Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Camp Pendleton CA

How to Pick a Pharmacist Technician Course near Camp Pendleton 92055

Camp Pendleton CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Camp Pendleton CA, you may be pondering how to select the ideal college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when selecting a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated as well. And if you prefer attending classes at home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over 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 diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online programs.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Camp Pendleton CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Camp Pendleton CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily tasks a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is an extremely rewarding career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees

Camp Pendleton CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Camp Pendleton CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech programs choose to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Camp Pendleton CA pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be 18 years or older, has graduated from high school, 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 exam. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Camp Pendleton CAPrior to choosing a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Camp Pendleton pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Camp Pendleton CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, notably for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course 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 essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program 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 structured form of education, then online instruction may be the ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Programs

Once you have decided whether you would like to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician programs to pick from in the Camp Pendleton CA area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and vocational schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Camp Pendleton residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you need to take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech College Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired 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 certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Camp Pendleton CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This requirement may be met by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates one year of experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Camp Pendleton CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Camp Pendleton CA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting endeavor without any assistance. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Camp Pendleton CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacy tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Camp Pendleton 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Camp Pendleton CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps. It is located on the Southern California coast, in San Diego County, and bordered by Oceanside to the south, Cleveland National Forest, Orange and Riverside counties to the north, and Fallbrook to the east.

The base was established in 1942 to train U.S. Marines for service in World War II. By October 1944, Camp Pendleton was declared a "permanent installation" and by 1946, it became the home of the 1st Marine Division. It was named after Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton (1860–1942), who had long advocated setting up a training base for the Marine Corps on the west coast. Today it is the home to myriad Operating Force units including the I Marine Expeditionary Force and various training commands.

In 1769, a Spanish expedition led by Captain Gaspar de Portolá explored northward from Loreto, Baja California Sur, seeking to reach Monterey Bay, something never before done overland by Europeans. On July 20 of that year, the expedition arrived in the area now known as Camp Pendleton, and as it was the holy day of St. Margaret, they christened the land in the name of Santa Margarita. The expedition went on to establish military outposts and Franciscan missions at San Diego and Monterey.

Enroll in the Ideal Pharmacy Technician College Camp Pendleton CA

Camp Pendleton CA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a rewarding profession where assisting customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacies can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech colleges include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a college that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the right selection. With the proper education and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Camp Pendleton CA.

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