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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Waterford VA

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Program near Waterford 20197

Waterford VA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Waterford VA, you might be thinking about how to pick the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college 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 technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Waterford VA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Waterford VA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Waterford VA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a technician 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 finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Waterford VA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Waterford VA employers will only hire a tech 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Waterford VABefore deciding on a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Waterford pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Waterford VA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Waterford VA area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Waterford residence. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other variables that you must consider so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Waterford VA pharmacies 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 required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech program should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Waterford VA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Waterford VA after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any assistance. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Waterford VA home. Individuals 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately 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 night or weekend classes in the Waterford VA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Waterford VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Waterford, Virginia

Waterford is an unincorporated village in the Catoctin Valley of Loudoun County, Virginia, located along Catoctin Creek. Waterford is 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., and 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Leesburg. The entire village and surrounding countryside is a National Historic Landmark District, noted for its well-preserved 18th and 19th-century character.

Waterford was established around 1733 by Amos Janney, a Quaker from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Janney purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) on the south fork of Catoctin Creek and established a grist mill and saw mill in the area in the 1740s. Due to the success of the mills, the settlement became known as "Janney's Mill". The town grew quickly as a center of commerce for growers of grain. [5]

Amos Janney died in 1747, leaving his estate to his sixteen-year-old son, Mahlon. Mahlon replaced the original log mill with a two-story structure. The village continued to grow, and in 1780, 12 acres (49,000 m2) on the south side of Main Street were subdivided into 15 lots, upon which shops and homes were built. By the 1790s, the village was known as Waterford, named after the city of Waterford, in Ireland, where some of its founders had once lived before immigrating to the United States. New residents continued to come from Pennsylvania, as Quakers were followed by Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, and Methodists. Waterford was also populated by African-Americans, both free and enslaved.[6]

Pick the Right Pharmacist Technician School Waterford VA

Waterford VA corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “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. The majority of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the right education and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Waterford VA.

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