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

How to Choose a Pharmacist Technician Program near Gilbert 85233

Gilbert AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Gilbert AZ, you might be wondering how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be evaluated as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and some others that you will want 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 courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Gilbert AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Gilbert AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is a very gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Gilbert AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Gilbert AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Gilbert AZ pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant 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 Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Gilbert AZPrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online program, it’s important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Gilbert pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some work place experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Gilbert AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering 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 classes might be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

After you have determined whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy tech colleges to pick from in the Gilbert AZ area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Gilbert home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you should take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Many pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Don’t forget to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it might help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Gilbert 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 mandated in all states, but numerous employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Gilbert AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Gilbert AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any help. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Gilbert AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller 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 classrooms. 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Gilbert AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World",[5] It is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area.

Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles (197 km2) and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Greater Phoenix area. In the last three decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of the 2010 census. The town grew at an average annual growth rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period.

Gilbert owes its beginnings to William "Bobby" Gilbert who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer's Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first post office in 1912. The location of the town post office moved several times before settling on the east side of Gilbert Road in downtown, where it still stands today. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.[6]

Choose the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Program Gilbert AZ

Gilbert AZ corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a gratifying profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to enroll in a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Gilbert AZ.

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