Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Select the Best One Near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Having decided to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near New Kingman Butler AZ, you may be thinking about just how to pick the right school to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let's discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Tech Job Description
Pharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist's instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily services a pharmacy technician might perform are:
- Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
- Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Diplomas and Degrees
Students wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacies will only employ a tech 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 18 years or older, 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 a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Schools
Prior to selecting a pharmacy technician online program, it's important to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in an area New Kingman Butler pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken over the internet in your New Kingman Butler AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to pick from in the New Kingman Butler AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other variables that you must consider so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college 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 help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of New Kingman Butler AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers prefer that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This qualification may be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with New Kingman Butler AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in New Kingman Butler AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their New Kingman Butler AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the New Kingman Butler AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right New Kingman Butler Pharmacy Tech School
Finding the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". Nowadays, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech colleges include both classroom and laboratory work. As we have discussed in this article, it's important to select a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in New Kingman Butler Arizona.