Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Kingman Arizona
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near Kingman AZ in order to receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. When checking out pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are significant factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are equally important if not more so as location and cost. You might also choose to look into some accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Duties
Pharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Kingman AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily services a pharmacy tech may perform are:
- Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
- Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their medications are prepared 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 weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an approved Kingman AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Kingman AZ employers will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online
Before deciding on a pharmacy technician online training program, it's important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Kingman pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your Kingman AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
Once you have decided whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech programs to choose from in the Kingman AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Kingman home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you need to consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have obtained 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 screened and verified to offer a complete quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don't forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Kingman AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Kingman AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Kingman AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Kingman AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Kingman Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacists 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. Most pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it's important to select 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 make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the appropriate education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Kingman Arizona.