How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Before you venture into any career field, it is always very important to get to know all that it entails and so does being a pharmacy technician. Some of the specific aspects to put in mind are things like what pharmacy technicians do, their work environment, their training programs, job outlook, salary scale and so much more. It gives you an idea of what to expect and also what is required of you.

Have you been to a pharmacy? Have you seen the people that handle the pharmacy? Do you want to be a part of that team? Well, keep reading to know more about this great venture!

A pharmacy technician is the person who handles everything related to a pharmacy. They are professionals and their main job is to help the pharmacists out in preparing prescriptions upon the request of the patients and interacting with the customers that are coming.

Aren’t Pharmacy Aides the Same as Pharmacy Techs?

No. They are both completely different roles in the pharmaceutical field. Although they are different, sometimes in a smaller work environment, a pharmacy tech will be needed to perform the duties of a pharmacy aide.

Talking about their roles individually, a pharmacy technician will need to fulfill all the pharmacy related duties and provide the customers support where as a pharmacy aide will be responsible only for clerical work like handling cash, shelving and stocking, maintaining records of patients, answering phones etc.

In addition to these duties, they will also need to educate the customers on the use of prescribed drugs and medical devices. Verification of information on the prescriptions is also necessary to avoid any kind of complications or injuries.

What Pharmacy Technicians Do?

The pharmacy technician field can be quite confusing to many as they never understand what it really is about. With an interest to work as a pharmacy technician you might want to have a clue of what they do behind the counter, either at a drug store or at a hospital. There is need and emphasis on the idea of training because you will be assisting pharmacists with very delicate tasks. These include things like dosages, labeling, formulating medication and dispensing it. Their main job is said to be dispensing medication and providing customers with medication as directed by a licensed pharmacist.

The pharmacy technicians are generally a part of the whole pharmacy team because their duties also play a key role in this field of medicine. They have knowledge on how best to advise customers on a number of things and also how to give medication. You, however, need to know that in a hospital environment the pharmacy technician’s job is more specialized as they manufacture or prepare some complex medicines and this is when ready made preparations are not available.

It may seem as an easy job, the thought of dispensing medicine, but you need to know that it requires immense precision and detail. As a technician it is your job to make sure that all medications are correctly filed and that should be within a specified window of time. It is said that there are so many changes that occur in the pharmacy field, and as a technician you need to be intelligent enough to maintain knowledge on all the occurring changes.

I talked about the fact that pharmacy technician’s main role is dispensing medicine; you should, however, note that they are not the sole dispensers, but are quite effective as they help in mixing, counting, measuring and labeling dosages. Highlighted below are the main tasks of a pharmacy technician:

  • Generating stock lists and labels using a computer
  • Dispensing medication
  • Taking in and handing out prescriptions
  • Ordering specific items
  • Selling items over the counter
  • Receiving, loading and unloading deliveries
  • Medicine preparation
  • Referring customer queries to the pharmacist
  • Medicine pre-packing, labeling and assembling
  • Answering some of the customer’s questions

How do I become a Pharmacy Technician?

There is no specified requirement of training that is needed for this job but surprisingly and increasingly, the employers are now looking for candidates who are trained and certified. So, on the safe side it is always advised to have a post vocational training.

Pharmacy training technician courses are offered at hospitals, community colleges, career schools and other such places. They are affordable and short when compared to a degree in a college. This course can be completed with ease within a few months, while a college degree would take up to 2 years to finish.

Vocational training is also available online for this field. This is a very relaxed and easy option as you can do it at the comfort of your own home at your convenience. Although, if you are considering the option of doing it in a college, here are a few degree you can consider doing:

• Associate of Science in Pharmacy Tech
• Associate of Science in Medical Specialties
• Associate of Science in Allied Health

What Will My Training Include?

Your training will also include topics on pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, terminology, medical calculations and terminology, pharmacy regulations and law and institutional and retail pharmacy. If at all you are interested in this field, having a background on math, sciences and health would help along the way.

What About Certification? Is Experience a Must?

No, experience (other than training experience) is not a must-be certified. The requirements of a certificate will change from state to state, although majority of the states do not need the pharmacy technicians to be certified. But, keeping the completion in mind, it is always better to be a certified technician to gain a better hand at the available jobs. Being certified will result in you getting a higher pay and a choice on the duties and responsibilities.

Hands-on experience is a vital role in the training. These training programs also include internships to provide the students with a taste of the real life situations and also teach them how to handle any emergencies. If internships are not in your program, you can always ask one of your known pharmacist to make you their assistant for a while.

So, how do I get certified?

