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

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech Program near Clayton 94517

Clayton CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have decided to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Clayton CA, you may be thinking about how to pick the ideal school to receive your education and training. Of course the first step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by looking for schools that are within driving distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While cost and location are significant factors when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. And if you prefer studying at home by means 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 qualifications and some others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But first, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Job of Pharmacy Techs

Clayton CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have many job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the management of a licensed Clayton CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be absolute when preparing prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology so that they may help customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no situation should they ever give medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily tasks a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

  • Welcome and assist customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist guidance
  • Input prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their prescriptions are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and control inventory

Due to the nature of their job, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings 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 an extremely satisfying career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Clayton CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesIndividuals wishing to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically two options to becoming a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include lab and classroom training. Many programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Clayton CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Each program should provide the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate choose to get certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Offered

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified so as to be more qualified when seeking employment. Also, many Clayton CA pharmacies will only employ a tech 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 applicant be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every 2 years by both programs, which can be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacy Technician Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Clayton CAPrior to selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to realize that the majority of programs do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is usually fulfilled in an area Clayton pharmacy or health center through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the benefit of working under an experienced pharmacy tech in order to acquire some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training can be accessed online in your Clayton CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online schools are often more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenses for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is essential for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes might be the right solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacist Technician Schools

After you have decided whether you would like to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online program or go to classes on campus, you can start to target your school options. There are numerous pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Clayton CA area and throughout the USA, so you should create a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will undoubtedly first start looking for schools that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Clayton residence. If you are willing to relocate or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech college, then location may not be important. But there are several other issues that you must take into consideration in order to adequately compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician School Accredited? The majority of pharmacy technician programs and vocational schools have obtained a national or regional 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 offer a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may additionally earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance education. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it can help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may require that the training program is accredited. And many Clayton CA pharmacies 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 required in all states, but numerous pharmacies prefer that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need 1 year of work experience. This qualification may be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

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

Does the College Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first job in Clayton CA after graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the school has an excellent reputation within the profession creating appeal for its graduates. It also means that it has a large network of employer relationships where it can place graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Clayton CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacist technician school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clayton CA area, verify 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Clayton CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Clayton, California

In 1857, the town of Clayton was laid out and founded by Joel Henry Clayton (1812–1872) and his two younger brothers. Clayton was born in Bugsworth, now Buxworth, in the United Kingdom, and emigrated to the United States in 1837. After years in other states he settled down with his wife Margaret (1820–1908) at his town at the foot of Mount Diablo, where he and his family prospered. Clayton was named after Joel Henry Clayton, although only by the flip of a coin. Joel Clayton and Charles Rhine cofounded the town, and each wanted to name it after himself. If Charles had won it would have become Rhinesville, but Joel Clayton won. Joel and his wife Margaret both died in Clayton, and were buried in Live Oak Cemetery in what is now Concord, CA.[10]

Clayton prospered during the coal mining boom in eastern Contra Costa County. The post office opened in 1861.[11] Following a previous incorporation attempt in 1960, Clayton incorporated in 1964 [11] in order to stave off an annexation attempt in 1963 of the Cardinet Glen neighborhood by nearby Concord. After steady expansion during the 1970s to the east and west from its original boundaries, Clayton's land area more than doubled in 1987 to near its present-day boundaries with the annexations of the Dana Hills/Dana Ridge and Clayton Wood subdivisions, as well as the former Keller Ranch property that was developed during the 1990s with the Oakhurst Country Club.

On September 8, 2013, fire broke out on Mount Diablo. Called the Morgan Fire, it started at the mercury mine area of Morgan Territory Road. The fire grew quickly and threatened homes and livestock. Evacuations were ordered for several areas, including Oak Hill Lane and Curry Canyon. It took over 1000 firefighters and eight aircraft to extinguish it. Full containment was announced on September 14, 2013, having burned 1,259 ha (3,111 acres).[13]

Choose the Right Pharmacy Technician Program Clayton CA

Clayton CA corner drugstoreFinding the right pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a gratifying profession where helping customers with their health is your objective. Traditionally, many pharmacy techs were trained “on the job”. These days, the majority of employers can no longer afford to do this and place a higher importance on hiring formally educated technicians. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacy technician schools incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in a school that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This applies both for online classes as well as for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate programs so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the proper education and dedication you can achieve your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Clayton CA.

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