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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech School near Wickenburg 85358

Wickenburg AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Wickenburg AZ, you may be wondering how to select the best school to receive your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and 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 diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Wickenburg AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job duties, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Wickenburg AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is a very satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas

Wickenburg AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Wickenburg AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools elect to get certified in order to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, many Wickenburg AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Wickenburg AZBefore selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Wickenburg pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Wickenburg AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

After you have decided whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to pick from in the Wickenburg AZ area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Wickenburg home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a complete superior education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Wickenburg AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire are certified. The pharmacist tech college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition can be met by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Wickenburg AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Wickenburg AZ upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Wickenburg AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide 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 looking at 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wickenburg AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Wickenburg AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Wickenburg, Arizona

The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican–American War. The first extensive survey was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing hostile Indians who had raided the Butterfield Overland Mail route and attacked miners at Gila City.

In 1862, a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.

Ranchers and farmers soon built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River. Together with the miners, they founded the town of Wickenburg in 1863. Wickenburg was also the home of Jack Swilling, who prospected in the Salt River Valley in 1867. Swilling conducted irrigation efforts in that area and helped ground the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Enroll in the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Training Program Wickenburg AZ

Wickenburg AZ corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician schools include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper education and dedication you can realize your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Wickenburg AZ.

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