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Where Can I Take Pharmacy Technician Classes Westborough MA

How to Select the Right Pharmacist Technician College near Westborough Massachusetts

Westborough MA pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving decided to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Westborough MA, you may be thinking about how to pick the right college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program 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 first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Westborough MA pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Westborough MA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, 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 fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

local Westborough MA drugstoreIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a tech 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 offer an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westborough MA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Online Programs

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Westborough MABefore deciding on a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Westborough pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Westborough MA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools choose to become certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Westborough MA employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two 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 work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

Questions to ask Westborough MA pharmacy tech schoolsOnce you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech programs to choose from in the Westborough MA area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Westborough home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Westborough MA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in 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 College Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Westborough MA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Westborough MA after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Westborough MA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Westborough MA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending a Westborough MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westborough, Massachusetts

Westborough is a town[1] in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,272 at the 2010 Census, in nearly 6,900 households. Incorporated in 1717, the town is governed under the New England open town meeting system, headed by a five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.

Before recorded time, the area now known as Westborough was a well-travelled crossroads. As early as 7,000 BC, prehistoric people in dugout canoes followed the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers to their headwaters in search of quartzite for tools and weapons.

From 1200 to 1600 AD, seasonal migrations brought Nipmuc Indians to hunt and fish near Cedar Swamp and Lake Hoccomocco. Using Fay Mountain as a landmark, Indians crisscrossed Westborough on well-worn paths: the old Connecticut Path leading west from Massachusetts Bay; the Narragansett Trail leading south, and the trail (along the present Milk Street) leading to Canada.[2]

The early English explorer John Oldham followed these trails through Westborough in 1633, and settlers in search of fertile farmlands followed not long after. By late 1675, a few families had settled near Lake Chauncy, in the "west borough" of Marlborough.

Get Information on Where Can I Take Pharmacy Technician Classes Westborough MA

Westborough MA pharmacy stocked medicationsGetting the best pharmacist tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician schools include both clinical and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to choose a college that is accredited and will prep 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 Where Can I Take Pharmacy Technician Classes. But if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Westborough MA.

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