The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) are the organizations that are responsible for conducting these certification exams.

Work Environment of a Pharmacy Technician

Now that you understand what pharmacy technicians do, we are going to discuss about their working environment. First and foremost, it is important to consider that pharmacy technicians work in several different work environments despite of the fact that they usually perform the same type of duties. These settings include:

  • Pharmaceutical industries that produce or sale medications.
  • Retail or high street pharmacies which are generally referred to as community pharmacies, dispensaries and hospitals. You’ll find that many pharmacy technicians usually work in community pharmacies or hospital pharmacy
  • Primary care organizations, prisons, education and training, the veterinary, military pharmacy as well as pharmacy organizations

Their Work Environment

As a rule, pharmacy technicians have the obligation to work in clean, well–lit, organized, and well-ventilated quarters. The majority of their workday is spent on their feet. In addition, technicians may also be required to pick up weighty boxes or at times use stepladders to retrieve medical supplies from elevated shelves.

Technicians operate the same hours that Pharmacists exert. These may possibly include holidays, weekends, evenings as well as nights. This is particularly factual in amenities that are never closed, such as retail pharmacies and some hospitals. As their precedence at work increases, they regularly attain increased influence over their working hours. There exists many prospects for part-time employment in both hospital and retail settings.

To get the full picture about the working environment of most pharmacy technicians, it would be useful to recognize the industries that employ the most pharmacy technicians.

Drug stores and pharmacies                                           52%

Private medical amenities as well

as surgical hospitals                                                          13%

General retail stores                                                           7%

Grocery stores                                                                     7%

Department stores                                                              4%

From the above information one can easily understand that pharmacy technicians primarily work in pharmacies, counting those found in drug stores as well as groceries. A number of technicians work in hospices or different healthcare amenities.

In conclusion, the working environment of technicians depends on a number of reasons.  One must be able to first ascertain the kind of pharmacy: online, retail, or hospital. Even though they share similar characteristics, all types of pharmacies offer a distinctive working environment. Plus, each one has its own exacting set of opportunities as well as challenges.

Expected Challenges

The prevalent challenge any technician is likely to encounter while working in a retail pharmacy involves consumer contact.

Being an excellent pharmacy technician means maintaining politeness, a cool head and being friendly; being helpful even when the customers are not.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

In order to become a certified pharmacy technician, you’ll be required to follow the following steps:

  • Finish a postsecondary education program (This step is optional)

In most countries, the certified body for pharmacy tech program is the Society of Health-System Pharmacists. In the U.S, it is known as ASHP. Various vocational schools and community colleges offer ASHP-certified programs. Many of these certificate programs can be done within a year or even less, whereas the associate degree programs normally can take up to two years to finalize. The coursework usually covers both the practical as well as the technical training in the following areas:

  • Anatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy ethics
  • Healthcare systems
  • Physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacy law
  • Pharmaceutical calculations
  • Accomplish on-the-job training

Majority of the programs enable students to attain clinical experience during their tuition. One may also decide to get on-the-go training exclusive of a postsecondary education program (depends on state laws). Clinical practice may take the outline of a planned training curriculum at a retail pharmacy that is in partnership with the school. An alternative would be to finish a hands-on tuition at an approved medical center or pharmacy.

  • Become certified

In some countries or states, a pharmacy technician has to be certified. Also, the majority of employers will simply hire techs that are licensed by the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) or the NHA (National Healthcareer Association).

These certifications requires candidates to pass an exam, or students to finish a training program or attain at least a year of working experience as a  pharmaceutical technician. An applicant must have a high school diploma in order to pursue this certification.

  • Become specialized

A number of pharmacy technicians prefer to work exclusively for a retail pharmacy chain and usually complete specific training to operate as a general pharmacy tech, central pharmacy operations tech, or a community pharmacy technician, or in a similar role.

  • Maintain certification

Technicians usually do a recertification exam after every two years; they are required to pass this exam. They also need to finish at least twenty hours of ongoing education prior to sitting for the recertification test.

Categories of Pharmacy Technician Programs

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs

A drug store tech certification program or diploma can be finished in one year or less and gives the fundamental instruction and preparing expected to sit for the Certified Pharmacy Technician exam. These projects acquaint understudies with fundamental ideas in pharmaceutical innovation, record keeping, drug store law and morals, and pharmacology. They normally incorporate a mix of classroom lectures as well as lab preparing with the goal that understudies figure out how to apportion drugs, sterilize items, and oversee remedy orders.

