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

How to Enroll In a Pharmacist Technician School near Cerritos 90703

Cerritos CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Cerritos CA, you may be pondering how to choose the best school to receive your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you are interested in. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are critical factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in your home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be included in your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s discuss what a pharmacy tech does, the degree and certification options available, and the advantages of online classes.

The Job of a Pharmacy Tech

Cerritos CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have various job responsibilities, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Cerritos CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they can help customers with understanding instructions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice relating to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily duties a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Input customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or sometimes having to work after hours is a very satisfying career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Diplomas and Degrees

Cerritos CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally 2 options to training to be a tech whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which normally can be finished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Cerritos CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Available

Certification is not required in every state, but numerous graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Cerritos CA pharmacies will only hire a technician that is certified. 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, has graduated from high school, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be satisfied by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Colleges

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Cerritos CABefore selecting a pharmacy tech online school, it’s important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is usually fulfilled in an area Cerritos pharmacy or health center by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Cerritos CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and expenses for commuting and course materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that any online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician 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 go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy technician colleges to select from in the Cerritos CA area and throughout the United States, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and trade schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will probably first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Cerritos home. If you are able to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare programs. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacist Technician Program Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have earned a national or regional accreditation. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive quality education. Online colleges may also receive 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 as well as the college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And a number of Cerritos CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not required in every state, but numerous pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires a year of experience for certification, which may be satisfied by means of an internship program. One of the best ways to get practical 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 a great way to fulfill the requirement. Check if the schools have associations with Cerritos CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Finding that first position in Cerritos CA upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are researching 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 profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Cerritos CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the pharmacist technician school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cerritos CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Cerritos CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Cerritos, California

Cerritos (Spanish for little hills), formerly named Dairy Valley because of the preponderance of dairy farms in the area, is an affluent suburban city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of several cities that constitute the Gateway Cities of southeast Los Angeles County. It was incorporated on April 24, 1956. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,041.[6] It is part of the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, California Metropolitan Statistical Area designated by the Office of Management and Budget.

Cerritos was originally inhabited by Native Americans belonging to the Tongva (or "People of the Earth"). Later, the Tongva would be renamed the "Gabrieleños" by the Spanish settlers after the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcangel. The Gabrieleños were the largest group of Southern California Indians as well as the most developed in the region.[8] The Gabrieleños lived off the land, deriving food from the animals or plants that could be gathered, snared or hunted, and grinding acorns as a staple.[8]

Beginning in the late 15th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the New World and worked their way to the California coast in 1542. The colonization process included "civilizing" the native populations in California by means of establishing various missions. Soon afterwards, a town called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (Los Angeles today) would be founded and prosper with the aid of subjects from New Spain and Native American labor.[8]

Select the Right Pharmacist Technician Training Program Cerritos CA

Cerritos CA corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting people with their wellness is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacy technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most employers can no longer afford to do this and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacy tech colleges incorporate both classroom and clinical training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true 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 sure to make the best choice. With the right education and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Cerritos CA.

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