Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Pick the Right One Near Casa Grande Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Casa Grande AZ, you may be wondering just how to select the best program to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant concerns when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated as well. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover 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 technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy techs have multiple job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Casa Grande AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
- Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Casa Grande AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Casa Grande AZ employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Classes Online
Before choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Casa Grande pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Casa Grande AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Casa Grande AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Casa Grande home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Most pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national 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 provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don't forget to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Casa Grande AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification can be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Casa Grande AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Casa Grande AZ after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also means 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 choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Casa Grande AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Learn More on Becoming a Pharmacy Technician in Casa Grande
Enroll in the Best Casa Grande Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the ideal pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, most pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician schools incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the right education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Casa Grande Arizona.
Casa Grande Pharmacy Technician Certificate | Casa Grande Pharmacy Technician Certificate Online