Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician Certification

Pharmacy Technician Program | Carson, CAPharmacy Technician is one of the hottest careers for those looking to join the healthcare industry. Pharmacies need Certified Pharmacy Technicians all over the country and this has led to many job opportunities opening up. Helping a pharmacist dispense prescription medication might seem like an easy task, but it requires immense precision and detail. Pharmacy Technicians ensure medications are filled correctly in a specified window of time. Pharmacy technicians work in department stores, grocery stores, and general merchandise stores, but the majority work at pharmacies, drug stores and hospitals. Unlike pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians are not the sole dispensers of medication. They mostly assist in measuring, mixing, counting and labeling dosages of medications. Also, Pharmacy Technicians don’t typically advise patients on proper medication dosages and side effects, the way a pharmacist might.There’s ample need for pharmaceutical-support professionals capable of filling prescription medications quickly and efficiently.

There’s a tremendous amount of demand for Pharmacy Technicians as the baby boomer population is aging and taking more and more medications, and with all the new prescription drugs that are being approved and consumed by people, there is a great amount of growth and increase in the pharmacy sector which will increase the need for Pharmacy Technicians.

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy Technicians are crucial to keeping a pharmacy running smoothly. A Pharmacy Technician, sometimes known as a pharmaceutical technician, is a health care provider who performs pharmacy-related functions, generally working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy Technicians work in a variety of locations (usually in community, retail, and hospital pharmacies), but can also work for long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, third-party insurance companies, computer software companies, or in government or teaching.Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals and other medical devices to patients and instructing on their use. They may also perform administrative duties in pharmaceutical practice, such as reviewing prescription requests with doctor’s offices and insurance companies to ensure correct medications are provided and payment is received. Pharmacy Technicians also speak directly with the patients on the phone to aid in the awareness of taking medications on time. The importance of Pharmacy Technicians within the pharmacy workforce has been amplified in recent years, largely as a reaction to pharmacist shortages, resulting in an increase in their numbers and responsibilities.

Pharmacy Technicians typically do the following:

  • Answer phone calls from customers and provide customer care and take messages for pharmacists.
  • Take the information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals.
  • Accurately and efficiently prepare prescription orders and package and label prescriptions.
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions and verify prescription information and dosage.
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies.
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process and submit insurance claims.
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system.
  • Provide quality customer service to patients and other healthcare providers.
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions or concerns about medications or a health matter.

Pharmacy Technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, Pharmacy Technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Pharmacy Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy Technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.Most Pharmacy Technicians work in retail settings, such as neighborhood pharmacies or grocery stores. There are also positions in hospitals, clinics and outpatient centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, mail-order pharmacies, telepharmacies, and nuclear pharmacies.

To work as a Pharmacy Technician in California, graduates must maintain a current registration/license. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board administers national certification exams. Certification is voluntary in most states, but is required by some states and employers. California only requires registration

. PT students must submit their application and live scan, along with all necessary documents, to the program director in order to register with the California State Board of Pharmacy. Students also must provide to CHAC their high school transcript and Practitioner Self-Query Report in sealed envelopes

for submittal to the pharmacy board. All requisite documents must be received by the program director no later than two weeks prior to starting externship or externship placement may be delayed

. CHAC covers the cost of the license, fingerprinting, and pictures. Please note the following:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of graduation from the PT program.
  2. Graduate from an accredited high school or acceptable equivalent, and produce two official copies of transcripts. (Please see your admissions advisor for what would qualify as an acceptable equivalent.)
  3. Graduate from a Pharmacy Technician program meeting the California Board of Pharmacy requirements.
  4. Complete the Live Scan Fingerprinting Service. (Live Scan is inkless electronic fingerprinting. The fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations (DOJ/FBI) for completion of a criminal record check.) The State of California will likely deny you registration if you have a felony conviction. Processing times may vary, depending on when the Board receives documents from schools, agencies, and other states or countries. The time to process an application indicating a prior conviction(s) may take longer than other applications. Delays may also occur with the fingerprint processing by the DOJ or FBI.
  5. Applicants must report any convictions or pleas of nolo contendere even if a subsequent order was issued that expunged or dismissed the criminal record under the provisions of § 1203.4 of the Penal Code. Applications may be denied for knowingly falsifying an application pursuant to § 480(c) of the Business and Professions Code.
  6. You may be denied a license if you:
    • Have a medical condition that in any way impairs or limits your ability to practice your profession with reasonable skill and safety without exposing others to significant health or safety risks.
    • Engage, or have engaged in the past two years, in the illegal use of controlled substances.
    • Have been subject to disciplinary action being taken against your pharmacist license, intern permit or technician license in this state or any other state.
    • Ever had an application for a pharmacist license, intern permit or technician license denied in this state or any other state.
    • Ever had a pharmacy permit, or any professional or vocational license or registration, denied or disciplined by a government authority in this state or any other state.
    • Have been convicted of a crime in any state of the United States or its territories, military court or foreign country. A conviction within the meaning of this section means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Any action that a board is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under the provisions of Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code.

Complete a sealed original NPDB-HIPDB self-query report. (This report is governed by theUS Department of Health and Human Services; and the self-query will indicate if there is a report on you or your practitioner organization – either for your own interest, at the request of a potential employer, licensor, or insurance provider.) The Board of Pharmacy will likelydeny the completion of your registration if you have a pending report. More information onthe process for becoming registered may be obtained on the California State Board ofPharmacy website,

Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to increased demand for prescription medications.The population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.

The number of individuals who have health insurance will increase due to federal health insurance reform legislation. As more people have access to insurance coverage, more pharmacy technicians will be needed to handle their prescriptions.In addition, pharmacy technicians may be needed to take on a greater role in pharmacy operations because pharmacists are increasingly performing more patient care activities such as giving flu shots. Technicians will need to perform tasks such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians, tasks formerly done by pharmacists.

Pharmacy technicians work primarily in pharmacies, including those found in grocery and drug stores. Some technicians work in hospitals or clinics. Pharmacy technicians spend most of the workday on their feet. Most Pharmacy Technicians work full time. Pharmacies may be open at all hours. Therefore, pharmacy technicians may have to work nights or weekends.

  • Be at least 18 years old. If younger than 18, the applicant must provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
  • Receive a favorable background check.
  • Complete all requisite forms in the admissions packet.

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Program Length Class Schedule

30 Weeks • 900 Clock Hours • 32 Semester Credits
Monday-Friday • 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
(30 hours per week with breaks) or Monday-Friday • 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Externships are normally conducted in affiliated clinics and facilities during daytime working hours from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and scheduled for 30 hours per week (6 hours per day) for six weeks.

Not all programs are offered at all campuses and not all campuses offer programs during all sessions.
Please check with the Admissions Department for the start dates and schedules of a particular program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total tuition includes all books and supplies, STRF fee, as well as administrative fees for registration and graduation. California Healing Arts College participates in several types of funding programs, and we offer several options for tuition payment. A staff of well-qualified financial aid officers is available to advise and assist you in applying for aid. All prospective students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance if unable to meet educational costs on their own.

Placement Assistance

Our Career Services staff is eager to provide placement assistance to all graduates, including résumé preparation, job-seeking skills, and interviewing techniques. To enhance your career planning, a review of these items will be supplemented with job leads after successful completion of the program. While we cannot guarantee employment, Career Services will assist in securing a job that’s right for you.

Admission Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old. If younger than 18, the applicant must provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Provide a valid high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Interview with an admissions representative and tour the campus.
  • Receive a favorable background check.
  • Complete all requisite forms in the admissions packet.

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