Pharmacy Technician Course Decatur AR

How to Choose the Right Pharmacist Tech College near Decatur Arkansas

Decatur AR pharmacy tech counting pillsNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Decatur AR, you might be wondering how to select the best school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant factors when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Decatur AR pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Decatur AR pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature 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, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is a very gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

local Decatur AR drugstoreStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Decatur AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about 2 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 should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Colleges Online

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Decatur ARBefore selecting a pharmacy technician online college, it’s important to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Decatur pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Decatur AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the right choice for you.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Choices

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Decatur AR pharmacies will only employ a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, 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 2 years by both programs, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools

Questions to ask Decatur AR pharmacy tech schoolsOnce you have determined whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to select from in the Decatur AR area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Decatur residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you need to consider in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Decatur AR employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Decatur AR area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Decatur AR upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without any help. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Decatur AR residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending a Decatur AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Decatur, Arkansas

Decatur is a city, in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,699 at the 2010 census.[3] It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers, AR-MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. This town is named after Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr.

Decatur is located in western Benton County at 36°20′15″N 94°27′24″W / 36.33750°N 94.45667°W / 36.33750; -94.45667 (36.337541, -94.456721).[4]Arkansas Highway 59 passes through the city, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Gravette and 13 miles (21 km) to the Missouri border, and south 13 miles (21 km) to Siloam Springs. Arkansas Highway 102 leads east 16 miles (26 km) to Bentonville and west 10 miles (16 km) to the Oklahoma border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Decatur has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2), of which 4.4 square miles (11.5 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.21%, is water.[3]

As of the 2010 census Decatur had a population of 1,699. The racial and ethnic makeup of the population was 62.4% non-Hispanic white, 0.5% non-Hispanic black, 4.3% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 5.2% from two or more races and 28.4% Hispanic or Latino.[8]

Get Information on Pharmacy Technician Course Decatur AR

Decatur AR pharmacy stocked medicationsFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech programs include both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Technician Course. But if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Decatur AR.

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