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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Tech Program near Arcadia 91006

Arcadia CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Arcadia CA, you might be pondering just how to pick the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the first 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 cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying 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 qualifications and others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Function of Pharmacy Techs

Arcadia CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have many job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Arcadia CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially 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 fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Arcadia CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school 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 trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Arcadia CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech colleges choose to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Arcadia CA pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Arcadia CAPrior to choosing a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in a local Arcadia pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Arcadia CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you would like to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to select from in the Arcadia CA area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Arcadia home. If you are willing to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacy tech programs and trade 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). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to verify that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Along with helping make sure that you get a superior education, it can assist in getting 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 Arcadia CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician school should prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be met by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Ask if the programs have a working relationship with Arcadia CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Arcadia CA after graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging task without any assistance. Find out 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 indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Arcadia CA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arcadia CA area, confirm that they are offered. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Arcadia CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Arcadia, California

Arcadia is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States located about 13 miles (21 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is the site of the Santa Anita Park racetrack and home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The city had a population of 56,364 at the 2010 census, up from 53,248 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Arcadia, Greece.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2). 10.9 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.87%) is water.

The 2010 United States Census[14] reported that Arcadia had a population of 56,364. The population density was 5,062.5 people per square mile (1,954.6/km²). The racial makeup of Arcadia was 33,353 (59.2%) Asian, 18,191 (32.3%) White, (25.7% Non-Hispanic White),[15] 681 (1.2%) African American, 186 (0.3%) Native American, 16 (0.03%) Pacific Islander, 2,352 (4.2%) from other races, and 1,585 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,799 persons (12.1%).

Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Arcadia CA

Arcadia CA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist technician training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician schools include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Arcadia CA.

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