Best Pharmacy Technician Schools Chico CA

How to Pick the Right Pharmacist Tech Program near Chico California

Chico CA pharmacy tech counting pillsHaving made the decision to attain your pharmacy tech degree or certificate near Chico CA, you might be thinking about just how to select the ideal school to get your education and training. Naturally the initial step is to locate colleges that offer the degree or certificate that you are interested in. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges that are within driving distance of their home, and then comparing the cost. While cost and location are significant factors when picking a school, they are not the sole ones. Qualifications including accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. And if you prefer attending classes in your home in front of your computer rather than in a classroom, then searching for an accredited online college will also be part of your vetting process. We will cover these qualifiers and others that you will need to include when comparing pharmacy technician schools. But to begin with, let’s take a look at what a pharmacy tech does, the certificate and degree options available, and the benefits of online classes.

The Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Chico CA pharmacy technician filling prescriptionPharmacy technicians have multiple job functions, but their primary duty is to dispense prescription medications. Since they are not licensed, when dispensing prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Chico CA pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be interacting directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be precise when filling prescription medicines per the pharmacist’s directions. And they must have a comprehensive knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in order that they can assist customers with understanding directions for their medications as well as other pharmaceutical literature and information. On the other hand, under no situation should they ever offer medical advice pertaining to medications or anything else. All such questions should be addressed by the pharmacist. Several of the typical daily tasks a pharmacy technician might perform are:

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

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy techs will spend the majority 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 a very fulfilling career assisting people with their health and wellness.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees and Diplomas

local Chico CA drugstoreStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician school are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalent. There are essentially two options to training to be a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a vocational school. The first is to earn a diploma or a certificate, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an introduction to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and usually include lab and classroom training. Numerous programs also require an internship at {an approved|an accepted Chico CA pharmacy or similar facility. The second alternative is the Associate Degree program which normally requires about 2 years of studies. Although not needed for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more extensive education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program should furnish the proper level of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam should the graduate decide to get certified.

Pharmacist Technician Online Programs

woman attending online pharmacy technician school in Chico CAPrior to selecting a pharmacy technician online training program, it’s necessary to understand that the majority of schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is typically satisfied in an area Chico pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students often will have the opportunity to work with an experienced pharmacy tech in order to obtain some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed over the internet in your Chico CA home or via any available computer. This option is more convenient for many students, especially for those who continue to work while attaining their certificate or degree. And online schools are sometimes more affordable than classroom options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be decreased substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is offered. But not all online schools are accredited, which is important for obtaining employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online program you are considering is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are disciplined enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online classes may be the ideal solution for you.

Pharmacy Tech Certification Options

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy tech colleges opt to become certified so as to be more competitive in the job market. Additionally, many Chico CA employers will only employ a tech that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide 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 one or more years of professional experience. The PTCB just requires that the candidate has graduated high school and passes their exam. Recertification is called for every 2 years by both programs, which may be satisfied by completing 20 hours of continuing education.

Points to Ask Pharmacy Tech Programs

Questions to ask Chico CA pharmacy tech schoolsAfter you have decided whether you want to attain a certificate or degree, and if you want to enroll in an online college or go to classes on campus, you can start to narrow your school options. There are a large number of pharmacy tech programs to select from in the Chico CA area and throughout the United States, so you should develop a list of qualifying questions so that you can contrast community colleges and trade schools. As we covered in our introduction, you will most likely initially look for programs that are within both your financial resources and commuting distance from your Chico 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 a number of other factors that you should take into consideration so that you may effectively compare programs. The following questions will assist you in collecting that information and help you to make your ultimate selection.

Is the Pharmacy Technician Program Accredited? Many pharmacist technician programs and vocational schools have earned a regional or national accreditation. Among the most respected accrediting organizations is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Colleges earning accreditation from the ASHP have been screened and certified to provide a comprehensive superior education. Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which deals solely with online or distance education. Be sure to check that the degree or certificate program together with the school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education sanctioned accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, it might help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, certification might mandate that the training program is accredited. And many Chico CA pharmacies 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 employers prefer that the technicians they hire be certified. The pharmacist technician school needs to prepare its students to pass the PTCB or the NHA examination. Students interested in obtaining NHA certification will additionally need one year of professional experience. This qualification may be fulfilled by participating in a college sponsored internship program.

Does the School Offer Internship Programs? As we just discussed, the NHA mandates 1 year of experience for certification, which can be satisfied with an internship program. One of the best ways to get 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 fulfill the requirement. Find out if the programs have associations with Chico CA area pharmacies, hospitals, or clinics for internship programs.

Does the College Provide Job Placement Help? Securing that initial position in Chico CA upon graduation, particularly with no professional experience, can be a challenging undertaking without any help. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high job placement rate is an indication that the college has a good reputation within the profession creating demand for its graduates. It also signifies that it has a large network of pharmacy contacts where it can refer graduates.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Chico CA residence. Students who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the pharmacist tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chico CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Attending a Chico CA Pharmacy Tech School?

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

Chico, California

Chico is the most populous city in Butte County, California, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 86,187, reflecting an increase of 26,233 from the 59,954 counted in the 2000 Census. The city is the cultural, economic, and educational center of the northern Sacramento Valley and home to both California State University, Chico and Bidwell Park, the country's 26th largest municipal park and the 13th largest municipally-owned park.[12] Bidwell Park makes up over 17% of the city.

Other cities in close proximity to the Chico Metropolitan Area (population 212,000) include Paradise and Oroville, while local towns and villages (unincorporated areas) include Durham, Cohasset, Dayton, Nord, and Forest Ranch. The Chico Metropolitan Area is the 14th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area in California.

The original inhabitants of the area now known as Chico were the Mechoopda Maidu Native Americans. The City of Chico was founded in 1860 by John Bidwell, a member of one of the first wagon trains to reach California in 1843. During the American Civil War, Camp Bidwell (named for John Bidwell, by then a Brigadier General of the California Militia), was established a mile outside Chico, by Lt. Col. A. E. Hooker with a company of cavalry and two of infantry, on August 26, 1863.

By early 1865 it was being referred to as Camp Chico when a post called Camp Bidwell was established in northeast California, later to be Fort Bidwell.[14] The city became incorporated January 8, 1872.

Get Information on Best Pharmacy Technician Schools Chico CA

Chico CA pharmacy stocked medicationsReceiving the right pharmacist tech training is a crucial first step to starting your career in a fulfilling occupation where helping people with their health is your mission. Traditionally, many pharmacist technicians were taught “on the job”. These days, most pharmacies can no longer operate this way and place a higher importance on hiring formally trained techs. Training is offered by technical colleges, vocational and trade schools, as well as community colleges. The majority of pharmacist tech programs include both laboratory and classroom training. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important to select a school that is accredited and will prep you for certification. This applies both for classes online as well as for those attended on campus. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Best Pharmacy Technician Schools. But if you follow our additional tips you will be able to compare schools so that you are sure to make the best selection. With the appropriate training and dedication you can reach your goal to become a pharmacist technician in Chico CA.

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