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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Fountain Hills AZ

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Technician College near Fountain Hills 85268

Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Fountain Hills AZ, you might be thinking about just how to pick the right program to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when picking a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job responsibilities, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Fountain Hills AZ pharmacist. They must also have good 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 instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out 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 on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Fountain Hills AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, 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 Fountain Hills AZ employers will only employ a technician 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Fountain Hills AZPrior to deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is commonly satisfied in an area Fountain Hills pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Fountain Hills AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials can be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Fountain Hills AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Fountain Hills home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Fountain Hills AZ pharmacies 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 all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This qualification may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Fountain Hills AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first job in Fountain Hills AZ after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Fountain Hills AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Fountain Hills AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Fountain Hills, Arizona

Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census.[3] Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.

In the early 1900's, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch[5], later renamed the P Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P Bar Ranch's buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.

Select the Best Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Fountain Hills AZ

Fountain Hills AZ corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding profession where assisting people with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Fountain Hills AZ.

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