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

How to Choose a Pharmacy Technician Training Program near Cayucos 93430

Cayucos CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Cayucos CA, you may be pondering how to choose the right school to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the certificate or degree that you are interested in. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and 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 programs.

The Duties of Pharmacy Techs

Cayucos CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job duties, but their principal duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Cayucos CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the common daily services a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

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

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day standing. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes being required to work off-hours is an extremely gratifying career helping people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Training Programs

Cayucos CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are basically 2 options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be completed in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Cayucos CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally 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 level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy tech programs elect to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, a number of Cayucos CA pharmacies will only hire 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 work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by each program, which can be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Cayucos CAPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical environment. This is usually satisfied in an area Cayucos pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online in your Cayucos CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Technician 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 school or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacy tech schools to choose from in the Cayucos CA area and throughout the Country, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Cayucos home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be critical. But there are many other variables that you need to take into consideration in order to adequately compare colleges. The questions below will assist you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? Most pharmacy technician colleges and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it might assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the program of training is accredited. And many Cayucos CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the College Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the techs they employ be certified. The pharmacy tech program should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of job experience. This condition may be satisfied by entering a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Provide Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA mandates one year of job experience for certification, which may be fulfilled with an internship program. One of the best ways to get hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree 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 Cayucos CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Getting that initial position in Cayucos CA after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging task without any support. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indicator that the college has an excellent reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Cayucos CA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cayucos CA area, check 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Cayucos CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Cayucos, California

Cayucos is a census-designated place located on the coast in San Luis Obispo County, California along California State Route 1 between Cambria to the north and Morro Bay to the south. The population was 2,592 at the 2010 census, down from 2,943 at the 2000 census.

Prehistorically the local area was inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled the coastal San Luis Obispo area approximately 11,000 to 10,000 BC, including a large village to the south of Cayucos at Morro Creek.[4]

The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish PortolĂ  expedition, camped in the vicinity of today's Cayucos on September 9, 1769. Coming from the previous campsite near Morro Bay, Franciscan missionary and expedition member Juan Crespi noted in his diary that "In the four hours that we traveled, making at the most three leagues, we encountered eight arroyos by which the water from the mountains runs to the sea, along whose edge we traveled. We halted at the eighth watering place in a moderately broad valley, into which enters an estuary fed by an arroyo of good water coming from the mountains."[5] Crespi translator Herbert Bolton noted the camp location as Ellysley Creek (further along the coast to the northwest), but the description sounds more like Cayucos.

Enroll in the Best Pharmacy Technician Training Cayucos CA

Cayucos CA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacist tech training is a critical first step to starting your career in a fulfilling profession where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated techs. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech colleges include both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a school that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This holds 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 sure to make the ideal choice. With the right education and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Cayucos CA.

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