Pharmacy Tech School
How to Enroll In the Right One Near Kingman Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Kingman AZ, you may be wondering just how to choose the best college to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. You might also decide to research several accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an alternative to attending classes on campus. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy techs have various job responsibilities, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Kingman AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech may carry out are:
- Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
- Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at an approved Kingman AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Options
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 in the job market. Also, a number of Kingman AZ employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma 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 Classes Online
Before deciding on a pharmacist tech online training program, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Kingman pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Kingman AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are reviewing 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 formal type of education, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Kingman AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Kingman home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you must consider so that you may adequately compare programs. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don't forget to check that the certificate or degree program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Kingman AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of 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 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 schools have associations with Kingman AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Kingman AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting task without any support. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Kingman AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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 don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class 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 average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Kingman Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist technician colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right education and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Kingman Arizona.