How to Select the Right Pharmacist Technician School Near Fort Mohave Arizona
Now that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Fort MohaveAZ, you may be thinking about how to pick the right program to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let's take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Pharmacy Tech Career Below
The Duties of a Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Fort Mohave AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist's instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician might carry out are:
- Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
- Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
- 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
- Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory
Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly 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 gratifying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.
Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Individuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at an accepted Fort Mohave AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.
Pharmacist Technician Available Certifications
It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Fort Mohave AZ employers 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 requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.
Pharmacy Technician Colleges Online
Before selecting a pharmacy technician online program, it's necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Fort Mohave pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Fort Mohave AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs
After you have decided whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Fort Mohave AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Fort Mohave residence. If you are able to move 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 factors that you must consider in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.
Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online schools may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it might assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Fort Mohave 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 a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This requirement may be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.
Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have a working relationship with Fort Mohave Arizona area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.
Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Fort Mohave AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Fort Mohave AZ home. Individuals 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Find the Best Fort Mohave Pharmacy Technician Program
Receiving the ideal pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were taught "on the job". These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it's essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. If you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Fort Mohave Arizona.