Alumni of a one-year project can apply for passage level positions at drugstores, medical centers, and nursing homes, or with online drug store organizations. Drug store tech accreditation programs ordinarily oblige understudies to finish an externship at an affirmed pharmaceutical office, medical facility or retail drug store.

Examples of accessible courses include:

  • Prologue to Pharmacy-This course acquaints understudies with drug store practices and wording.
  • Dosage Forms and Routes of Administration-Students pick up a comprehension of how medicines associate in the body after organization and how to utilize essential mathematical standards for dosing.
  • Science of Pharmacology-This course covers the procedure by which medications are affirmed for general use, and additionally administration of drugs to patients.
  • Hospital Pharmacy Practice-This course discusses fundamental drug store operations in a clinic setting.
  • Pharmacy Ethics-Learners are acquainted with the laws and morals administering pharmacy hone. 
  • Associate Degrees

Understudies intrigued by a more complete instructive experience can enlist in a pharmacy tech associate degree program. In spite of the fact that a degree is not required to apply for section level positions, a few understudies decide to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree so that they can progress in their professions and apply for employments as an exacerbating lab expert, drug store administration professional, drug store execution master or comparable roles. Gaining a partner degree can likewise help an understudy get ready for a Bachelor of Pharmacy or a four year college education in a related field.

The far reaching two-year program covers subjects in pharmacology, drug store operations, and advanced drug administration, and may incorporate an externship part. Understudies take a progression of general courses in arithmetic, science, brain science, humanities, and English, notwithstanding medical-specific courses to satisfy degree prerequisites. Alumni of this project can prepare medicine orders, have broad information about pharmacy law, and exhibit basic understanding of medical phrases.

Examples of courses offered in associate degree program include:

  • Interpersonal Communications for the Workplace: Understudies learn compelling interpersonal relational abilities for working with clients in a medical domain.
  • Pharmacology: The chief principals of medical interactions and the human body are contemplated, alongside the medication types and their impact on the sensory system. This course normally covers essential standards of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.
  • Drug store Calculations: This course covers scientific calculations and best practices for overseeing calculations in a drug store.
  • Over-the-Counter Drugs: This is a survey of nonprescription medications for regular issues and best practices for overseeing client questions about self-treatment.
  • Pharmacy Law: Students learn government laws administering pharmacy practices and standards controlling technician’s exercises.

Job Outlook

The Past

In the year 2013, the BLS officially recorded that more than seventy percent of pharmacy techs had been employed. These technicians performed their duties at pharmacies, drugstores, general merchandise stores as well as grocery stores. The BLS also stated that most of the new jobs in the pharmaceutical domain were expected to emerge in related retail environments. It was also noted that about seventeen percent of technicians worked in local, private as well as state medical amenities, and that only a small percentage of them were actually working in the ambulatory health care field.

In the year 2014, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), stated that the employment of pharmacy technicians was expected to increase by nine percent from that same year to around 2024. They also suggested that technicians who had formal training or education, national certification as well as previous work experience, would be specifically sought after in order to meet these demands.

What was the outlook for Pharmacy Technician careers in the United States?

Given that an employment boom was expected for pharmacy technicians in the U.S., the BLS reported that more than seventy thousand new pharmacy technician jobs were expected to enter the workforce between the year 2012 and 2022. They indicated that this positive change was partly due to the fact that insurers had started to shift the role of the pharmacist to handle more patient care whilst also giving the technicians a more expanded role. According to Projections Central, the individual states within the U.S. that had the fastest projected growth for technicians between the year 2010 and 2020, included:

Idaho: 31.5%

Utah: 30.2%

Colorado: 30.0%

Tennessee: 26.3%

Georgia: 24.9%

The Present

Employment of technicians is expected to build up much quicker than what was previously anticipated by the forecasters through 2016, and openings for work are expected to be great.

Employment Change

The employment of technicians is expected to have increased by 32 percent by 2016; this is way faster than the normal expectation for all the other occupations. The increased number of moderately aged and elderly individuals—who utilize more doctors prescribed medications than more youthful individuals—is expected to goad interest for technicians throughout the projection time frame. What’s more, as exploratory advances introduce new medications for an expanding number of medical conditions, more pharmacy professionals will be expected to fill the developing number of solutions.

Given the fact that cost-cognizant insurers are now using drug stores and pharmacies as patient-care centers, drug store technicians will expect obligation regarding a portion of the more normal assignments already performed by Pharmacists. Likewise, they will embrace a portion of the authoritative obligations that were beforehand performed by drug store assistants, for example, answering telephones and stocking medical shelves.

