Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Tucson AZ

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Program near Tucson 85701

Tucson AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Tucson AZ, you might be pondering how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be evaluated as well. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifications and others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Tucson AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have many job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Tucson AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially 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 helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Tucson AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Tucson AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does offer a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Choices

Certification is not required in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Tucson AZ employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Schools

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Tucson AZBefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that most programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Tucson pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be accessed over the internet in your Tucson AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the ideal solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are many pharmacist tech colleges to pick from in the Tucson AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Tucson residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional 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 certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to verify that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Tucson AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which can be satisfied 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 certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Tucson AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Tucson AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Tucson AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tucson AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Tucson AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

If you are planning to attend a Pharmacy Technician Certificate or Degree Program in the Tucson Arizona area, you may find the following background information about the location of your school campus interesting and informative.

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson (/ˈtuːsɒn, tuːˈsɒn/) is a city and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States,[6] and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census put the population at 520,116,[3] while the 2015 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 980,263.[7] The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area (CSA), with a total population of 1,010,025 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, both of which anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is located 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.–Mexico border.[6] Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 58th largest metropolitan area in the United States (2014).

Major incorporated suburbs of Tucson include Oro Valley and Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita[8] south of the city, and South Tucson in an enclave south of downtown. Communities in the vicinity of Tucson (some within or overlapping the city limits) include Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Midvale Park, Tanque Verde, Tortolita, and Vail. Towns outside the Tucson metro area include Benson to the southeast, Catalina and Oracle to the north, and Green Valley to the south.

The Spanish name of the city, Tucsón [tukˈson], is derived from the O'odham Cuk Ṣon [tʃʊk ʂɔːn], meaning "(at the) base of the black [hill]", a reference to a basalt-covered hill now known as Sentinel Peak, also known as "A" Mountain.[9] Tucson is sometimes referred to as "The Old Pueblo".

Find the Best Pharmacist Tech Training Tucson AZ

Tucson AZ corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classromm work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the proper education and dedication you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Tucson AZ.

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