Pharmacy Tech Classes Andalusia AL

How to Choose the Right Pharmacist Technician School near Andalusia Alabama

Andalusia AL pharmacy tech counting pillsNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Andalusia AL, you may be thinking about just how to pick the right school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many potential students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. 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 cover these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Andalusia AL pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy techs have many job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Andalusia AL pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must 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 circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Greet 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 medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

local Andalusia AL drugstoreIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if 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 overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Andalusia AL pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes 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 furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Online Classes

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Andalusia ALBefore choosing a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Andalusia 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 real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Andalusia AL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. 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 check that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the best solution for you.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Andalusia AL pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two 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 work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

Questions to ask Andalusia AL pharmacy tech schoolsOnce you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to pick from in the Andalusia AL area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Andalusia residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Andalusia AL employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Andalusia AL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Andalusia AL upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Andalusia AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 frequently 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 rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly 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 want 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 technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Andalusia AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have 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.

Attending a Andalusia AL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Andalusia, Alabama

Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.[4]

Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.[citation needed]

Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479).[7] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.[3]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Andalusia has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[8]

Get Information on Pharmacy Tech Classes Andalusia AL

Andalusia AL pharmacy stocked medicationsGetting the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician schools incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Tech Classes. But if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Andalusia AL.

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