Category Archives: Massachusetts

Colleges That Offer Pharmacy Technician Programs Westford MA

How to Select the Right Pharmacy Technician School near Westford Massachusetts

Westford MA pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Westford MA, you may be thinking about how to select the right college to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech

Westford MA pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Westford MA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

local Westford MA drugstoreIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Westford MA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Online Classes

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Westford MAPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Westford pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Westford MA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the right solution for you.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Westford MA pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Questions to ask Westford MA pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy technician programs to select from in the Westford MA area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Westford home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Westford MA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech 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 Westford MA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Westford MA after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Westford MA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Westford MA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Attending a Westford MA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Westford, Massachusetts

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Westford primarily produced granite, apples, and worsted yarn. The Abbot Worsted Company was said to be the first company in the nation to use camel hair for worsted yarns.[4] Citizens from Westford also had some notable involvement in the Revolutionary War.[2] Westford Minutemen were alerted by efforts of Samuel Prescott who alerted Acton, to the southeast towards Stow.[citation needed]

By the end of the American Civil War, as roads and transportation improved, Westford began to serve as a residential suburb for the factories of Lowell, becoming one of the earliest notable examples of suburban sprawl.[citation needed] Throughout the 20th century (and with the invention of the automobile), Westford progressively grew, continuing to serve as residential housing for the industries of Lowell, and later, Boston.

By the 1990s, Westford was home to offices for Red Hat, Samsung, Sonus Networks, Seagate, Iris Associates, Visual Solutions, and many other technology firms, most located along Massachusetts Route 110, parallel to I-495. It is also the North American headquarters for Puma, which holds a road race in town.[6] The leading manufacturer of EEG electrodes, HydroDot Inc., located here in 2007.

As of the 2010 census[18] there were 21,951 people, 7,498 households, and 6,165 families residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 76.1% White, 0.40% African American, 0.1% Native American, 22.6% Asian (10.7% Indian, 8.2% Chinese, 1.6% Korean, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Pakistani, 0.1% Bangladeshi), 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

Get Information on Colleges That Offer Pharmacy Technician Programs Westford MA

Westford MA pharmacy stocked medicationsGetting the best pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges That Offer Pharmacy Technician Programs. But if you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper education and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Westford MA.

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    Business Results 1 - 10 of 413

    Walgreens
    6 Reviews
    Drugstores, Cosmetics & Beauty Supply, Convenience Stores
    Phone:
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    Rite Aid
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    Phone:
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    Walgreens
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    Phone:
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