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- DIP-Pharmacy Technician
About Pharmacy Technician Schools
Work opportunities for pharmacy technicians are anticipated to be good. As a matter of fact, employment is expected increase in the coming years. More people are using prescription drugs to treat various conditions, therefore, more pharmaceutical workers are essential to supply this need.
Aspiring pharmacy technicians with previous work experience have an advantage over those with none. However, by getting a certification or acquiring a degree, you will have an extra edge. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, or if you have decided to enroll in a program or course, read on to find out more information.
What are Pharmacy Technicians?
Pharmacy technicians act as assistants to licensed pharmacists. The pharmacists directly supervise and manage pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy technicians do not have a degree in pharmacy, but they are required to have a working knowledge of various pharmaceutical functions.
Pharmacy technicians are knowledgeable about medications and drugs. They are responsible in counting, preparing, mixing, measuring and weighing medications. In addition, they help prepare, label and fill prescriptions. In some institutions, they’re involved in clerical work such as answering phone calls and handling paper work. At times, pharmacy technicians are given the extra responsibilities of taking inventory, lifting boxes and even operating the cash register. In health care institutions like hospitals and nursing homes, the technicians are included in delivering medications to doctors and recording data to patient’s records. They may be involved in customer service as well. Technicians often deal with physicians and other health care providers.
How Do I Choose a Pharmacy Technician School?
Choose a Program
Students with high school diploma or GED certificate can choose ta Pharmacy technician certificate program, associate’s degree program or the bachelor’s degree program. The certificate program takes the shortest amount of time to complete while the associate’s degree program will take up to two years to finish. The bachelor’s degree, being the more comprehensive course can take up to four years.
Location of the School
The location of the training program may not matter for some people. However, some individuals hate long commutes. If you don’t like going back and forth from your house to your campus, choose a school near your home. You can research online regarding the proximity of the school to your home or workplace. There could be a community college nearby which offers a pharmacy technician training program. This could potentially save you a lot of time and money.
Night and Online Classes
If you work during the day, there are many programs that offer night classes. If your schedule isn’t flexible enough to allow you to attend a campus program, you can look for schools offering programs online. Many colleges offer such courses, just make sure that the program you choose is accredited. There are advantages and disadvantages to studying at home, but it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
Check for Accreditation
After you have narrowed down your choice to a couple of schools, it’s time do some research. The school that you are interested in should be accredited by an authorized accreditation organization like American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). You can visit their website (www.ashp.org) to find information about school accreditation and the list of all accredited schools. Remember, schools not accredited by a legitimate organization may offer insufficient training for you to become a pharmacy technician.
Look at the Curriculum
Your program should offer enough training that prepares you to be ready to work as a pharmacy technician. Ask for a copy of their curriculum to see if they are offering all the subjects that you need to be a successful technician. Medical and pharmaceutical terminologies should be covered. Drug computations, pharmaceutical laws, pharmaceutical ethics should be covered as well. If the school does not offer any of these subjects, drop them from your list.
Verify the Reputation of the School
Check online forums, blogs and even social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to investigate the school’s reputation. Find out what current students and alumni have to say about the school. Make time to visit the campus as well. Plan to sit in on one of the classes and see what they have to offer. It is also a nice idea to interview students and ask for feedback.
Other Factors to Consider
There are many things to consider when choosing a pharmacy technician school. If you are on a budget, community colleges are a great place to look because it is often more affordable. Although the tuition fee is cheaper, it doesn’t mean that the quality of teaching is poor. Many community colleges have long running pharmacy technician programs that have trained students for years. Additionally, you should make sure that the school you are interested in offers a job placement program. This will be very beneficial once you are ready to enter the workforce.
Becoming a pharmacy technician is a smart career move. Carefully research several pharmacy technician schools before making your decision.