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

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician Course near Nogales 85621

Nogales AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Nogales AZ, you might be wondering just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many potential students start by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover 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 degree and certification options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Nogales AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Nogales AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since 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 must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician might perform are:

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

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Nogales AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a tech 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 completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Nogales AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required 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 can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Nogales AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two 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, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Nogales AZPrior to choosing a pharmacy tech online program, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Nogales pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Nogales AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online 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 confirm that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction might be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

Once you have decided whether you want to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Nogales AZ area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Nogales home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you should take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have acquired a national or regional 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 programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program together with the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it might assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Nogales 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 mandated in all states, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of job experience. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which can be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech 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 an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Nogales AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Getting that initial job in Nogales AZ after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Nogales AZ home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Nogales AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Nogales AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Nogales, Arizona

Nogales is a city in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. The population was 20,837 at the 2010 census and estimated 20,407 in 2014. Nogales forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,027,683 as of the 2010 Census. The city is the county seat of Santa Cruz County.[6]

Nogales, Arizona, borders the city of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and is Arizona's largest international border community. The southern terminus of Interstate 19 is located in Nogales at the U.S.-Mexico border; the highway continues south into Mexico as Mexico Federal Highway 15. The highways meeting in Nogales are a major road intersection in the CANAMEX Corridor, connecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Nogales also is the beginning of the Arizona Sun Corridor, an economically important trade region stretching from Nogales to Prescott, including the Tucson and Phoenix metropolitan areas.

Nogales is home to four international ports of entry, including the Morley Pedestrian Port of Entry, Dennis Deconcini Pedestrian and Passenger Vehicle Port of Entry, Nogales International Airport, and the Mariposa Port of Entry. The Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry has twelve passenger vehicle inspection lanes and eight commercial inspection lanes.

Pick the Right Pharmacist Technician Training Program Nogales AZ

Nogales AZ corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy tech colleges incorporate both laboratory and classromm work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper education and commitment you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Nogales AZ.

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