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

How to Pick a Pharmacy Technician College near Calexico 92231

Calexico CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Calexico CA, you might be thinking about just how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are important concerns when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. And if you prefer 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 address these qualifications and others that you will need 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 benefits of online courses.

The Job of a Pharmacy Technician

Calexico CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the management of a licensed Calexico CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can help customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to medications or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Greet and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist direction
  • Input customer and prescription data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Diplomas

Calexico CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech school are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 alternatives to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Calexico CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which usually involves about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does offer a more expansive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program should provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to become certified so as to be more competitive when seeking employment. Also, a number of Calexico CA pharmacies will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that provide certification:

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

The NHA requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Programs

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Calexico CABefore selecting a pharmacist technician online training 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 typically fulfilled in a local Calexico pharmacy or hospital through 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 non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Calexico CA home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for most students, particularly for those who keep working while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials can be reduced significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online training may be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have determined whether you want to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech colleges to choose from in the Calexico CA area and throughout the Country, so you need to create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Calexico home. If you are willing to move or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be significant. But there are a number of other issues that you need to consider in order to effectively compare schools. The questions below will help you to gather that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech colleges and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional accreditation. One of the most respected 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 also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the certificate or degree program as well as the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification may mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Calexico CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician program needs to prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of professional experience. This requirement can be satisfied by taking part in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA requires 1 year of experience for certification, which may be met by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is a great way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Calexico CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Give Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Calexico CA after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult undertaking without some help. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs. If they do, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a substantial network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Calexico CA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Calexico CA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Calexico CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Calexico, California

Calexico is a city in Imperial County, California. The population was 38,572 at the 2010 census, up from 27,109 at the 2000 census. Calexico is about 122 miles (196 km) east of San Diego and 62 miles (100 km) west of Yuma, Arizona. The name of the city is a portmanteau of California and Mexico, which, like that of its adjacent sister city of Mexicali, emphasizes its identity as a border city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, at the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2), all land. Calexico is located 230 miles (370 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 125 miles (201 km) east of San Diego, 260 miles (420 km) west of Phoenix, and adjacent to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.

Calexico is served by State Routes 98, 7 and 111, with direct connection to Interstate 8 (5 miles north) and State Route 86. There are eighteen regular and irregular common carriers for intrastate and interstate truck service to Calexico.

Choose the Ideal Pharmacist Tech Program Calexico CA

Calexico CA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacist tech training is an important first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping people with their wellness is your purpose. Traditionally, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacists can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated technicians. Training is furnished by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist technician colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential to choose a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the right education and commitment you can accomplish your goal of becoming a pharmacy technician in Calexico CA.

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