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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Westerly RI

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Tech College near Westerly 02891

Westerly RI pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Westerly RI, you might be pondering just how to select the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Westerly RI pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Westerly RI pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is a very gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Westerly RI pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westerly RI 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 provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Westerly RI pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. 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 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 examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Westerly RIBefore choosing a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Westerly pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Westerly RI home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may 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 important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Westerly RI area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Westerly home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are many other issues that you must consider so that you may properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Westerly RI employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on 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. Find out if the schools have associations with Westerly RI area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Westerly RI after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, 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 profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Westerly RI home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westerly RI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Westerly RI Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westerly, Rhode Island

Westerly is a town on the southwestern shoreline of Washington County, Rhode Island, first settled by English colonists in 1661 and incorporated as a municipality in 1669. It is a beachfront community on the south shore of the state with a population of 22,787 as of the 2010 census.

The Pawcatuck River flows on the western border of Westerly and was once renowned for its own species of Westerly salmon, three of which are on the town's official seal. The river flows from some 15 mi (24 km) inland, emptying into Little Narragansett Bay. It also serves as the boundary between Westerly and Pawcatuck, Connecticut. Three large salt ponds lie along the coast of Westerly which serve as shallow, reef-like pools whose outer walls form the long, white beaches for which the town became renowned. From west to east, these ponds are called Maschaug Pond, Winnapaug Pond, and Quonochontaug Pond.

A type of granite known as Westerly granite has long been quarried here. Westerly granite is ideal for statuary and has been used in numerous government buildings of several states along the eastern seaboard. The Westerly area was known for its granite and stone-cutting industry.[3][4][5]

Choose the Best Pharmacy Technician Training Program Westerly RI

Westerly RI corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech schools include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Westerly RI.

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