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

How to Select a Pharmacist Technician Program near Antioch 94509

Antioch CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Antioch CA, you may be thinking about just how to select the best program to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation need to be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy technician does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Antioch CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Antioch CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service skills because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever give medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily services a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

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

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times having to work after hours is a very gratifying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Certificates and Degrees

Antioch 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 a GED. There are essentially 2 options to becoming a tech regardless if 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 present an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Antioch CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam 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 programs choose to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Antioch CA employers will only hire a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which can be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Antioch CABefore deciding on a pharmacist tech online training program, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in an area Antioch pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to receive some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Antioch CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who keep working while attaining their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that any online program you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online classes might be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Schools

After you have decided whether you want to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacist tech programs to pick from in the Antioch CA area and throughout the USA, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Antioch residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other variables that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a comprehensive superior education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with online or distance education. Don’t forget to confirm that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Antioch CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacist technician program 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 can be satisfied by taking part in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be satisfied through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Ask if the colleges have associations with Antioch CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that first position in Antioch CA after graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a challenging undertaking without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job placement programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Antioch CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom 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 schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 verify that the pharmacist technician program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Antioch CA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Antioch CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Antioch, California

Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing,[11] and Marshs Landing[12]) is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census[13] and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.[8]

Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.[14]

In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.[15]

Enroll in the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Training Program Antioch CA

Antioch CA corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, most pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is provided by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech programs include both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential to choose a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes 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 sure to make the ideal selection. With the appropriate training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Antioch CA.

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