Lessening the requirement for drug store technicians to some degree, nonetheless, will encourage the developing utilization of medication administering machines. These machines build efficiency by finishing a portion of the drug store technician’s obligations, in particular numbering pills and setting them into prescription containers. These machines are utilized for the most well-known drugs, in any case, and their impact on the vocation of pharmacy technicians ought to be negligible.

All States have enacted the maximum number of specialists who can securely work under a drug specialist or pharmacist at any given moment. Modifications in these laws could straightforwardly influence work.

Work prospects

Great job opportunities are expected for part-time and full-time maintenance employees, particularly for professionals with formal documentations or past experience. Employment opportunities for drug store technicians will come about because of business development, and from the need to supplant specialists who defer to different occupations or leave the work force.

Earnings/ Compensation, Salary expectations and other FAQ’s

Earnings/Compensation

Back in May 2006, the median earnings per hour of wage-and-salary pharmacy technicians was $12.32. About 50 percent of the technicians earned a salary of about $10 and $15. The lowest ten percent earned an amount that was not less than $8, while the highest ten percent earned an amount that was more than $17. In summary, the median hourly earnings in the sectors that employed the largest numbers of pharmacy technicians were:

  • General medical and surgical hospitals $13
  • Grocery stores             $12
  • Pharmacies and drug stores             $11

Certified technicians are known to be earning more. The difference in shifts for those technicians who worked evenings or weekends also increased their earnings. Several pharmacy technicians belong to different unions that represent hospital or grocery store workers and this also affected their salary in one way or the other.

Related Occupations

The occupation of pharmacy technician is most closely related to that of pharmacy assistants as well as pharmacists. Employees in other medical support occupations include medical transcriptionists, dental assistants, physical therapist assistants and assistants, medical records and health information technicians, and also occupational therapist assistants and their aides.

Salary Expectations

Since technician salaries vary from position to position, those with particularly comprehensive training or more experience have e tendency to earn higher salaries in general. However, other factors can also be considered when determining individual wages.

In May 2013, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) cited that the mean salary per year of pharmacy technician in the U.S. was around $30,840; nevertheless, there were individuals in a certain specific industries that earned a significantly higher yearly average salary:

  • Federal executive branch: more than $40,000
  • Outpatient care centers: more than $39,0500
  • Offices of physicians: more than $37,000
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing: more than $37,000
  • Specialty hospitals, except psychiatric and substance abuse: more than $37,000

California dominated the list of cities where technicians earned the highest wages; this was especially true for those technicians working around the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, the three highest-paying metropolitan employment markets for pharmacy technicians included Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Napa and San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City with earnings of ($49,950), ($46,400), and ($45,790) respectively.

Despite the comparatively high wages available in these metropolitan locations, the cost of living in these regions is also high. As a matter of fact, in 2014, data recorded FROM MERIC (Missouri Economic Research and Information Center), listed California as the 6th most expensive state to live in the U.S.; San Francisco was also listed among the most expensive cities to in the U.S. Stated below are some of the 2013 BLS mean annual wages for technicians in the MERIC study’s 5 most reasonably priced states:

  • Mississippi: $27,340
  • Tennessee: $29,360
  • Kentucky: $26,950
  • Oklahoma: $27,410
  • Indiana: $28,260

*ranked according to affordability from highest to lowest.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pharmacy Technician Profession

Where can Pharmacy Technician with career training seek employment?

Pharmacy technicians usually work in commercial pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. Because some of these amenities are open around the clock, technicians may work evenings, holidays, weekends, nights, and even after-hour shifts. It is also important to note that some technicians usually work part time.

Can a technician reciprocate his or her registration from another state?

The general answer is No! For example, the Georgia law and Board rules prohibit pharmacy technicians to reciprocate their registration from other states

How many technicians are allowed for each pharmacist on duty?

The aspect ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists can’t exceed three to one. This refers to the ratio of technicians-in-training count against pharmacists count, with the exception of interns.

Do Pharmaceutical Technicians need CE?

Not really. Instead, it is an obligation for pharmaceutical technicians to have twelve hours of in-service training after every 2 years between renewals. As part of its in-service training, a pharmacy may authorize that a technician’s attendance at a CE will be accepted as hours of in-service training. These records must always be stored on the pharmacy’s premises in order to be reviewed by an inspector of the Board during the yearly inspection of the pharmacy.

Becoming a successful Respiratory therapist

Have you been dreaming of becoming a respiratory therapist? Is that the option you want to take in the medical sector? Well then keep reading to know more!

What do I learn to become a respiratory therapist?

