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Steps To Becoming A Pharmacy Technician Virginia Beach VA

How to Select the Right Pharmacist Tech School near Virginia Beach Virginia

Virginia Beach VA pharmacy tech counting pillsNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Virginia Beach VA, you might be pondering how to choose the ideal college to get your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many future students start by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for 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 comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Virginia Beach VA pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy techs have many job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Virginia Beach VA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor 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 having to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

local Virginia Beach VA drugstoreStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Virginia Beach VA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Virginia Beach VABefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Virginia Beach pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Virginia Beach VA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 training may be the right solution for you.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Virginia Beach VA pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years 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 each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Questions to ask Virginia Beach VA pharmacy tech schoolsOnce you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Virginia Beach VA area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Virginia Beach home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Virginia Beach VA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement may 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 professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Virginia Beach VA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Virginia Beach VA after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any help. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Virginia Beach VA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Virginia Beach VA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending a Virginia Beach VA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is an independent city located on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 437,994.[3] In 2015, the population was estimated to be 452,745.[4] In 2017 estimated population was 450,435.[5][6] Although mostly suburban in character, it is the most populous city in Virginia and the 41st most populous city in the nation.[7] Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. This area, known as "America's First Region", also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads.

Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer tournament. It is also home to several state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, Regent University, International headquarters and site of the television broadcast studios for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment, and numerous historic sites. Near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown, on April 26, 1607.

The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. It is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.[8]

The Chesepian were the historic indigenous people of the area now known as Tidewater in Virginia at the time of European encounter. Little is known about them[9] but archeological evidence suggests they may have been related to the Carolina Algonquian, or Pamlico people. They would have spoken one of the Algonquian languages. These were common among the numerous tribes of the coastal area, who made up the loose Powhatan Confederacy, numbering in the tens of thousands in population. The Chesepian occupied an area which is now defined as the independent cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach.[10]

Get Information on Steps To Becoming A Pharmacy Technician Virginia Beach VA

Virginia Beach VA pharmacy stocked medicationsReceiving the best pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Steps To Becoming A Pharmacy Technician. But if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the proper training and commitment you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Virginia Beach VA.

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