Category Archives: Rhode Island

Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – West Warwick RI

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech School near West Warwick 02893

West Warwick RI pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near West Warwick RI, you might be pondering how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and 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 technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

West Warwick RI pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed West Warwick RI pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, 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 satisfying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

West Warwick RI pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted West Warwick RI pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of West Warwick RI pharmacies will only hire a tech 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 at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in West Warwick RIPrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s necessary to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local West Warwick pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your West Warwick RI home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to select from in the West Warwick RI area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your West Warwick residence. 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 a number of other factors that you should take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many West Warwick RI pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician college should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with West Warwick RI area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in West Warwick RI upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their West Warwick RI home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Warwick RI area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a West Warwick RI Pharmacy Tech School?

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

West Warwick, Rhode Island

West Warwick was incorporated in 1913, making it the youngest town in the state.[3] Prior to 1913, the town, situated on the western bank of the Pawtuxet River, was the population and industrial center of the larger town of Warwick. The town split because local Democratic politicians wanted to consolidate their power and isolate their section of town from the Republican-dominated farmland in the east.[4]

The area that is now the town of West Warwick was the site of some of the earliest textile mills in the United States situated along the banks of the north and south branches of the Pawtuxet River.[5] These small mill villages would play an important role in the early development of the textile industry in North America. Lippitt Mill founded in 1809 by Revolutionary War hero, Christopher Lippitt, was one of the first mills in the area.[6]

The 1810 Lippitt Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of the earliest textile mills in Rhode Island.[7] It was founded in 1809 and the current dam was constructed in 1889. The Mill is one of the earliest textile mills in Rhode Island and is one of the oldest American textile mills still used for manufacturing.[6] Another mill center, River Point, is located at the junction of the North and South branches of the Pawtuxet River, and is home to several mills which have been converted to residences, and which make up the Royal Mill Complex. The Original Bradford Soap Works, located in the Valley Queen Mill, dates back to the 1800s and is still in use today.[8]

Choose the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program West Warwick RI

West Warwick RI corner drugstoreGetting the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught “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 offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the proper training and determination you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in West Warwick RI.

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