The minimum degree that a respiratory therapist needs is a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. All employers do prefer candidates with more levels of education but this is the minimum needed to get you to the job. This training is offered by many hospitals, universities, schools and also the Armed Forces and most of these programs will award you a bachelor’s degree. These training programs will include topics like chemistry, microbiology, physiology, physics and math. If your high school education included subjects like biology, chemistry and physics, the training program will only be all the more easier for you!

Okay. Are these technicians licensed?

This requirement can vary according to the states though they are licensed in all the states but in the state of Alaska.

So is certification a necessity?

Well certification is not a compulsion. Though potential employers will look for candidates with certification first and certified technicians always have an upper hand on the duties and responsibilities. So it is always advised to become certified, even though it may take a little bit more time. It is definitely worth it.

Certification will require graduation from an accredited program. The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) is the organization responsible for certifying technicians. To be certified, you will need to pass a certification exam governed by them.

What are the quintessential qualities I should have to be a respiratory therapist?

Well, if you are becoming one, patience is a major quality that you should possess. You might need to work for a single patient for long periods of time. You should also be kind hearted and compassionate to provide the emotional support that patients will need.

You should be detail oriented to monitor and record all the pieces of information that is related to patients. Your problem-solving skills should be consistent and strong. You will need to evaluate and treat the symptoms of the patients and recommend the appropriate treatments.

What will my duties be as a respiratory therapist?

The basic job of a respiratory therapist is to examine and treat patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary problems. They care for patients who have difficulty in breathing, for instance, a person suffering from a chronic respiratory disease such as emphysema or asthma.

The patients can be tiny little babies to elderly patients. Your duties will be typically the following:

–       Examining and interviewing the patients with respiratory problems

–       Treating the patients using various methods which includes different medications

–       Educating patients about the various treatments

–       Performing diagnostics like measuring the lung capacity

–       Monitoring and recording every step of the treatment

–        Consulting with physicians to develop patient treatment plans.

They also perform chest physiotherapy on the patients to eliminate any kind of mucus from their lungs which makes it easier for them to respire. This is a major step in making the patient feel better and is also a very risky step. It involves the vibrating of the rib cage by the therapist to remove all the mucus. This is done by tapping the chest and telling the patient to cough simultaneously.

Where will I be working?

If you qualify as a certified respiratory therapist, there are plenty of places that you can work in. hospitals, doctor’s clinic, medical facilities and also the Armed Forces (it would only be an honor working there!). You will need to operate equipment and ensure that the patient is correctly breathing, receiving the right amount of oxygen through the tube that is inserted into the trachea.

How to Become an MRI Technician

Quick Facts: Radiologic and MRI Technologists
2012 Median Pay $55,910 per year
$26.88 per hour
Entry-Level Education Associate’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation See How to Become One
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 229,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 21% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 48,600

Are you finding for a job that is very well rewarding and thrilling? That too in the health sector? Look no further, you are looking to become an MRI technician! Becoming an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Technician is one of the best options in the medical field. You are not only paid well but is also a reputed and an integral part of the modern medical sector. Keep reading to know more about this awesome job!

Defining an MRI Technician:

MRI is nothing but a medical imaging technique that is used to visualize the internal structures in a human body with the help of radiation. And hence, a technician in MRI is of great help to the medical sector with the growing technological developments.

The requirements needed for training:

There are various ways in which you can get your training done. You can either go to a college or school or also do it online. Doing your course online could be a best option as it helps you work on your own and at your convenience. It makes the course go much faster and saves you the time and effort spent in a school or college. They also have training as part of their curriculum. Even though this is easy, get ready to spend a lot of time towards on the job training which is very crucial and necessary on the journey to becoming an MRI technician.

You can also choose to opt to go to a school that offers a training program in an MRI. But while doing this you should be careful to look for the right school that is accredited by the American Registry of Magnetic Training Resonance Technician (ARMRIT). The basic education you need to start this course is a high school diploma. In a few states, they might require you to have only a medical associate’s degree. So always check your state laws before you apply to a school. Having a basic knowledge about anatomy, chemistry and biology will be helpful in your courses and helps you understand the subjects better. You will need a minimum of 1700 hours of training experience with a qualified MRI. You will also need at least 3 years of experience in the field if you are not planning on getting a bachelor’s degree or an approved MRI technician training program. If you are already working in the medical sector, there are cross training opportunities where only 1000 hours of experience is asked for. A few examples of cross training opportunities are nurses, assistants, sonographers, etc.

Options to continue education:

After you have successfully become an MRI tech, you will still find the advances in technology to be upbeat. So you will need to keep yourself coped up by attending various seminars or classes. This can be done online also.

