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

How to Select a Pharmacist Tech College near Castaic 91310

Castaic CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Castaic CA, you may be thinking about just how to select the ideal program to receive your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find schools that offer the certificate or degree that you would like to earn. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer rather than in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some 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 diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online courses.

The Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Castaic CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have numerous job functions, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Castaic CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech may perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their medications are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most 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 at times being required to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Certificates and Degrees

Castaic CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially 2 alternatives to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Castaic CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about two 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 down the road. Each program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy technician programs opt to get certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Also, many Castaic CA pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. There are two organizations that provide 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 at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Castaic CAPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of programs do require a portion of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in a local Castaic pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the balance or non-clinical training may be taken online in your Castaic CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for most students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and course materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is critical for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online college you are reviewing is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

After you have determined whether you want to obtain 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 alternatives. There are a large number of pharmacist technician colleges to choose from in the Castaic CA area and throughout the USA, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Castaic home. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are many other factors that you should consider so that you may adequately compare schools. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate choice.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Castaic CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Ready You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers prefer that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacist technician school should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This condition can be satisfied by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of professional experience for certification, which may be met with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to acquire hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy technician degree or certificate programs also require clinical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Castaic CA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Finding that initial job in Castaic CA upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting task without some assistance. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indicator that the college has a good reputation within the field creating demand for its graduates. It also means that it has a sizable network of employer contacts where it can refer graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Castaic CA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind 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 typically 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.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching 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 a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacy technician program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Castaic CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Castaic CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Castaic, California

Castaic, California (also spelled Castec,[3] or Kashtiq;[4] pronunciation is a source of contention between older and newer residents, see below) is an unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is 41.7 miles (67.1 km) northwest of Los Angeles Union Station and due north of the city of Santa Clarita, California.[5]

On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning "eyes" or "wet spot." Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake (Tejon Ranch), which is intermittently wet and briny.[6]

Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction".[7][8] Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted the new spelling, Castaic.[9][10]

Enroll in the Best Pharmacist Technician Training Program Castaic CA

Castaic CA corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy tech training is an important first step to launching your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. In the past, many pharmacist techs were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacy tech schools include both classroom and clinical work. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential 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 make use of our additional suggestions you will be able to compare colleges so that you are certain to make the right choice. With the appropriate training and dedication you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Castaic CA.

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