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

How to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Bakersfield 93301

Bakersfield CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Bakersfield CA, you may be thinking about how to choose the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. Many future students begin by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation must be evaluated also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need 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 classes.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians

Bakersfield CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their principal responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Bakersfield CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when preparing prescription medications per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be handled by the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily services a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. 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 assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Bakersfield CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two alternatives to becoming a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Bakersfield CA pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally takes about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more in depth education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Bakersfield CA employers 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 requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has finished 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 examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Bakersfield CAPrior to selecting a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s important to realize that most schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Bakersfield pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Bakersfield CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for many students, notably for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

After you have decided whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to select from in the Bakersfield CA area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Bakersfield residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are a number of other issues that you should consider in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy technician programs 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 screened and verified to offer a complete superior education. Online programs may also obtain 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 as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Bakersfield CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech school should prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This requirement may be fulfilled by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Find out if the colleges have a working relationship with Bakersfield CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Bakersfield CA after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of employer contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Bakersfield CA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bakersfield CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Bakersfield CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield is a city in the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles (370 km2)[13] near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is approximately 380,000,[10] making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States.[14] The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.

The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county,[15] and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States.[16] Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices.[17] The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.

Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years.[18] The Yokuts lived in lodges[19] along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley.[20] The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.[21]

Find the Best Pharmacist Tech School Bakersfield CA

Bakersfield CA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping people with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech programs incorporate both laboratory and classromm training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the appropriate education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Bakersfield CA.

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