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

How to Select a Pharmacist Technician Program near Somerton 85350

Somerton AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Somerton AZ, you might be thinking about how to select the right college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many future students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school 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 discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Role of Pharmacy Techs

Somerton AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Somerton AZ pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

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

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very satisfying career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Somerton AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Somerton AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges choose to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Somerton AZ employers 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 candidate be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Somerton AZPrior to selecting a pharmacy tech online training program, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Somerton pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to acquire some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed over the internet in your Somerton AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school 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 may be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

After you have decided whether you want to attain 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 target your school options. There are many pharmacy tech colleges to select from in the Somerton AZ area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Somerton residence. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other variables that you must consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. 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 recognized accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Somerton AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech program should ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Somerton AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Somerton AZ upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Somerton 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Somerton AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Somerton AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Somerton, Arizona

As of the census of 2000, there were 7,266 people, 1,818 households, and 1,652 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,483.2 people per square mile (2,109.3/km²). There were 1,967 housing units at an average density of 1,484.4 per square mile (571.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.52% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 51.11% from other races, and 2.99% from two or more races. 95.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,818 households out of which 59.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 9.1% were non-families. 7.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.99 and the average family size was 4.21.

In the city, the population was spread out with 38.9% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.

Find the Right Pharmacist Technician Training Somerton AZ

Somerton AZ corner drugstoreReceiving the ideal pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their wellness is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech programs incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right education and determination you can achieve your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Somerton AZ.

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