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

How to Choose a Pharmacist Tech Program near Catharpin 20143

Catharpin VA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Catharpin VA, you may be pondering just how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college 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 first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Catharpin VA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Catharpin VA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone 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

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas

Catharpin VA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Catharpin VA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Catharpin VA pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 finished 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 exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Catharpin VABefore 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 setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Catharpin pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to get some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Catharpin 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 schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training might be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

After you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Catharpin VA area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Catharpin home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Catharpin VA pharmacies 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 required in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep 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 condition may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Catharpin VA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial job in Catharpin VA after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Catharpin VA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catharpin VA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Catharpin VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Catharpin, Virginia

Catharpin is characterized by rolling fields, wide meadows, and gravel/dirt roads, and many of the rural folk capitalize on the abundant land and have farms with livestock. It is not uncommon to see horses roaming on 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land.

Select the Ideal Pharmacy Technician School Catharpin VA

Catharpin VA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were trained “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 provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and clinical 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 holds true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the right education and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Catharpin VA.

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