Category Archives: Arkansas

Pharmacy Assistant Classes West Memphis AR

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Tech College near West Memphis Arkansas

West Memphis AR pharmacy tech counting pillsNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near West Memphis AR, you might be wondering just how to pick the ideal program to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. A number of future students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

West Memphis AR pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed West Memphis AR pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines 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 instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

local West Memphis AR drugstoreIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two options to training to be a technician 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 offer an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted West Memphis AR pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Online Classes

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in West Memphis ARBefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online college, it’s necessary to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local West Memphis pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your West Memphis AR home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal option for you.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many West Memphis AR employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished 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 required every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools

Questions to ask West Memphis AR pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to select from in the West Memphis AR area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your West Memphis 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 many other factors that you must consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of West Memphis AR employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with West Memphis AR area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in West Memphis AR after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their West Memphis AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy 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 must schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Memphis AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Attending a West Memphis AR Pharmacy Tech School?

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

West Memphis, Arkansas

West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census,[3] ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.

Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.

Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.

In the summer of 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto crossed the Mississippi River into what is now Crittenden County with an army of over 300 conquistadors and almost as many captured Native American slaves. The Spanish found the land to be the most densely populated that they had seen since starting their journey on the Florida coast, two years earlier. The Spanish expedition departed Arkansas two years later, leaving behind numerous Old World diseases. It was 130 years before Europeans visited this region again. The French expedition of Joliet and Marquette in 1673 found none of the towns or people that the Spanish had documented; all that remained were the many mounds that still dot the landscape along the rivers and creeks. The original inhabitants, like the later settlers, were drawn to this region because of its fertile river bottom soil, abundant game, and thick forest.

Get Information on Pharmacy Assistant Classes West Memphis AR

West Memphis AR pharmacy stocked medicationsFinding the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician programs include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Assistant Classes. But if you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in West Memphis AR.

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