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

How to Find the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Chandler 85224

Chandler AZ pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Chandler AZ, you might be thinking about how to choose the best college to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. A number of potential students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Tech

Chandler 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 work under the supervision of a licensed Chandler AZ pharmacist. They must also have great customer service skills since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

Chandler AZ pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 options 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 typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Chandler AZ pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Chandler AZ pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by both programs, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Chandler AZBefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online program, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in a local Chandler pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician so as to get some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Chandler AZ home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, particularly for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online programs are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials can be decreased 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 securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Programs

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Chandler AZ area and throughout the United States, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community 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 Chandler residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are many other factors that you need to consider so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have earned a regional or national 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program together with the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Chandler AZ pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but many pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition can be met by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Chandler AZ area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Chandler AZ upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Chandler AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Chandler AZ Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Chandler, Arizona

Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of 2017, the population was estimated at 253,458 according to the United States Census Bureau.[4]

In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established.[5] The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east.[6] By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.

Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Chandler AZ

Chandler AZ corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the right education and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Chandler AZ.

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