Pharmacy Technician University Gustavus AK

How to Select the Right Pharmacy Tech Program near Gustavus Alaska

Gustavus AK pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Gustavus AK, you might be wondering just how to choose the right school to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in 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 technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Gustavus AK pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Gustavus AK pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority 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 at times being required to work off-hours is a very gratifying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

local Gustavus AK drugstoreIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Gustavus AK pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Online Schools

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Gustavus AKBefore deciding on a pharmacy technician online school, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Gustavus pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Gustavus AK home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the best option for you.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Choices

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Gustavus AK pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

Questions to ask Gustavus AK pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have decided whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Gustavus AK area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Gustavus residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have acquired 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 screened and verified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Gustavus AK pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be met by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may 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 technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Gustavus AK area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Gustavus AK upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any help. Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Gustavus AK residence. Individuals who have opted 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gustavus AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending a Gustavus AK Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Gustavus, Alaska

Gustavus, formerly known as "Strawberry Point", lies on the outwash plain created by the glaciers that once filled Glacier Bay. Two hundred years ago, it was primarily a single large "beach". The native Tlingit people and others used the area for fishing, berry picking, and other similar uses. The town itself is less than one hundred years old. The first settlers arrived in 1914, but left shortly afterward. The first permanent homestead was established in 1917, when Abraham Lincoln Parker moved his family to Strawberry Point. Many Gustavus residents are descendants and relatives of the original Parker homesteaders.

In 1925 the name became "Gustavus", when the U.S. Post Office required a change for its new post office, although locals continued calling it "Strawberry Point" long afterwards. The new name came from Point Gustavus at the mouth of Glacier Bay.

In 1793 George Vancouver named Point Adolphus (at the northern tip of Chichagof Island, and today a well-known humpback whale feeding area) after Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of King George III. In 1878, W.H. Dall, while working on a coastal survey, saw "Adolphus" on the map and assumed it was for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The point across Icy Strait from Point Adolphus at the mouth of Glacier Bay was not named on the map, so Dall called it "Gustavus". Another possibility is that Dall named Gustavus for Gustavus C. Hanus, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who had extensive experience throughout southeast Alaska, and both Dall and Hanus served with the Coast Survey in Alaska. Hanus laid out the first streets in Juneau and helped quell the trouble in Klukwan in 1881.

There is still a large beach at Gustavus, with many strawberries. The city is surrounded on three sides by Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and on the fourth side by water. The area is a temperate rain forest; spruce and hemlock trees reach heights of 60 metres (200 ft), and alders, balsam poplar, fern, mosses, fireweed, lupine, and other plants are also common. Gustavus's coastal location gives it a relatively mild winter. Summer temperatures range from 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F); winter temperatures from −3 to 4 °C (27 to 39 °F).

Get Information on Pharmacy Technician University Gustavus AK

Gustavus AK pharmacy stocked medicationsReceiving the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech 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. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Technician University. But if you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the right education and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Gustavus AK.

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