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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Valley WA

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech College near Valley 99181

Valley WA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Valley WA, you might be pondering just how to pick the best college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home by means 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 qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Duties of Pharmacy Techs

Valley WA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Valley WA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees

Valley WA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a technician whether 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 facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Valley WA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Valley WA employers will only hire a tech 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 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 just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Valley WABefore selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Valley pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Valley WA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Valley WA area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Valley home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national 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 programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Valley WA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech 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 schools have a working relationship with Valley WA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Valley WA upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Valley WA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Valley WA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Valley WA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Maple Valley, Washington

The area was settled in 1879 by three men who were improving a trail and brought their families in. When a name for a future community was proposed, the names Vine Maple Valley and Maple Ridge were suggested. A vote was taken by writing the names on slips of paper and placing them in a hat. Vine Maple Valley won by 2/3, but the word "Vine" was later cut by the post office because it made the name too long.

The town's early history mainly had to do with coal, lumber milling to build homes, and a railroad that ran through town. Coal was brought in from Black Diamond to the south, but the town itself also mined coal from Cedar Mountain. The mine was used as late as 1947. Rail workers for lines like the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Cedar River Watershed, closed off by the City of Seattle, meant more workers for those things. More residents meant more lumber milling. More lumber milling meant more workers. Suquamish tribe chairperson Martha George was born near Maple Valley in Sheridan in 1892, at a logging camp where her mother and grandmother worked as cooks."[5]

The town grew inward. Blacksmith shops, hotels, saloons and stores took up the town in the 1910s and 1920s. Schools went up as well. Early schools were shacks at best. A two-room school went up in 1910, but a larger school was quickly needed. Tahoma High School, a three-story brick building, went up in 1920. Students made up the name by combining the first two letters in the town names Taylor, Hobart and Maple Valley.[6] The school still serves the Tahoma School District as an elementary school.

Pick the Right Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Valley WA

Valley WA corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician schools incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online and 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 sure to make the ideal choice. With the appropriate training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Valley WA.

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