Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Alameda CA

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Tech College near Alameda 94501

Alameda CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Alameda CA, you may be thinking about just how to choose the ideal program to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical concerns when selecting a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you prefer studying at home by means 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 go over these qualifications and others that you will need 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 advantages of online classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Alameda CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Alameda CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily services a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is an extremely gratifying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Alameda CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents 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 two options to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which normally can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Alameda CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs elect to become certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Alameda CA pharmacies will only employ a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed 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 examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Alameda CABefore choosing a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Alameda pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Alameda CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school 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 structured form of education, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

After you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Alameda CA area and throughout the USA, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Alameda residence. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you must consider in order to effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Be sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program together with the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a superior education, it might help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Alameda CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to get 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 satisfy the requirement. Check if the programs have a working relationship with Alameda CA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Alameda CA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without some support. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Alameda CA 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 local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alameda CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Alameda CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Alameda, California

Alameda (/ˌæləˈmiːdə/ AL-ə-MEE-də; Spanish: [ala'meða]) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, and is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of which is also known as "Harbor Bay Isle", is not actually an island, and is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. The city's estimated 2017 population was 79,928.[11] Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, allowing the city to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council–manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present.

The island Alameda occupies what was originally a peninsula connected to Oakland. Much of it was low-lying and marshy, but on higher ground than the peninsula and adjacent parts of what is now downtown Oakland were home to one of the largest coastal oak forests in the world. The area was therefore called Encinal, Spanish for "forest of evergreen oak".[12]Alameda is Spanish for "grove of poplar trees" or "tree-lined avenue",[13] and was chosen in 1853 by popular vote.[14]

The inhabitants at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the late 18th century were a local band of the Ohlone tribe. The peninsula became part of the vast Rancho San Antonio granted in 1820 to Luis Peralta by the Spanish king who claimed California. The grant was later confirmed by the new Republic of Mexico upon its independence from Spain.

Choose the Right Pharmacist Tech Degree Program Alameda CA

Alameda CA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a rewarding profession where helping customers with their health is your mission. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech programs include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a college that is accredited and will prepare 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 additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the right training and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacist technician in Alameda CA.

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