Compensations to be expected:

The salary you will be paid also depends on the school that you went for the training in. it is essential that you always choose an accredited school be it online or not.

An MRI starts off with a salary of around $30000 per year. This amount will double itself with experience in the field. MRI technicians are needed in many areas of work. They usually are needed to work in hospitals, private clinics or other facilities.

According to a recent study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for MRI technicians will grow by 17% by the year 2018. The need increases because of the fall in equipment prices. Since they are no longer expensive, doctors prefer to have on in their own clinics and so need an expert to handle one.

If you are really looking forward to a future in MRI, waste no more time and apply to a training school now. The future of this job is very promising given the present dat scenario.

How to become a Medical Coder

Medical coding is one of the most booming fields of the healthcare industry and has gained a lot of attention in the past few years with drastic increase in the number of students interested to make a career in this field. With the increased demand of the medical coders, the number of schools and colleges offering training programs in the field has also risen.

Tasks Performed

The primary task of a medical coder or a medical coding specialist is to check the details about patient injuries, diseases and procedures followed to treat it with the help of medical records and documents provided by doctors and other healthcare providers. After that, the medical coder assign codes for the information which is based on an official universally used coding system. These medical codes play a significant role in the reimbursement of the claims by hospitals and their physicians for insurance purposes. So, for handling the responsibilities of this job efficiently, the person who wishes to pursue a career in this field should have an associate’s degree and a credential in coding.

Basic Requirements

So, the first step to make a career in this field is to pass a high school diploma. It is the basic requirement for attaining further degree in this field. Courses like algebra, biology, chemistry, typing, and other computer skills studied during the high school diploma can prove to be very helpful in medical coding.

After that, the person can enroll for an associate’s degree is a 2 year program if pursued from any accredited college or university.  For making a career in this field, it’s always recommended to get a degree in health information technology or something equivalent to that.

In order to get recognition as a medical coding specialist, the aspirant should choose a college or university which is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

Join an Accredited School or College

Apart from this, there is also the option of attending a school which has the approval of a foreign organization in reciprocity agreement with the American Health Information Management Association. The subjects which should be emphasized for becoming an efficient medical coder include physiology, anatomy and healthcare reimbursement and coding systems for medical or clinical purposes and database security and management.

Employers prefer to hire the certified medical coders so, after completing the training program; the aspirant should appear in the certification test given by AHIMA.

For this career, getting a coding credential in a specialized field also proves to be very beneficial. The two most renowned organizations which offer coding in the field are the Board of Medical Specialty Coding or BMSC and the Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists or PAHCS.

Pass Certification Exam for Better Opportunities

For gaining efficiency in this field and to become a competent and compassionate medical coder, it’s always recommended to the aspirant for this profession to gain experience in coding field by working at a clinic, dental office or other medical settings. Some other places where one can work as a medical coding specialist include consulting firms or a coding and billing service.

It’s also necessary as in some states, it’s necessary to have some work experience in order to maintain one’s credential in this field. For gaining experience, one can also take advantage of any on-the-job training offered at the workplace.

After earning the credentials, it’s also necessary to maintain them by taking recertification.  The American Academy of Professional Coders is a renowned organization which offers credentials to the medical coders.

Growth Prospects

To grow in this field, one should get a bachelor’s degree or higher to advance the career opportunities as well gaining advanced credentials in the fields of specialty. One can also look for a vocational or adult education school available in one’s area to pursue the relevant courses and begin a career in medical coding.

How to Become a Medical Biller

Billing and accounting are one of the important parts in a hospital. With the rising technology and the change in various aspects of healthcare, the need for a qualified medical biller has become demanding. Be it a small clinic, a private doctor’s office or a hospital, a medical biller is a must. With this development in the technology, there are specific codes that the biller has to follow. The coding software and the medical codes will need to be used by a trained biller. There are different kinds of coding systems and a medical biller should have the knowledge to classify each according to their procedures accurately and correctly.

What is the job description for a medical biller?

Doing insurance claims and other medical documents is not only the work of a medical biller. If claims are denied and get complicated, it is the responsibility of the biller to investigate the reason and resubmit the claim after taking necessary actions. They may also need to schedule appointments of patients at the office of hospital that they are working at. Verifying the patients insurance data, tallying patient records and recording patient details come under the duties of a medical biller.

One of the main objective of a biller is to smoothly run the facility without any complications or difficulties and ensures the reimbursement of the services performed by the healthcare professionals. A few qualities of a medical biller should be attention to detailing, effective communication, good computer handling skills and a gentle way of approach to dealing with patients and insurance bureaucrats. The medical biller will also need to have knowledge on medical and pharmaceutical terminology and deep knowledge about the complications and policies of insurance.

