Pharmacy Tech Program
How to Select the Best One Near New River Arizona
Now it’s time to select and enroll in a pharmacy technician degree or certificate program near New River AZ in order to receive the right training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. But just how do you undertake evaluating and comparing schools so that you ultimately pick the right one? When checking out pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. And if you are interested in studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some 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 technician 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 Technician Job Description
Pharmacy technicians have various job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed New River AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:
- Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
- Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory
As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an accepted New River AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices
Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of New River AZ pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed 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 required every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Programs Online
Before choosing a pharmacy tech online school, it's important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local New River pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed over the internet in your New River AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm 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 study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools
Once you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to select from in the New River AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your New River home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other issues that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance 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 recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of New River AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with New River AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in New River AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their New River AZ residence. Students 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the New River AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Learn More on Becoming a Pharmacy Tech in New River
Choose the Best New River Pharmacy Tech School
Receiving the best pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it's essential to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies 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 right education and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in New River Arizona.
New River Pharmacy Technician Training | New River Pharmacy Technician Courses