Pharmacy Tech Certificate Program
How to Pick the Best One Near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near New Kingman Butler AZ, you may be thinking about just how to choose the right school to receive your education and training. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing schools so that you subsequently enroll in the best one? When looking for pharmacy technician schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. You may also choose to take a look at several accredited online pharmacy tech 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 to begin with, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.
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Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy techs have various job functions, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:
- Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
- Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Options
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of New Kingman Butler 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, 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 examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Programs Online
Prior to choosing a pharmacy tech online school, it's necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area New Kingman Butler pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed online in your New Kingman Butler AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their degree or certificate. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. 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 employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance 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 best solution for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools
After you have decided whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to select from in the New Kingman Butler AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your New Kingman Butler home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online colleges may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with New Kingman Butler AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in New Kingman Butler AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any support. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their New Kingman Butler AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the New Kingman Butler AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Learn More about How to Become a Pharmacy Technician in New Kingman Butler
Enroll in the Right New Kingman Butler Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were trained "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs include both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the right education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in New Kingman Butler Arizona.
New Kingman Butler Pharmacy Technician Certificate | New Kingman Butler Pharmacy Technician Certificate Online