Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Fort Mohave Arizona
It’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy tech certificate or degree program near Fort Mohave AZ so you can receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of medicine. Of course the first step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs as well as accreditation are equally important if not more so as cost and location. You may also want to research a few accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Fort Mohave AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
- Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and control inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at an approved Fort Mohave AZ pharmacy or other 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 offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, a number of Fort Mohave AZ pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Prior to selecting a pharmacy tech online program, it's important to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Fort Mohave pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your Fort Mohave AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive 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 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 learn with a less structured form of education, then online training may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Fort Mohave AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Fort Mohave residence. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to effectively compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs and trade 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 evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fort Mohave AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied 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 tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Fort Mohave AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Fort Mohave AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask 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 indicates that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Fort Mohave AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Fort Mohave Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the best pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, most 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 technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you make use of our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the appropriate education and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Fort Mohave Arizona.