Pharmacy Tech School
How to Select the Best One Near Paradise Valley Arizona
Having made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Paradise Valley AZ, you may be thinking about how to choose the right program to get your education and training. But just how do you approach evaluating and comparing colleges so that you ultimately enroll in the ideal one? Many potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. You may also want to look into several accredited pharmacy tech online programs as an option to attending classes on campus. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will need 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 programs.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
Pharmacy Technician Job Description
Pharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Paradise Valley AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician may carry out are:
- Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist supervision
- Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
- Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
- Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
- Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory
As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas
Students desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Paradise Valley AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically 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 down the road. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.
Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Paradise Valley AZ pharmacies 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, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years 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 each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Paradise Valley pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech in order to get some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Paradise Valley AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check 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 might be the right solution for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges
After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Paradise Valley AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Paradise Valley residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other variables that you should consider so that you may effectively compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don't forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Paradise Valley AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.
Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the programs have associations with Paradise Valley AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Paradise Valley AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Paradise Valley AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Paradise Valley AZ area, confirm 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More about How to Become a Pharmacy Tech in Paradise Valley
Choose the Best Paradise Valley Pharmacy Tech Program
Getting the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were taught "on the job". These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech schools include both clinical and classroom training. As we have covered in this article, it's important to enroll in a college 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 additional tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Paradise Valley Arizona.
Paradise Valley Pharmacy Technician Certificate | Paradise Valley Pharmacy Technician Certificate Online