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

How to Pick a Pharmacist Tech Course near Chatsworth 91311

Chatsworth CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving made the decision to earn your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Chatsworth CA, you might be wondering how to select the ideal college to get your education and training. Of course the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or diploma that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by searching for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when deciding on a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be evaluated also. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then finding an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will go over these qualifiers and some 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 certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Job of Pharmacy Technicians

Chatsworth CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have multiple job responsibilities, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Chatsworth CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they may assist customers with understanding directions for their medications in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. Some of the regular daily functions a pharmacy technician may perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription medications under pharmacist supervision
  • Input 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
  • Stock shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, especially for newer technicians with lower seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degree Programs

Chatsworth CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are essentially two alternatives to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and normally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Chatsworth CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which normally involves about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does provide a more comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools opt to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Chatsworth CA employers will only hire a tech that has earned certification. 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 one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Chatsworth CABefore selecting a pharmacy technician online college, it’s necessary to realize that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in an area Chatsworth pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to acquire some work place experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training can be taken online in your Chatsworth CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for most students, especially for those who keep working while acquiring their certificate or degree. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online programs are accredited, which is essential for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you prefer to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school alternatives. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to select from in the Chatsworth CA area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and trade schools. As we addressed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Chatsworth residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other issues that you need to consider in order to properly compare programs. The questions below will help you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacy Tech Program Accredited? Many pharmacy technician colleges and vocational schools have acquired a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to offer a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Don’t forget to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, it may help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the training program is accredited. And many Chatsworth CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the School Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the techs they hire be certified. The pharmacist tech college should prep its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB exam. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of work experience. This requirement can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA requires 1 year of professional experience for certification, which may be satisfied with an internship program. Perhaps the best way to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train out in the field. Most pharmacy tech degree or certificate programs also require practical training prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to satisfy the requirement. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Chatsworth CA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Provide Job Placement Assistance? Getting that initial position in Chatsworth CA after graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging endeavor without some support. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has an excellent reputation within the profession generating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Chatsworth CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 bear 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the pharmacist tech school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chatsworth CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Chatsworth CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Chatsworth, Los Angeles

The area was home to Native Americans, some of whom left caves containing rock art. Chatsworth was explored and colonized by the Spanish beginning in the 18th century. The land was part of a Mexican land grant in the 19th century, and after the United States took over the land following the Mexican–American War, it was the largest such grant in California. Settlement and development followed.[citation needed]

Chatsworth has seven public and eight private schools. There are large open-space and smaller recreational parks as well as a public library and a transportation center. Distinctive features are the former Chatsworth Reservoir and the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

The 2000 U.S. census counted 35,073 residents in the 15.24-square-mile Chatsworth neighborhood, or 2,301 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for both the city and the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 37,102. In 2000 the median age for residents was 40, considered old for city and county neighborhoods; the percentages of residents aged 35 and older were among the county's highest.[2]

Pick the Right Pharmacy Technician School Chatsworth CA

Chatsworth CA corner drugstoreReceiving the right pharmacy tech training is a crucial first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, most pharmacist techs were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer afford to do this 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 pharmacy technician colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to enroll in a program that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you make use of our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are sure to make the ideal choice. With the proper training and commitment you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Chatsworth CA.

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