Category Archives: Florida

Pharmacy Assistant Education Sarasota FL

How to Enroll In the Right Pharmacy Technician College near Sarasota Florida

Sarasota FL pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Sarasota FL, you may be wondering how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Sarasota FL pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Sarasota FL pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare 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 most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

local Sarasota FL drugstoreStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Sarasota FL pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Online Programs

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Sarasota FLBefore selecting a pharmacist tech online college, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Sarasota pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Sarasota FL home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the right solution for you.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Sarasota FL employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Questions to ask Sarasota FL pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Sarasota FL area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Sarasota home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected 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 comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Sarasota FL pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Sarasota FL area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Sarasota FL after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Sarasota FL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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 live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately select 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 Sarasota FL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Attending a Sarasota FL Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota (/ˌsærəˈsoʊtə/) is a city in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The area is renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. The city is at the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. Its official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013 Sarasota had a population of 53,326. In 1986 it became designated as a certified local government. Sarasota is a principal city of the Sarasota metropolitan area, and is the seat of Sarasota County.

The islands separating Sarasota Bay from the gulf near the city, known as keys, include Lido Key and Siesta Key, which are famous worldwide for the quality of their sandy beaches. The keys that are included in the boundary of Sarasota are Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Otter Key, Coon Key, Bird Key, and portions of Siesta Key. Previously, Siesta Key was named Sarasota Key. At one time, it and all of Longboat Key were considered part of Sarasota and confusing contemporaneous references may be found discussing them.

Longboat Key is the largest key separating the bay from the gulf, but it was evenly divided by the new county line of 1921. The portion of the key that parallels the Sarasota city boundary that extends to that new county line along the bay front of the mainland was removed from the city boundaries at the request of John Ringling in the mid-1920s, who sought to avoid city taxation of his planned developments at the southern tip of the key. Although they never were completed in the quickly faltering economy, those development concessions granted by the city never were reversed and the county has retained regulation of those lands.

The city limits had expanded significantly with the real estate rush of the early twentieth century, reaching almost 70 square miles (180 km2). The wild speculation boom began to crash in 1926 and following that, the city limits began to contract, shrinking to less than a quarter of that area.[12]

Get Information on Pharmacy Assistant Education Sarasota FL

Sarasota FL pharmacy stocked medicationsFinding the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Assistant Education. But if you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Sarasota FL.

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