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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician Program near Calabasas 91302

Calabasas CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Calabasas CA, you might be pondering just how to pick the right school to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to locate schools that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of future students start by searching for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. And if you are interested in studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online courses.

The Responsibilities of Pharmacy Techs

Calabasas CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Calabasas CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. A few of the common daily duties a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit 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 technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Calabasas CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally 2 alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs present an overview to the different elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. Many programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Calabasas CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually takes about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician programs choose to become certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Also, a number of Calabasas 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 applicant be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has one or more years of professional 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 may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Colleges Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Calabasas CABefore choosing a pharmacist technician online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is commonly fulfilled in a local Calabasas pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician so as to receive some work place experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training can be taken online in your Calabasas CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online schools are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are reviewing is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance 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 may be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Technician Colleges

After you have determined whether you would like to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can begin to target your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Calabasas CA area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Calabasas home. If you are able to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you must take into consideration so that you may adequately compare colleges. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally earn 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 together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Calabasas CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but a number of employers desire that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition may be fulfilled by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires one year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician certificate or degree programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Check if the colleges have associations with Calabasas CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Securing that first position in Calabasas CA upon graduation, especially with no prior experience, can be a daunting task without some help. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good 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 graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Calabasas CA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacy technician school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Calabasas CA area, check that they are available. 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Calabasas CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Calabasas, California

Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu, California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,058, up from 20,033 at the 2000 census.[9] The city was formally incorporated in 1991.

It is generally accepted that the name of Calabasas is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin", "squash", or "gourd"[11] (cf. calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is derived from the Chumash word calahoosa which is said to mean "where the wild geese fly."[12] Owing to vast presence of wild squash plants in the area, the squash theory is more prevalent among local residents. At the top of the Calabasas grade, which is east of Las Virgenes Road on the original El Camino Real, legend has it that in 1824, a Basque rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagonload of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas—the place where the pumpkins fell.[13]

In honor of its namesake, the City of Calabasas and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hold an annual Pumpkin Festival in October, including carnival games, exhibits, demonstrations, and live entertainment. The festival has evolved from a small-town fair to a significant annual event. Though the current Pumpkin Festival is held at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas, the original festival was believed to have taken place where the traveling wagon carrying pumpkins overturned and started the area's first pumpkin patch.

Choose the Right Pharmacy Tech Program Calabasas CA

Calabasas CA corner drugstoreGetting the right pharmacist technician training is an important first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your purpose. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy technician schools include both laboratory and classromm training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online 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 certain to make the right selection. With the appropriate training and dedication you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Calabasas CA.

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