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

How to Choose a Pharmacist Tech School near Covina 91722

Covina CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionNow that you have made the decision to earn your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Covina CA, you might be pondering just how to pick the best school to receive your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many future students begin by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the tuitions. While tuition and location are critical concerns when choosing a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifiers including reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then finding an accredited online school 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 technician does, the certificate and degree options available, and the advantages of online programs.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Covina CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy techs have multiple job responsibilities, but their main responsibility is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must operate under the supervision of a licensed Covina CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription drugs per the pharmacist’s directions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical information and literature. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever give medical advice pertaining to prescriptions or anything else. All such questions would be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the common daily functions a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Greet and help customers with medications and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist guidance
  • Enter customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Contact customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend the majority of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is a very fulfilling career helping customers with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

Covina CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are basically 2 options to training to be a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which usually can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs offer an overview to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and typically include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Covina CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about two years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more expansive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program should furnish the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to get certified in order to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, a number of Covina CA pharmacies will only employ a technician 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 candidate be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is mandated every 2 years by each program, which may be met by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Covina CAPrior to deciding on a pharmacy technician online program, 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 commonly satisfied in an area Covina pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work with a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to receive some work place experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Covina CA home or via any available computer. This option is more practical for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their certificate or degree. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online school you are considering is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training might be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Pharmacist Technician Colleges

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a degree or a certificate, and if you want to enroll in an online school or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are many pharmacy tech schools to pick from in the Covina CA area and throughout the Country, so you must create a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare community colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial resources and driving distance from your Covina residence. If you are willing to relocate or are have decided to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other factors that you need to consider in order to adequately compare schools. The questions below will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacy tech programs and trade schools have acquired a national or regional accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Schools earning accreditation from the ASHP have been evaluated and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online learning. Don’t forget to check that the certificate or degree program in addition to the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. Besides helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it might help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Covina CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the College Prepare You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but numerous employers desire that the technicians they employ be certified. The pharmacy technician college needs to ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification can be met by taking part in a school 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 fulfilled through 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 prior to graduation and an internship is an excellent way to fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Covina CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Assistance? Finding that first position in Covina CA upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a difficult endeavor without any support. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the field creating appeal for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can place graduating students.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Covina CA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Covina CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Covina CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Covina, California

Covina is a city in Los Angeles County, California, about 22 miles (35 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley region. The population was 47,796 at the 2010 census, up from 46,837 at the 2000 census. The city's slogan, "One Mile Square and All There", was coined when the incorporated area of the city was only (some say slightly less than) one square mile.

Covina is often confused with West Covina which is actually larger in both area and population, located to its south and westside. Irwindale lies to the west, as well as the unincorporated area of Vincent, and the city of Baldwin Park. Azusa and Glendora are to the north, the unincorporated community of Charter Oak to the northeast, San Dimas to the east, the unincorporated areas of Ramona and Via Verde, and the city of Pomona to the southeast.

Present day Covina was originally within the homelands of the indigenous Tongva people for 5,000 to 8,000 years. In the 18th century it the became part of Rancho La Puente in Alta California, a 1770s Spanish colonial and 1842 Mexican land grants.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacist Tech School Covina CA

Covina CA corner drugstoreGetting the best pharmacy tech training is a critical first step to beginning your career in a fulfilling profession where helping customers with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech schools include both laboratory and classromm work. As we have covered in this article, it’s necessary to enroll in 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 evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the right selection. With the proper training and commitment you can reach your goal of becoming a pharmacist tech in Covina CA.

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