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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Stevensville MT

How to Pick a Pharmacist Technician Program near Stevensville 59870

Stevensville MT pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Stevensville MT, you may be wondering how to select the right school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of future students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should 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 school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Stevensville MT pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Stevensville MT pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since 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 extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Stevensville MT pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if 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 offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Stevensville MT pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Stevensville MT pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide 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 examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Stevensville MTPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Stevensville pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Stevensville MT home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

Once you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Stevensville MT area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Stevensville home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Stevensville MT pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Stevensville MT area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Stevensville MT upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Stevensville MT residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stevensville MT area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Stevensville MT Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Stevensville, Montana

Stevensville is officially recognized as the first permanent settlement in the state of Montana. Forty-eight years before Montana became the nation's 41st state, Stevensville was settled by Jesuit Missionaries at the request of the Bitter Root Salish Amerindians.

Through interactions with Iroquois working in the fur trade between 1812 and 1820, the Bitter Root Salish learned about Christianity and Jesuit missionaries (the Blackrobes as they were called) that worked with Native Americans teaching about agriculture, medicine, and religion. Interest in these "blackrobes" grew among the Salish and, in 1831, four young Salish men were dispatched to St. Louis, Missouri to request a priest to return with them to their homeland of present-day Stevensville. The four Salish men were directed to the home and office of William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame) to make their request. At that time Clark was in charge of administering the territory they called home. Through the perils of their trip two of the Salish died at the home of General Clark. The remaining two Salish men secured a visit with St. Louis Bishop Joseph Rosati who assured them that missionaries would be sent to the Bitter Root Valley when funds and missionaries were available in the future.

Again in 1835 and 1837 the Bitter Root Salish dispatched men to St. Louis to request missionaries but to no avail. Finally in 1839 a group of Iroquois and Salish met Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet in Council Bluffs. The meeting resulted in Fr. DeSmet promising to fulfill their request for a missionary the following year.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacist Technician College Stevensville MT

Stevensville MT corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Stevensville MT.

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