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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Technician Program near Central 85531

Central AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Central AZ, you might be thinking about how to select the right college to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant concerns when choosing a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Central AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job responsibilities, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Central AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Central AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Central AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, many Central AZ pharmacies will only employ 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Central AZBefore selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Central pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Central AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to choose from in the Central AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Central residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have obtained a national or regional 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Be 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 receive a superior education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Central AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This condition may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Central AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Central AZ upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any support. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Central AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Central AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Central AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Central, Arizona

Central is at 32°52′13″N 109°47′35″W / 32.87028°N 109.79306°W / 32.87028; -109.79306, at an elevation of approximately 2900 feet above sea level.[6] From this location just south of the Gila River within the Upper Gila Valley, Mount Graham of the Pinaleño (Pinaleno Mountains) range dominates the southern skyline.

Central was first homesteaded by the Cluff family in 1880. The Cluffs extended the Central Canal to their lands on the eastern side of Central. Later settlers extended the canal west and north. In 1883 construction began on a one-room white rock building to be used as a church meeting house and school house. By 1884 twenty families, including Cluff, Norton, Shurtz, Bigler, and Webster households resided in Central. In 1978 the streets were named after these early Mormon pioneers. In December 1883 the Central Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized and Joseph Cluff was ordained the first bishop. A new red brick church was built in 1885. It was the first regular meeting house built in this part of Arizona and was also the first home of the LDS Academy from December 1890 to May 1891. A plaque east of Hwy 70 on Central Road commemorates the original home of the St. Joseph Stake Academy that later moved to Thatcher and became Eastern Arizona College.

In 1894, LDS Church historian Andrew Jensen reported on the Central Ward: "Thirty-five families or 178 souls, constitute the Mormon population, and there are only two other families in the district. Central excels in point of large orchards, extensive alfalfa fields and good grain. The meeting house is the only public building in the settlement, in which there is also a small store and a post office. There are a number of fine and comfortable private residences, built mostly of brick and adobe."[8]

Select the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program Central AZ

Central AZ corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy technician colleges include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate training and determination you can realize your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Central AZ.

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