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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Sunflower MS

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Tech School near Sunflower 38778

Sunflower MS pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Sunflower MS, you might be thinking about how to choose the right program to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Sunflower MS pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Sunflower MS pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature 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 a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Sunflower MS pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to becoming 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 completed in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Sunflower MS pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. 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 Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Sunflower MS employers will only hire a tech 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 candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Sunflower MSPrior to selecting a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Sunflower pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Sunflower MS home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Sunflower MS area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Sunflower residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you need to consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician 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). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Sunflower MS employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one 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 clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Sunflower MS area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Sunflower MS upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, find out 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 appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Sunflower MS home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sunflower MS area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Sunflower MS Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Sunflower County, Mississippi

Sunflower Country was created in 1844. The land mass encompassed most of Sunflower and Leflore Counties as we know them today. The first seat of government was Clayton, located near Fort Pemberton. Later the county seat was moved to McNutt, also in the Leflore County of today. When Sunflower and Leflore Counties were separated in 1871, the new county seat for Sunflower County was moved to Johnsonville. This village was located where the north end of Mound Bayou empties into the Sunflower River. In 1882 the county seat was moved to Eureka, which was later renamed Indianola.[3]

After the U.S. Civil War, across several decades African Americans migrated to Sunflower County to work in the Mississippi Delta. In 1870, 3,243 black people lived in Sunflower County. This increased to 12,070 in 1900, making up 75% of the residents in Sunflower County. Between 1900 and 1920, the black population almost tripled.[4]

Many African Americans who had migrated to the North from the 1940s to 1970 in the Great Migration struggled with the loss of jobs in their regions following industrial restructuring. In the 1980s and 1990s, they began to send their children to the Mississippi Delta to live with relatives, thinking social conditions were better than in the inner cities. Gangs and drug trade activity were transported to the Mississippi Delta from northern inner cities. As a result of this trend, crack cocaine began to be distributed in Sunflower County.[5][page needed]

Select the Best Pharmacist Tech Program Sunflower MS

Sunflower MS corner drugstoreGetting the ideal pharmacist tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the right training and dedication you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Sunflower MS.

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