Category Archives: West Virginia

Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Ranson WV

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech College near Ranson 25438

Ranson WV pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Ranson WV, you may be pondering how to choose the best school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers 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 tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Ranson WV pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have many job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Ranson WV pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

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

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Ranson WV pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Ranson WV pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Ranson WV pharmacies will only hire 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Ranson WVBefore selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Ranson pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Ranson WV home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most 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 expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, 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 numerous pharmacy tech schools to select from in the Ranson WV area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Ranson home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Ranson WV employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This condition may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Ranson WV area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Ranson WV upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Ranson WV home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ranson WV area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Ranson WV Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Ranson, West Virginia

The City of Ranson (formerly Corporation of Ranson) is a city in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 4,440 at the 2010 census. Although the Census Bureau listed it as a town in 2000, it is classified (along with all other municipalities with populations between two and ten thousand) as a city by state law.[6]

The Charles Town Mining, Manufacturing, and Improvement Company played an instrumental role in creating this new town. In 1890, the company bought 850 acres (3.4 km²) adjoining the western and northern corporate limits of Charles Town, and commissioned D.G. Howell, a civil engineer and architect, to lay out the town. The largest tract of land purchased was from the Ranson family. Ranson, in Jefferson County, West Virginia, was officially incorporated in 1910, when residents, by a vote of 67-2, decided to form their own town.[7] It was named in honor of Dr. James Ranson, a dentist and farmer living in the area.

The early growth and development of Ranson reflects the late 19th century boom of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas associated with the rise of the railroads, mining, and manufacturing. Early photographs of Ranson show the offices of the Charles Town Mining, Manufacturing & Improvement Company, and the Hotel Powhatan, along with a few residential structures nearby. The community grew north from Lancaster Circle. Some of the companies that located in Ranson early on included the Hotel Powhatan, the Goetz Saddlery, the Shenandoah Brass and Iron Works, the Elemer E. Beachley Saw and Planing Mill, the John Farrin Boiler and Machine Shop, and the Vulcan Road Machine Company.[8]

Choose the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Ranson WV

Ranson WV corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the proper training and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Ranson WV.

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