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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Tech Course near Scottsdale 85250

Scottsdale AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Scottsdale AZ, you may be pondering just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of future students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. And if you are interested in attending classes at home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and 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 diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Scottsdale AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Scottsdale AZ pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily duties a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. 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 having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Scottsdale AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Scottsdale AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs opt to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Scottsdale AZ employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished 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.

Pharmacy Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Scottsdale AZBefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online college, it’s necessary to understand that most schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in an area Scottsdale pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken over the internet in your Scottsdale AZ home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be decreased substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Scottsdale AZ area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Scottsdale residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician School Accredited? Many pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure 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 program of training is accredited. And many Scottsdale AZ employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician program needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This condition can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Scottsdale AZ area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Scottsdale AZ upon graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance 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 creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Scottsdale AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacist tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Scottsdale AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Scottsdale AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale (O'odham: Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui: Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.[5]The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene."[6] Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."[7]

Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe. The southern boundary is also occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which also borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.[8]

The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, from approximately 300 BC to 1450 AD.[9] This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation which was unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America.[10] At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most likely theory having to do with a prolonged drought. The area's later occupants, the Pima and O'odham (also known as the Papago), are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people.[10]

Pick the Right Pharmacist Tech School Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacist technician training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, 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 pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Scottsdale AZ.

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