Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Best One Near Buckeye Arizona
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Buckeye AZ so you can get the proper training to build a career in the rewarding field of medicine. Usually the first step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. You might also choose to look into several accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy techs have various job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Buckeye AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help 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 provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:
- Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an approved Buckeye AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Buckeye AZ employers will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Programs Online
Before selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it's important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in a local Buckeye pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to get some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Buckeye AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges
Once you have decided whether you want to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Buckeye AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Buckeye home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Buckeye AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of 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 technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Buckeye AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Buckeye AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Buckeye AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Buckeye AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Buckeye Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping people with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician programs include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal selection. With the proper training and determination you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Buckeye Arizona.