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

How to Choose a Pharmacist Tech Program near Wirtz 24184

Wirtz VA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Wirtz VA, you might be wondering just how to select the best program to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation 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 school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Wirtz VA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Wirtz VA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily services a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription data 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 manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

Wirtz VA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade 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 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 Wirtz VA pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Wirtz VA pharmacies will only employ a technician that has earned certification. 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Wirtz VABefore choosing a pharmacy technician online college, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Wirtz pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Wirtz VA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced 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 employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, 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 training may be the ideal solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Once you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech programs to pick from in the Wirtz VA area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Wirtz home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among 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 verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check 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 get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Wirtz VA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Wirtz VA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Wirtz VA after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator 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 contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Wirtz VA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wirtz VA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Wirtz VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Susan Loy

Susan Loy (born 1951) is an American artist, calligrapher, and author best known for her "Literary Calligraphy" watercolor paintings of the Language of Flowers and the White House Easter Egg Roll. These paintings combine hand-lettered classic quotations from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Biblical sources, etc. with finely-rendered illustration done with steel pens and brushes.

Loy was a 1969 graduate of Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. She graduated in American Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Loy’s graduate studies included art history,[1] literature, and geography at Ohio State University.[2]

Loy took a calligraphy course in Columbus in 1978 and was captivated; she later explained that the pen was like a magic wand when she picked it up.[4] She felt that her research background in cognitive geography and art history brought her into the art world “through the back door,” rather than gaining entrance through studio classes as is typical for most artists.[5]

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Training Program Wirtz VA

Wirtz VA corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the right education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Wirtz VA.

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