Training and certification is a must from a professional agency if you are aspiring to become a medical biller. To remain up to date, renewing your certificates would be a good idea as it shows your information on the latest codes, insurance policies and reimbursement. The following information will tell you more in how to become a medical biller.

What is the education needed?

The coding and medical billing programs are offered by vocational colleges, community colleges and a few even offer them online! But whatever program you choose, always make sure that it is accredited by the American Academy of Professional Coders or the American Health Information Management Association.

There are basically three types of degrees that you can do after you are done with high school: the Certificate degree (which can range from 9 to 12 months), an Associate degree (which will take 2 years) or a Bachelor’s degree (which will take you 4 years).

A certificate degree might just be enough to squeeze you through a job but taking more advanced degree would be advised. In the medical billing program, you will learn to use coding software and indexes. You will also learn the basic of human anatomy, medical procedures, medications and different types of diseases.

How much will I be paid being a successful medical biller?

Once you have completed the necessary steps and have secured a job in a hospital, doctor’s office or a clinic, it’s time to talk about your compensation. The salary for medical billers and coders will always depend and vary upon the business. The ones who are working in a federal government facilities or hospitals will earn usually more than the other billers at doctor’s offices or other facilities. According to a recent survey, the average pay was estimated to be around $25,000 and it extends up to $32,000. Salaries can also vary according to the region that you are working in. a remote part of the country can pay you less when compared to an urban area.

How to become a successful laboratory technician?

Are you thinking of pursuing your career as a lab technician? Has it been your long lived dream to become one? Are you curious to know more about this path of career in the medical field? Keep reading to know more about this awesome work line.

Training to become a lab tech will not only make you the master of biology but covers various other areas of science as well. They will become acquainted with the different kinds of equipment in the lab, the usage of equipment, the different kinds of tools used within a lab and so on. There are different ways that one can do their training to become a lab tech. you can take up the one that suits you the best according to your field of interest. Explained below are the various ways and the steps to becoming a successful laboratory technician.

Prerequisite No. 1: completing high school!

The basic educational qualification that you need to become a lab tech is a high school diploma or passing the General Educational Development (GED) exam. If you have a history on doing courses like biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics will make the training a bit easier and helps in pursuing education on a higher level. Having a ground basic knowledge in these subjects will also make the training much clearer to the students.

Prerequisite No.2: deciding the career path that you want to choose.

Lab technicians can choose to work anywhere. From research labs, to hospitals to ophthalmic offices, they can work where ever their employers need them to work. The requirements in training can vary according to the need and field that a lab tech may work in. before choosing to enter a field, talking to potential employers can give you a view of your future and the kind of training that you might want to take up.

Prerequisite No.3: considering other educational options after high school.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Studies (BLS) marks that even though some lab techs are needed to have a degree or other kinds of higher education after high school, the others are allowed to enter the field with just a high school diploma or by passing their GED. For instance, a student who aspired to become a dental lab tech can join the field as soon as he finishes high school where as a clinical lab tech will need a degree in biology before he sets course in the field.

Prerequisite No.4: acquiring experience in the field. 

Most employers, when looking for applicants, check for hours of experience working in a lab. Students in college can as well consider entering laboratory courses to familiarize themselves to the equipment, tools, basic procedures, protocols and environment in a laboratory. They can also consider working as lab assistants or as research assistants to gain the same experience along with planning and deployment of action plan.

Prerequisite No.5: Finding Employment in the field!

There are a number of places where a qualified lab tech can work in. There is the medical sector, the biotechnology sector, pharmaceutical sector and many other sectors and industries. You can also find employment with government agencies, private practice jobs and university laboratories. The duties and responsibility of a lab tech can vary according to his place of work. You might need to do a lot of research, monitor the quality control, prepare equipment or may be even do all of these. The amount of work you need to do will be assigned by your employer and can again vary according to the work place.

How to Become an EKG Technician?

Are you striving to be an Electrocardiograph technician (EKG)? Is your head storming with questions related to this medical field? Electrocardiograph technician help and assist doctors in detecting, treating and handling any kind of cardio vascular problems by running tests and diagnostics on the patients which help in recognizing the problem as well as any symptoms that could lead to a heart attack or a heart disease.

Who is an Electrocardiograph Technician? What do they do?

