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

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech School near Annapolis 95412

Annapolis CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Annapolis CA, you may be wondering just how to pick the ideal college to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to locate schools that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are significant concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifications and some others that you will need to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

Annapolis CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Annapolis CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily duties a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Add customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority 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 payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Annapolis CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished 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. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Annapolis CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program can furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Annapolis CA employers will only hire 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, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Classes Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Annapolis CABefore selecting a pharmacy technician online program, it’s important to understand that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Annapolis pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Annapolis CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the best solution for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

After you have determined whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacy technician programs to choose from in the Annapolis CA area and throughout the Country, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Annapolis residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you need to take into consideration so that you may properly compare schools. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacist Tech Program Accredited? Most pharmacy tech colleges and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Make sure to confirm that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it can assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Annapolis CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of pharmacies prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA requires one year of job experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree 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 Annapolis CA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Securing that initial position in Annapolis CA after graduation, especially with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Annapolis CA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? 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 undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the pharmacist tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Annapolis CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Annapolis CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Annapolis Valley

The Annapolis Valley is a valley and region in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It is located in the western part of the Nova Scotia peninsula, formed by a trough between two parallel mountain ranges along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. Statistics Canada defines the Annapolis Valley as an economic region, composed of Annapolis County, Kings County, and Hants County.

The valley measures approximately 126 kilometres (78 mi) in length from Digby and the Annapolis Basin in the west to Wolfville and the Minas Basin in the east, spanning the counties of Digby, Annapolis and Kings.

The steep face of basaltic North Mountain shelters the valley from the adjacent Bay of Fundy and rises over 260 metres (850 ft) in elevation near Lawrencetown.[2] The granitic South Mountain rises to a somewhat higher elevation and shelters the valley from the climate of the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 kilometres further south on the province's South Shore.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacist Technician College Annapolis CA

Annapolis CA corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacy techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech colleges include both classroom and laboratory training. As we have covered in this article, it’s important to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Annapolis CA.

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