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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician Program near Benicia 94510

Benicia CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Benicia CA, you might be thinking about how to select the right school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to find schools that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are important factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation should be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding 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 comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

Benicia CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Benicia CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medications under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Benicia CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Benicia CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically involves about two years of studies. Although not required 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. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Choices

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Benicia CA employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are 2 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 one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Benicia CABefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Benicia pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to get some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online in your Benicia CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, especially for those who keep working while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Tech Programs

After you have decided whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Benicia CA area and throughout the USA, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Benicia home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other issues that you must consider in order to properly compare colleges. The following questions will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with distance or online education. Make sure to confirm that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And a number of Benicia CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Ask if the programs have associations with Benicia CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Benicia CA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a challenging endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges 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 profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Benicia CA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Benicia CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Benicia CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Benicia, California

Benicia (/bəˈniːʃə/ bə-NEE-shə; bə-NI-shə; Spanish pronunciation: [beˈnisja]) is a waterside city in Solano County, California, located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. It served as the state capital for nearly thirteen months from 1853 to 1854. The population was 26,997 at the 2010 census. The city is located along the north bank of the Carquinez Strait. Benicia is just east of Vallejo and across the strait from Martinez. Elizabeth Patterson has served as Mayor of Benicia since 2007.

The town is divided into four areas: the East Side (east of First Street), the West Side (west of First Street), Southampton (north of 780), and the industrial park. Most of the town's older homes are on the east and west sides. Southampton contains primarily single-family housing developments and condominiums, most of which were built between 1970 and 2000. The East Side includes the Benicia Arsenal, a former United States Army armory, which was bought by the city and is now used for a variety of purposes, most notably as live-work spaces for artists. The Arsenal is home to several historic (ca. 1860) landmark buildings such as The Clock Tower, the Camel Barn, and the Jefferson Street Mansion. The industrial park lies to the northeast of the residential areas of the city, and includes the Valero oil refinery. The Benicia State Recreation Area is on the far west edge of the city.

The main retail area in Benicia is First Street, which attracts out-of-town antique and boutique shoppers and those seeking small-town, historic charm. In 1987 Benicia was selected to participate in the California Main Street Program.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacy Tech Training Benicia CA

Benicia CA corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to select a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This holds true both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the proper education and commitment you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Benicia CA.

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