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

How to Enroll In a Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Brentwood 94513

Brentwood CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Brentwood CA, you might be thinking about how to pick the best college to receive your education and training. Usually the first step is to find schools that offer the degree or diploma that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical concerns when deciding on a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer studying in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and 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 degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Brentwood CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job duties, but their primary responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Brentwood CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service skills since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice concerning prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

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

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer techs with lower seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work after hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

Brentwood CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Brentwood CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to get certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Brentwood CA pharmacies will only hire a tech that is certified. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Schools Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Brentwood CABefore selecting a pharmacy tech online college, it’s important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be completed in a clinical setting. This is typically fulfilled in a local Brentwood pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under a seasoned pharmacy technician in order to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Brentwood CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for most students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and expenses 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 schools are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college 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 learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Once you have decided whether you would like 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 target your school options. There are numerous pharmacist technician schools to select from in the Brentwood CA area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and vocational schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Brentwood home. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician College Accredited? Many pharmacist tech colleges and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among 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 provide a complete superior education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program as well as the college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And a number of Brentwood 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 required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech college needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is a great way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Brentwood CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that first position in Brentwood CA after graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult task without any help. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the school has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a substantial network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Brentwood CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brentwood CA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Brentwood CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Brentwood, California

Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.[8]

Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.

Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Marsh was one of the wealthiest men in California and was instrumental in its becoming independent from Mexico and part of the United States. His letters extolling the potential for agriculture in California were published in newspapers throughout the East. They resulted in the first wagon trains to California. Marsh encouraged this, and allowed new arrivals to stay on his ranch until they could get settled. Rancho Los Meganos became the terminus of the California Trail.[9] Brentwood was named after Marsh's ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.[10]

Pick the Right Pharmacist Technician Degree Program Brentwood CA

Brentwood CA corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy technician training is an important first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, most pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist technician programs include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to choose a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the ideal selection. With the proper training and dedication you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy tech in Brentwood CA.

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