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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Worthington MN

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Worthington 56187

Worthington MN pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Worthington MN, you may be thinking about how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying in your home by means 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 cover these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Worthington MN pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Worthington MN pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate 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 medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily functions a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Worthington MN pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician 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 finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Worthington MN pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges elect to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Worthington MN pharmacies 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Worthington MNBefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online college, it’s important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Worthington pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Worthington MN home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to choose from in the Worthington MN area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Worthington home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational 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 screened and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Worthington MN employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of 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 tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Worthington MN area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Worthington MN upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some help. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Worthington MN home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Worthington MN area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Worthington MN Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Worthington, Minnesota

The city's site was first settled in the 1870s as Okabena Station on a line of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway, later the Chicago and North Western Railway (now part of the Union Pacific Railroad) where steam engines would take on water from adjacent Lake Okabena. More people entered along with one A.P. Miller of Toledo, Ohio, under a firm called the National Colony Organization. Miller named the new city after his wife's maiden name.

The first European likely to have visited the Nobles County area of southwestern Minnesota was French explorer Joseph Nicollet. Nicollet mapped the area between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in the 1830s. He called the region “Sisseton Country” in honor of the Sisseton band of Dakota Indians then living there. It was a rolling sea of wide open prairie grass that extended as far as the eye could see. One small lake in Sisseton Country was given the name “Lake Okabena” on Nicollet’s map, “Okabena” being a Dakota word meaning “nesting place of the herons.”[7]

In 1871, the St. Paul & Sioux City Railway Company began connecting its two namesake cities with a rail line. The steam engines of that time required a large quantity of water, resulting in water stations being needed every eight to twelve miles (13 to 19 km) along their routes. One of these stations, at the site of present-day Worthington, was designated as “The Okabena Railway Station.”[citation needed]

Choose the Right Pharmacist Technician College Worthington MN

Worthington MN corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper education and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Worthington MN.

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