Pharmacy Technician College Degree Altadena CA

How to Enroll In the Right Pharmacist Tech Training Program near Altadena California

Altadena CA pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy technician certificate or degree near Altadena CA, you might be thinking about just how to choose the right program 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 start by searching for schools that are within commuting distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While tuition and location are critical concerns when choosing a college, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including reputation and accreditation should be considered also. And if you prefer studying at home by means of your computer instead of in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online school will also be part of your vetting process. We will address these qualifiers and others that you will need 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 advantages of online classes.

The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

Altadena CA pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have many job duties, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Because they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must work under the supervision of a licensed Altadena CA pharmacist. They must also have good customer service abilities because they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medications per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have an extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terms so that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical literature and information. However, under no circumstance should they ever provide medical advice regarding prescriptions or anything else. All such questions should be handled by the pharmacist. Several of the common daily duties a pharmacy tech might perform are:

  • Welcome and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist direction
  • Add customer and prescription information into pharmacy computer system
  • Phone customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Complete and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Stock shelves and audit and control inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians 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 sometimes having to work after hours is an extremely fulfilling career helping people with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degree Programs

local Altadena CA drugstoreStudents desiring to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two alternatives to becoming a tech regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to earn a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be completed in a year or less. These programs offer an introduction to the various elements of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also include an internship at {an approved|an accepted Altadena CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which generally requires about 2 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 provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Tech Online Colleges

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Altadena CABefore selecting a pharmacist tech online school, it’s important to understand that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be carried out in a clinical environment. This is typically fulfilled in a local Altadena pharmacy or hospital by means of an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under a seasoned pharmacy tech so as to acquire some real world experience. However the balance or non-clinical training may be taken over the internet in your Altadena CA home or via any available computer. This alternative is more practical for most students, particularly for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online colleges are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and expenditures for commuting and course materials may be decreased significantly. With both the clinical and the online training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing certification and employment (more on accreditation later). So verify that each online program you are looking at is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to study with a less structured form of education, then online training may be the ideal solution for you.

Pharmacist Technician Certifications Offered

Certification is not required in all states, but a large number of graduates of pharmacy technician schools opt to get certified in order to be more qualified in the job market. Also, a number of Altadena CA employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are 2 organizations that offer certification:

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

The NHA requires that the candidate be 18 years or older, be a high school graduate, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of work experience. The PTCB just requires that the applicant has a high school diploma and passes their examination. Recertification is called for every 2 years by each program, which can be fulfilled by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

What to Ask Pharmacy Tech Schools

Questions to ask Altadena CA pharmacy tech schoolsOnce you have determined whether you would like to attain a degree or a certificate, and if you prefer to enroll in an online program or attend classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are numerous pharmacy technician schools to choose from in the Altadena CA area and throughout the Country, so you must develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast colleges and technical schools. As we discussed in our introduction, you will undoubtedly initially look for schools that are within both your financial budget and driving distance from your Altadena home. If you are able to move or are going to enroll in an online pharmacy tech school, then location may not be critical. But there are several other variables that you must take into consideration in order to properly compare schools. The following questions will assist you to gather that information and help you to make your final decision.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Most pharmacist tech programs and trade schools have obtained a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Programs earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a complete quality education. Online programs may additionally obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals only with online or distance learning. Make sure to verify that the degree or certificate program as well as the school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with helping ensure that you receive a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the program of training is accredited. And many Altadena CA pharmacies will only hire entry level employees that have graduated from an accredited program.

Does the School Prep You for Certification? Certification is not mandated in every state, but many employers desire that the techs they hire are certified. The pharmacy tech school needs to ready its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students planning on obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of job experience. This qualification can be met by entering a school sponsored internship program.

Does the College Offer Internship Programs? As we just covered, the NHA mandates a year of experience for certification, which can be fulfilled by means of an internship program. Perhaps the best way to get practical clinical experience as a pharmacy technician is to train 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 meet the requirement. Find out if the programs have a working relationship with Altadena CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the School Offer Job Placement Assistance? Finding that initial position in Altadena CA upon graduation, particularly with no prior experience, can be a difficult endeavor without some support. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs. If they do, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher job placement rate is an indication that the school has a good reputation within the field generating demand for its graduates. It also indicates that it has a sizable network of pharmacy relationships where it can refer graduates.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Altadena CA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the pharmacy tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Altadena CA area, make sure that they are offered. 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Attending a Altadena CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Altadena, California

Altadena is an unincorporated[3] area[4] and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) from the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center, and directly north of the city of Pasadena, California. The population was 42,777 at the 2010 census, up from 42,610 at the 2000 census.

In the mid-1860s, Benjamin Eaton first developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon to irrigate his vineyard near the edge of Eaton Canyon. This made possible the development of Altadena, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. He did the construction for B. D. Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual, about 14,000 acres (57 km2), that was the future sites of these three communities. They hoped to develop and sell this land in a real estate plan called the San Pasqual Plantation. Their efforts failed by 1870, despite Eaton's irrigation ditch that drew water from the site of present-day Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Arroyo Seco. They had failed because the land was relatively inaccessible and few believed crops could thrive that close to the mountains.

Eaton tried to sell the land for the partners, and in late 1873 he helped broker a deal with Daniel Berry, who represented a group of investors from Indiana, to buy 4,000 acres (16 km2) of the rancho. This included the land of present-day Altadena, but they developed a 2,500 acres (10 km2) section further south as Pasadena. In 1881, the land that would later become Altadena was sold to John and Fred Woodbury, brothers who launched the subdivision of Altadena in 1887. The land remained primarily agricultural, though several eastern millionaires built mansions along Mariposa Street, and a small community developed through the 1890s and into the next century.

In 1880, Capt. Frederick Woodbury, and his brother, John Woodbury of Marshalltown, Iowa, purchased 937 acres (3.79 km2) known as the Woodbury Ranch. John Woodbury established the Pasadena Improvement Company in 1887, with a plot plan of residential development referred to as the Woodbury Subdivision. They contacted Byron O. Clark, who established a nursery in the foothills in 1875, and had since moved away. He called his nursery "Altadena Nursery", a name he coined from the Spanish "alta" meaning "upper", and "dena" from Pasadena. Woodbury asked if he could use the name "Altadena" for his subdivision and Clark agreed.

Get Information on Pharmacy Technician College Degree Altadena CA

Altadena CA pharmacy stocked medicationsReceiving the ideal pharmacist technician training is a crucial first step to launching your career in a gratifying occupation where helping people with their wellness is your objective. In the past, most pharmacist technicians were trained “on the job”. Nowadays, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and much prefer to hire formally trained technicians. Training is provided by trade schools, vocational and technical colleges, as well as community colleges. A large number of pharmacist tech schools include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important to select a college that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This is true both for classes online and for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Pharmacy Technician College Degree. But if you follow our other suggestions you will be able to compare schools so that you are certain to make the best choice. With the right education and determination you can reach your goal to become a pharmacy tech in Altadena CA.

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