Pharmacy Tech Education Helena AR

How to Choose the Right Pharmacy Technician School near Helena Arkansas

Helena AR pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Helena AR, you may be thinking about just how to select the best college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical concerns when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers 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 degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Helena AR pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Helena AR pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians 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 low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

local Helena AR drugstoreStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether 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 classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Helena AR pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Programs Online

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Helena ARPrior to selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s important to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in an area Helena pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Helena AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the best option for you.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to become certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Helena 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 requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Questions to ask Helena AR pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Helena AR area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Helena home. 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 colleges. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Helena AR pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Helena AR area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Helena AR after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Helena AR home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Helena AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Attending a Helena AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Helena–West Helena, Arkansas

Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States.[3] The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.[4]

The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.

A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.[5]

Among the attractions in Helena–West Helena are the Delta Cultural Center, the Pillow-Thompson House (owned and operated by the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas), and the Helena Confederate Cemetery, which holds the remains of seven Confederate Army generals.[6] The city holds an annual King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. It has been held under this name since 2010, when it was renamed at a 25th-anniversary performance by musician B.B. King.

Get Information on Pharmacy Tech Education Helena AR

Helena AR pharmacy stocked medicationsFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Tech Education. But if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the right education and commitment you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Helena AR.

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