Pharmacy Tech Course
How to Find the Best One Near Nogales Arizona
Now it’s time to choose and enroll in a pharmacy tech degree or certificate program near Nogales AZ so you can receive the proper training to begin a career in the rewarding profession of healthcare. But just how do you go about evaluating and comparing colleges so that you subsequently pick the right one? When checking out pharmacy technician programs, the majority of students start by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Internship and job placement programs as well as accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. You may also want to take a look at a few accredited online pharmacy tech programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will go over these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online classes.
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Pharmacy Tech Job Description
Pharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Nogales AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist's directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician may perform are:
- Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
- Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
- Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
- Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career assisting people with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Training Programs
Individuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at an approved Nogales AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive 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 choose to become certified.
Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available
Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Nogales AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by each program, which can be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Schools
Before selecting a pharmacist technician online training program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Nogales pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Nogales AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the ideal solution for you.
What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
Once you have determined whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to choose from in the Nogales AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Nogales 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 many other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have earned 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 schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Nogales 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 mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Nogales AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.
Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Nogales AZ after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are researching 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 field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Nogales AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Nogales AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Nogales Pharmacy Tech Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were taught "on the job". Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. If you follow our additional tips you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the right choice. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Nogales Arizona.