Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Eloy Arizona
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Eloy AZ, you may be pondering how to select the ideal college to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. When looking for pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While tuition and location are important concerns when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy techs have numerous job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Eloy AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily functions a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
- Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if 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 offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted Eloy AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Eloy 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 candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Programs
Prior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online college, it's important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Eloy pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Eloy AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most 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 expenditures for commuting and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school 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 learn with a less structured form of education, then online training may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs
Once you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Eloy AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Eloy residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other factors that you need to consider so that you may properly compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Make sure 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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Eloy AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Eloy AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial job in Eloy AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult task without some help. Find out if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Eloy 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 area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eloy AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Eloy Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools include both laboratory and classroom work. As we have discussed in this article, it's necessary to select a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Eloy Arizona.