How to Select the Right Pharmacist Tech College Near Flowing Wells Arizona
Now that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Flowing WellsAZ, you may be wondering how to pick the ideal college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of 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 advantages of online classes.
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The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy techs have various job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Flowing Wells AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:
- Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
- Input prescription and customer information 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 audit and control inventory
Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is a very rewarding career assisting customers with their health and wellness.
Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn 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 generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at an accepted Flowing Wells AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacist Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Flowing Wells AZ pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Tech Colleges Online
Prior to selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it's important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Flowing Wells pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Flowing Wells AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you would like to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to pick from in the Flowing Wells AZ area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Flowing Wells home. If you are able to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you should consider in order to effectively compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.
Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Flowing Wells AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.
Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.
Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Flowing Wells Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Flowing Wells AZ after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher 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 sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Flowing Wells AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Flowing Wells AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Flowing Wells Pharmacy Tech School
Getting the ideal pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were trained "on the job". These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools incorporate both laboratory and classroom work. As we have covered in this article, it's essential to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper education and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Flowing Wells Arizona.