Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Baldwin Park CA

How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician School near Baldwin Park 91706

Baldwin Park CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Baldwin Park CA, you may be pondering how to select the ideal program to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are important concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be evaluated also. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means 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 address these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Function of a Pharmacy Technician

Baldwin Park CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Baldwin Park CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might perform are:

  • Receive and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Prepare prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Enter prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and monitor and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, especially for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work after hours is a very rewarding career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Baldwin Park CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Baldwin Park CA pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certification Options

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools choose to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Additionally, many Baldwin Park CA employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Baldwin Park CABefore deciding on a pharmacy technician online program, it’s important to understand that most programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in a local Baldwin Park pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Baldwin Park CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, 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 instruction might be the right option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you wish to attain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist tech programs to select from in the Baldwin Park CA area and throughout the USA, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Baldwin Park residence. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare programs. The questions below will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and verified to provide a complete superior education. Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Make sure to check 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 obtain a quality education, it may assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Baldwin Park 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 every state, but many pharmacies desire that the techs they employ are certified. The pharmacy tech college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be satisfied by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates a year of job experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy technician 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 a working relationship with Baldwin Park CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial job in Baldwin Park CA upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a daunting undertaking without some support. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of employer relationships where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Baldwin Park CA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Baldwin Park CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Baldwin Park CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Baldwin Park, California

Baldwin Park is a city located in the central San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,390, down from 75,837 at the 2000 census.

Baldwin Park began as part of cattle grazing land belonging to the San Gabriel Mission. It eventually became part of the Rancho Azusa de Dalton and the Rancho La Puente properties. The community became known as Vineland in 1860. By 1906 it changed to Baldwin Park. It was named after Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin. In 1956 Baldwin Park became the 47th incorporated city in the State of California. Currently the city is pushing to revitalize its economic base. There are six active Project Redevelopment Areas located in strategic areas of the city.

Projects within these redevelopment areas are as diverse, including high-quality senior housing, Home Depot, Starbucks, Harley Davidson, a transit oriented district (TOD) near the Metrolink Train Station and various other thriving businesses.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacy Technician Training Baldwin Park CA

Baldwin Park CA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both classroom and laboratory training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper training and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Baldwin Park CA.

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