Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Aliso Viejo CA

How to Select a Pharmacist Technician School near Aliso Viejo 92656

Aliso Viejo CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Aliso Viejo CA, you might be pondering just how to pick the best school to get your education and training. Usually the first step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be considered also. And if you prefer studying at home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Aliso Viejo CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job functions, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Aliso Viejo CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities 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 an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is a very satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Aliso Viejo CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be 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 accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Aliso Viejo CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Aliso Viejo CA pharmacies 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 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 only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Aliso Viejo CABefore deciding on a pharmacy tech online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Aliso Viejo pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Aliso Viejo CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may 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 essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online school you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, 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 may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

After you have determined whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to pick from in the Aliso Viejo CA area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Aliso Viejo home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other variables that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and vocational 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Aliso Viejo CA pharmacies 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 every state, but many employers prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician school needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This requirement can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the colleges have a working relationship with Aliso Viejo CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first job in Aliso Viejo CA after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Aliso Viejo CA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Aliso Viejo CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Aliso Viejo CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Aliso Viejo, California

Aliso Viejo is a city in the San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County, California. It had a population of 47,823 as of the 2010 census, up from 40,166 as of the 2000 census. It became Orange County's 34th city on July 1, 2001, the only city in Orange County to be incorporated since 2000. It is bordered by the cities of Laguna Beach on the west and southwest, Laguna Hills on the east, Laguna Niguel on the southeast, and Laguna Woods on the north.

The planned community of Aliso Viejo's original 6,600 acres were once part of the 26,000-acre Moulton Ranch, owned by the Moulton family, who took title in the 1890s to land originally granted to Juan Avila by the Mexican government in 1842. Over the years, portions of the ranch were sold and became Leisure World, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel. In 1976, the Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres to create a new planned community – Aliso Viejo – with a master plan for 20,000 homes for a planned population of 50,000. The master plan was approved by the Orange County in 1979, and homes were first offered for sale in March 1982. Aliso Viejo's first family moved in that November. As part of the project, 2,600 acres were dedicated to Orange County as part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and 800 acres were set aside for local parks, recreation, schools and community facilities. The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) was set up to manage the local parks and community open space. It was the first community-wide association of its kind in California and has the unique ability to provide a full-range of community services and facilities.[8]

Aliso Viejo was the first planned community in California to plan a balance between the projected resident work force and the number of projected jobs within its borders. Pacific Park, the centrally located 900-acre business park and town center, was expected to ultimately provide more than 22,000 jobs. Every home in Aliso Viejo was located about 1 1/2 miles from Pacific Park, to encourage live-and-work opportunities.[8]

Choose the Best Pharmacist Tech Degree Program Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA corner drugstoreReceiving the best pharmacist technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is offered by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech colleges include both classroom and clinical work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our additional suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Aliso Viejo CA.

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    South Marina Pharmacy
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