EKG technicians are a very important cog in the big medical machine especially in the cardiac department. What they basically do is administering a specific type of test which measures the impulses of the heart. This test results are then reviewed by doctors who in turn help judge a lot of things including any serious heart diseases or a heart attack.

Okay, I’m interested! But how do I become an EKG technician?EKG 

To become a successful EKG technician, you will need training. This can either be an on the job training or the school training depending on the EKG program that you choose. The training can last you up to just a few weeks to even four years or more. The training programs offer you with a degree where as some of the programs will lead you to a certificate. To have a better review on the training programs, it is always advisable to talk to your potential employers to find out their requirements in training which will help you reach your career goal easier.

Being a certified technician has its own benefits as well and hence it is always recommended to become a certified technician. Cardiovascular Credentialing International governs a certification exam. Once you pass this exam, you will be awarded with a certificate. Being certified is not really a necessity but the impact it makes on your resume is completely worth the extra time and effort made get through the exam. Employers will look for a certification and the speed in which you get a job will be way faster when compared to the non-certified technicians. Not to mention the compensation also differs when there is a certificate in the picture!

How much will I be earning if I become a successful EKG technician?

For EKG technicians, the salary range can vary. According to a survey that was conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the month of May, 2008, the least compensation that an EKG tech received was around $25000 and the highest was around $74000. If we take the average on the wages we come up to a figure of $47000 which is a pretty reputable wage. You are the only one who is capable of deciding your salary. The more experienced, the more the level of education, the training, and your skill is the more you will earn.

Where will I be working?

You can work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices or other medical facilities that need EKG techs. Usually the need of an EKG tech arises where ever there are cardiologists or anything related to cardiac. The field is very promising as it is developing now and the needs for EKG technicians are on the rise. Your opportunities of getting a job increase as your experience increases.

What can I do after this?

Once you are done with training and you have landed a job, it is not the end of the road for you. You can consider training further which will lead you to earning more and obviously experience. The additional on the job training can take you up to as much as 24 months or it can be as less as 18 months. All this depends on the training that you prefer to take.

How to become an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)

Are you looking for a job in the medical field that is thrilling, on the go, deals with saving lives and also pays you well? Look no further and start training to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)! Keep reading to know more about this fabulous field.

Basic ground level coaching: Training and education.

(All the emergency medical technicians and paramedics are needed to finish a very formal training program and the requirements can differ from one state to another)

The requirements for these training programs are simple. Most of the schools will need a high school diploma or an equivalent and also a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification. It if preferred for high school students to take up courses in physiology or anatomy. Training is offered in various kinds of places like technical institutes, facilities that have a specialty in emergency care training and even community colleges.

There are two levels in the training:

Basic level of EMT: in this part of training, includes dealing with trauma, instruction of assessing a patients’ condition, cardiac arrests and emergencies, clearing airway passages in case of obstruction, usage of field equipment, handling and controlling stress and handling the emergencies. This course also includes about 100 hours of specialized training required in a hospital or an ambulance.

Intermediate level of EMT (also called as the EMT-intermediate 1985 or the advanced EMT level or the EMT-intermediate 1999 level): at this level, the candidates are required to complete a far more advanced training that is required at the EMT level as well as the use of complex airway devices, some medications and other intravenous fluids. This level requires at least 1,000 hours of training.

About paramedics:

Compared to the EMTs, paramedics have the advantage over the level of training. They are way more advanced than EMTs. They are required to complete both the levels in the training and also train for medical skills. This training is offered by community colleges or medical schools and can take you up to 2 years to complete not to forget the 1,300 hours of training that is included. Because of their higher level of training, they may be assigned to stitching wounds and attending to level IV medications.

Certification and license, is it necessary?

Yes, when you want to get hired faster and be paid better, it is a necessity. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is responsible for the certification of EMTs and paramedics. All of the levels of this require passing a written as well as a practical examination. It also needs completing a certified training or an education program. Being licensed is a requirement by all the states though the requirements can vary according to the state. In most of the states, the candidate who has an NREMT certificate qualifies for licensure while in other states, passing a state level exam is required. In some states, an individual with any record of criminal history can be refused licensure.

What will my compensation be as a successful EMT? 

The average annual salary as calculated by the surveys conducted in May 2009 for EMTs and paramedics were around $30,360. This is the average calculated which suggest that half have earned more and the other half, earned less. The least calculated compensation was around $19,000 and the highest was an astonishing $51,000.

The work schedules of paramedics and EMT might be varied and not fixed. Since they work in emergencies, a call might come at any time of the day or night. Most of the EMTs and paramedics work full time and a few work more than full time as well. Everything depends upon the need of your presence and skill.