Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
Having decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Flowing Wells AZ, you might be pondering just how to pick the ideal program to get your education and training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately pick the ideal one? Many potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant factors when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as location and cost. You might also choose to research a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing 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 Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Flowing Wells AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:
- Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory
As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Flowing Wells AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive 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 Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certification Choices
Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Flowing Wells AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 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 completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it's important to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Flowing Wells pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Flowing Wells AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Flowing Wells AZ area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Flowing Wells home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded 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 quality education. Online programs may also 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 together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Flowing Wells AZ employers 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 all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Flowing Wells AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Flowing Wells AZ upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Flowing Wells AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Flowing Wells Pharmacy Tech Program
Finding the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where assisting people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Flowing Wells Arizona.