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Pharmacy Technician Schools | Get Your Certificate or Degree – Yucca Valley CA

How to Select a Pharmacy Tech Training Program near Yucca Valley 92284

Yucca Valley CA pharmacy tech preparing prescriptionHaving decided to earn your pharmacy technician degree or certificate near Yucca Valley CA, you may be thinking about just how to pick the right college to get your education and training. Usually the initial step is to find colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. Many potential students begin by looking for schools that are within commuting distance of their residence, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical factors when selecting a school, they are not the only ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer as opposed to in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online program will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifications and some others that you will want 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 Role of a Pharmacy Tech

Yucca Valley CA pharmacy technician dispensing medsPharmacy technicians have various job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must operate under the management of a licensed Yucca Valley 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 medicines per the pharmacist’s instructions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no situation should they ever provide medical advice regarding medications or anything else. Any such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily functions a pharmacy technician might carry out are:

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

Due to the nature of their profession, pharmacy techs will spend most of their working day standing. And working weekends and evenings is also typical, especially for newer technicians with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career assisting people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees

Yucca Valley CA pharmacy medication supply shelvesStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician program are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two alternatives to training to be a technician whether you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be finished in a year or less. These programs present an introduction to the various aspects of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include classroom and lab training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Yucca Valley CA pharmacy or other facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about two years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does provide a more extensive education and can lead to more advanced positions or education in the future. Either program can provide the necessary level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate choose to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Yucca Valley CA employers will only hire a tech that is certified. There are two organizations that offer certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

The NHA requirements are that the applicant be at least 18 years old, be a high school graduate, has finished a training program, and has one or more years of work experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every two years by each program, which may be met by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Programs Online

woman attending pharmacy tech school online in Yucca Valley CAPrior to selecting a pharmacy technician online college, it’s important to realize that the majority of schools do require a portion of the training be carried out in a clinical setting. This is usually satisfied in a local Yucca Valley pharmacy or health center through 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 can be taken over the internet in your Yucca Valley CA home or via any available computer. This option is more accommodating for many students, especially for those who continue to work while earning their degree or certificate. And online colleges are frequently more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and expenditures for driving and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online programs are accredited, which is important for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online school you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online classes might be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Pharmacist Tech Schools

After you have determined whether you wish to earn a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online college or attend classes on campus, you can begin to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacist tech schools to select from in the Yucca Valley CA area and throughout the Country, so you need to develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can compare colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for colleges that are within both your financial budget and commuting distance from your Yucca Valley home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech program, then location may not be important. But there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare schools. The following questions will help you to gather that information and help you to make your final choice.

Is the Pharmacist Tech College Accredited? The majority of pharmacist technician colleges and vocational schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and verified to furnish a comprehensive quality education. Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with distance or online education. Make sure to check that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might require that the program of training is accredited. And many Yucca Valley CA employers will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the Program Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in all states, but a number of pharmacies desire that the technicians they employ are certified. The pharmacist tech school needs to prepare its students to pass the NHA or the PTCB examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will also need one year of work experience. This qualification may be satisfied by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the College Sponsor Internship Programs? As we previously discussed, the NHA requires a year of professional experience for certification, which can be fulfilled through an internship program. One of the best ways to obtain practical clinical experience as a pharmacy tech is to train 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 satisfy the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Yucca Valley CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Help? Securing that initial job in Yucca Valley CA upon graduation, particularly with no experience, can be a daunting undertaking without any assistance. Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 an excellent reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Yucca Valley CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the pharmacy tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Yucca Valley CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Yucca Valley CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Yucca Valley, California

Yucca Valley is an incorporated town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 20,700 as of the 2010 census. Yucca Valley lies 17 miles (27 km) west of Twentynine Palms, 27 miles (43 km) north of Palm Springs, 62 miles (100 km) south of Barstow via State Route 247, 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Lucerne Valley and 55 miles (89 km) east of San Bernardino.

Bordered in the west by the San Bernardino Mountains and in the south by the Joshua Tree National Park, the Yucca Valley community is located in the Mojave Desert at roughly 3,300 feet (1,000 m) above sea level.

Yucca Valley contracts its police and public safety services from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Fire suppression and ambulance services are provided by the San Bernardino County Fire Department and Cal Fire.

Pick the Ideal Pharmacy Technician Degree Program Yucca Valley CA

Yucca Valley CA corner drugstoreFinding the ideal pharmacy tech training is an important first step to starting your career in a rewarding occupation where assisting customers with their health is your objective. In the past, many pharmacy technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most employers can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally educated techs. Training is provided by vocational and trade schools, technical colleges as well as community colleges. Most pharmacist tech programs incorporate both clinical and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s necessary to choose a program that is accredited and will ready you for certification. This is true both for online classes and for those attended on campus. And if you follow our other tips you will be able to evaluate colleges so that you are certain to make the ideal choice. With the proper education and determination you can realize your goal to become a pharmacist tech in Yucca Valley CA.

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