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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech College near Surprise 85374

Surprise AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Surprise AZ, you may be pondering just how to choose the ideal college to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and 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 classes.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Surprise AZ pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Surprise AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily tasks a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work off-hours is a very gratifying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Surprise AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Surprise AZ pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, many Surprise AZ employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Surprise AZBefore choosing a pharmacy technician online college, it’s important to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Surprise pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Surprise AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less structured form of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school options. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to choose from in the Surprise AZ area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Surprise home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you must consider so that you may properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Don’t forget to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Surprise 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 required in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of work experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Surprise AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first position in Surprise AZ after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Surprise AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Surprise AZ area, verify 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Surprise AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Surprise, Arizona

Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid expansion has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%.[2] As such, it is the second-fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert) and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth-fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona.

The city has a 10,562-square-foot (981.2 m2) Aquatics Center and Maricopa County's northwest regional library, a $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) library, along with a 100.3 cost of living index.

The city was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much".[4] Surprise officials previously thought the city was founded by Statler's husband, real estate developer and state legislator Homer C. Ludden, but in 2010 property records were discovered which listed Statler owning the land before she met Ludden.[5]

Find the Ideal Pharmacist Technician College Surprise AZ

Surprise AZ corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers 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. The majority of pharmacy tech colleges include both classroom and clinical training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare programs so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the right training and determination you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Surprise AZ.

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    Walgreens
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    Walgreens
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    Walgreens
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