Pharmacy Tech Training Program
How to Select the Best One Near Casas Adobes Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Casas Adobes AZ, you may be pondering just how to pick the ideal school to receive your education and training. But just how do you undertake comparing and evaluating schools so that you ultimately pick the best one? When looking for pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be evaluated also. You might also decide to research some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Description
Pharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Casas Adobes AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might perform are:
- Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
- Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends 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 off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Casas Adobes AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Casas Adobes AZ employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Classes
Before selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it's necessary to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly fulfilled in an area Casas Adobes pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to get some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Casas Adobes AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the best solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain 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 pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Casas Adobes AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Casas Adobes residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Casas Adobes AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Casas Adobes AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Casas Adobes AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Casas Adobes AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Casas Adobes AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Casas Adobes Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select a program 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 tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Casas Adobes Arizona.