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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Course near Faber 22938

Faber VA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Faber VA, you may be wondering how to pick the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

Faber VA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Faber VA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance 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 might carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is a very rewarding career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Faber VA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Faber VA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Faber VA employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Faber VAPrior to choosing a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Faber pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Faber VA home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Faber VA area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Faber residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Faber VA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work 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. Ask if the programs have associations with Faber VA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first job in Faber VA after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Find out if the colleges 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 generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Faber VA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Faber VA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Faber VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Faber, Virginia

Faber was one of the communities mentioned in several episodes of the television series, The Waltons. The family drama about post-Great Depression rural Virginia drew from the geography of Faber and nearby Schuyler and involved the Schuyler Baptist Church.

Enroll in the Right Pharmacist Tech Degree Program Faber VA

Faber VA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to choose a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the appropriate education and dedication you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Faber VA.

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