Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Dana Point CA

How to Pick a Pharmacy Tech Course near Dana Point 92629

Dana Point CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy tech certificate or degree near Dana Point CA, you might be wondering how to pick the ideal program to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the diploma or degree that you would like to earn. A number of potential students start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant concerns when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifiers including accreditation and reputation must be considered also. And if you are interested in studying in your home in front of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be included in your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and some others that you will want to include when reviewing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy technician does, the diploma and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Duties of Pharmacy Technicians

Dana Point CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have numerous job duties, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Dana Point CA pharmacist. They must also have excellent customer service abilities because they will be dealing directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they need to have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they may help customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning medications or anything else. Any such questions should be directed to the pharmacist. A few of the regular daily functions a pharmacy tech might carry out are:

  • Receive and assist customers with medications and other questions
  • Dispense prescription medicines under pharmacist direction
  • Add prescription and customer information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their prescriptions are ready for pick-up
  • Fill out and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and monitor and control inventory

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy technicians will spend the majority of their working day on their feet. And working evenings and weekends is also typical, particularly for newer technicians with low seniority. But the reward for occasional tired and aching feet or occasionally having to work off-hours is an extremely satisfying career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Certificates

Dana Point CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy tech college are qualified provided that they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are generally two options to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the various facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Dana Point CA pharmacy or other 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 comprehensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education down the road. Either program can furnish the proper amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacist Technician Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in all states, but many graduates of pharmacy tech schools elect to become certified in order to be more qualified when seeking employment. Additionally, a number of Dana Point CA employers will only employ a tech that is certified. There are 2 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 finished a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has a high school diploma 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 Technician Online Classes

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Dana Point CAPrior to deciding on a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to understand that most programs do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically satisfied in a local Dana Point pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy technician in order to obtain some real world experience. However the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken over the internet in your Dana Point CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more accommodating for most students, especially for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the clinical and the online training, a complete education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for obtaining certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So confirm that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, for instance the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less supervised form of education, then online training may be the best solution for you.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Colleges

Once you have decided whether you wish to obtain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online school or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school alternatives. There are many pharmacist technician programs to select from in the Dana Point CA area and throughout the United States, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and technical schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely first start looking for colleges that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Dana Point 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 a number of other factors that you need to take into consideration so that you may effectively compare colleges. The following questions will help you in gathering that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Tech School Accredited? Most pharmacist 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to furnish a complete superior education. Online schools may additionally receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals exclusively with distance or online education. Be sure to verify that the certificate or degree program as well as the college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting agency. Along with helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it might assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, certification may mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Dana Point CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have earned a degree from an accredited school.

Does the Program Ready You for Certification? Certification is not required in all states, but a number of employers prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacy tech school should ready its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will also need 1 year of professional experience. This condition can be fulfilled by participating in a school sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we previously covered, the NHA mandates 1 year of professional experience for certification, which can be met through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain hands on clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to work out in the field. Most pharmacy tech certificate or degree programs also require practical training in order to graduate and an internship is an excellent way to meet the requirement. Find out if the colleges have associations with Dana Point CA area pharmacies, clinics, or hospitals for internship programs.

Does the School Give Job Placement Help? Getting that first job in Dana Point CA upon graduation, especially with no experience, can be a difficult task without any support. Ask if the schools 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 demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a substantial network of pharmacy relationships where it can place graduating students.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Dana Point CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within 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. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the pharmacist technician college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dana Point CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Dana Point CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Dana Point, California

Dana Point is a city located in southern Orange County, California. The population was 33,351 at the 2010 census. It has one of the few harbors along the Orange County coast, and with ready access via State Route 1, it is a popular local destination for surfing.

The city was named after the headland of Dana Point, which was in turn named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., author of Two Years Before the Mast, which included a description of the area. Dana described the locale, including neighboring San Juan Capistrano, as "the only romantic spot on the coast".[9] Although Dana described the anchorage as poor, it is now a developed harbor and contains a replica of his ship, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is used as a classroom by the Ocean Institute, which is located at the harbor. This area is designated California Historical Landmark #189.[8]

Dana Point was a popular port for ships involved with the hide trade with nearby Mission San Juan Capistrano. Trading reached its peak in the 1830s and 1840s. In 1818, Argentine sailor Hippolyte de Bouchard anchored there while conducting his raid on the mission. Richard Henry Dana then visited the area in 1835 while serving aboard the sailing brig Pilgrim on her voyage along the California coastline.[8]

Enroll in the Right Pharmacy Tech Training Program Dana Point CA

Dana Point CA corner drugstoreFinding the best pharmacy technician training is a critical first step to launching your career in a rewarding occupation where helping people with their wellness is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, the majority of pharmacists can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is furnished by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. Many pharmacist tech colleges incorporate both clinical and classroom work. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prepare you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to evaluate schools so that you are sure to make the best choice. With the appropriate education and determination you can accomplish your goal to become a pharmacy technician in Dana Point CA.

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