood MA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, 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 a large number of pharmacy technician schools to pick from in the Westwood MA area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Westwood home. If you are able 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 factors that you should consider so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Westwood MA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Westwood MA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Westwood MA upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Westwood MA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westwood MA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Westwood MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westwood, Massachusetts

Westwood is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 14,618 at the 2010 census. In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Westwood 13th on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. Boston Magazine included Gay Street in Westwood on its list of the Best Streets in the Boston area. It is the 9th wealthiest town in the state of Massachusetts.

Westwood was first settled in 1641 and was part of the town of Dedham, originally called 'West Dedham', until it was officially incorporated in 1897. It was the last town to split from the original town of Dedham.

In 1970, Westwood was home to The Westwood Study, an assessment which measured the amount of racism in the almost entirely white town. Conducted in the context of efforts at integrating housing, what the study revealed was how large proportions of the town had racist views while at the same time viewing themselves as not racist.[2]

Select the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Training Westwood MA

Westwood MA corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacist tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a gratifying occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician colleges include both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online 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 choice. With the proper education and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Westwood MA.

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