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

How to Select a Pharmacy Technician School near Arcata 95518

Arcata CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Arcata CA, you may be thinking about just how to choose the ideal school to get your education and training. Naturally the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when picking a college, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of 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 comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Arcata CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Arcata CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills 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 an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

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

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Arcata CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Arcata CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Arcata CA employers will only employ 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 candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Arcata CABefore choosing a pharmacist technician online school, it’s necessary to realize that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in a local Arcata pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Arcata CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, notably for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials can be reduced significantly. 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 check that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

After you have decided whether you want to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer 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 choose from in the Arcata CA area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Arcata residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it can assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Arcata CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but many employers desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires one year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Ask if the schools have associations with Arcata CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Arcata CA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at 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 a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Arcata CA residence. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to keep 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arcata CA area, verify 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Arcata CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Arcata, California

Arcata, originally Union Town or Union, is a city adjacent to the Arcata Bay (northern) portion of Humboldt Bay in Humboldt County, California, United States. At the 2010 census, Arcata's population was 17,231. Arcata, located 280 miles (450 km) north of San Francisco (via Highway 101), is home to Humboldt State University. Arcata is also the location of the Arcata Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the administration of natural resources, lands and mineral programs, including the Headwaters Forest, on approximately 200,000 acres of public land in Northwestern California.

Arcata has been notably progressive in its political makeup, and was the first city in the United States to elect a majority of its city council members from the Green Party. As a result of the progressive majority, Arcata capped the number of chain restaurants allowed in the city.[9] Arcata was also the first municipality to ban the growth of any type of Genetically Modified Organism within city limits, with exceptions for research and educational purposes.[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2), of which 9.1 square miles (23.6 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (17.25%) is water.

Select the Ideal Pharmacist Technician School Arcata CA

Arcata CA corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where helping customers with their health is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs incorporate both classroom and laboratory work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in 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 follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are certain to make the best selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Arcata CA.

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