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Pharmacy Technology

FAQ

FAQ

Pharmacy Tech at work tablePeople being assisted at the pharmacy counterPharmacy Tech checking medicine in bag.

Questions

Answers

 HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?

Cost will be the cost per unit + textbook and registration fees. There may be fees for laboratory type courses.

The year that the Pharmacy Technician (PhT) students take the practicum courses, they will have to pay for professional liability (group) insurance. Currently, this is $20/year. In addition, the site may require immunization, drug screen, background check and uniform. The student is responsible for obtaining the appropriate items. Uniform is also required for all PhT students while on campus. A white lab coat/scrub is the standard uniform and can be purchased from the bookstore or any healthcare/uniform stores. Professional dress, closed toe shoes, and proper personal hygiene are also required.

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WILL I NEED TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL MATERIALS BESIDES BOOKS?

Lab coat (uniform), possible lab fees, immunization, background check, drug screen, and professional liability insurance will be needed.

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IS THERE A SEPERATE APPLICATION TO COMPLETE IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR THIS PROGRAM?

Pharmacy Tech students must earn a grade of C or higher in all the pre-requisite courses. After completion of the pre-requisite courses, the student will apply for admission to the Pharmacy Technician Program (PTP). The application is due June 10. Students will be notified by July 10 proceeding the fall semester that they begin the program courses.

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IS THE PROGRAM ACCREDITED?

The PTP will seek accreditation with the American Society of Health-System pharmacists. This is a long process, however, we are working diligently on it.

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WILL I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PERFORM ACTUAL CLINICAL ROTATIONS AT A SITE?

Pharmacy Technician (PhT) students will have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in acute settings and community or retail pharmacy. These experiences will be structured into the practicum classes where a number of competencies are defined and the students must meet and/or perform these competencies at the site. A preceptor (Pharm D, Registered Pharmacist, or Certified Pharm Tech) evaluates the student's performance at the site. Students will directly interact with clients and other health care professionals. Students must have a TB clearance and any other immunization, background check, drug screen as required by the clinical facility. An Agency Agreement between the facility and the college must be established prior to the start of the practicum experience (and the first day of practicum classes). The student should contact the Program Director for information about the Agency Agreement with specific sites.

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WILL I BE OFFERED THE OPTION TO DO PRACTICUM EXPERIENCE AT A SPECIFIC FACILITY ALLOWING FOR DIRECT HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE WITH PATIENTS/CLIENTS?

The PhT students will be required to enroll in all of the practicum courses and identify facilities to complete their supervised practice experiences. These practicum courses will be conducted in a fully-functional pharmacy site under the supervision of a Pharm D, Registered Pharmacist, or Certified Pharmacy Technician.

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HOW WILL THE PRACTICUM EXPERIENCES ALLOW EASE OF TRANSITIONING FROM THE EDUCATIONAL ARENA INTO THE JOB FIELD AS A PHARMACY TECHINCIAN?

Not only will the PhT students learn techniques and skills in the laboratory courses, the PhT students will also be gaining hands-on experience in the practicum courses. They will be placed in different pharmacy settings and learn the policy, procedures, and protocols of the sites. This will give them an advantage from others who may not gain practical and real-life experiences in their educational program. The PhT students will interact with clients, Pharm Ds, health care providers, and other professionals in the industry on a regular basis. They will become familiar with the scope of practice of the Pharmacy Technician.

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WILL EACH COURSE BE OFFERED BACK TO BACK SO THAT IF A CLASS HAS BEEN MISSED, IT CAN TAKEN DURING THE FOLLOWING SEMESTER?

At this point and due to the lack of PTP faculty, we are only able to offer certain courses every fall or every spring. Thus, if a student misses a fall course, he/she may have to wait until next fall semester to take the course. It is our hope that this program will expand, increasing the demand for more PTP faculty. If that occurs, we will be able to hire more PTP faculty and will be able to offer the PTP courses every semester.

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WILL CLASSES ALSO BE OFFERED IN THE EVENINGS OR ONLINE TO ACCOMMODATE WORKING PROFESSIONALS?

At this point, the PTP will be a face-to-face program. However, it is anticipated that online courses will be available in the near future. The PTP will try to accommodate the time schedule of the students as much as possible. It is anticipated that the PTP courses will be offered during the day and evenings.

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WHAT IS THE AVERAGE CLASSROOM SIZE?

The interest in the PTP is high. We anticipate that the class size will be fewer than 40 with an average of 30 per class. This will allow for more group interaction and one-on-one instruction.

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IS THERE AN 800 NUMBER OR VOICE MAILBOX THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROGRAM 24 HOURS A DAY?

The college is not equipped to handle an 800 number. Students can contact the Division Office at 916-691-7391 during normal business hours to ask questions or seek additional information. The college web site also post a lot of information about our program.

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WHAT STEPS DO I NEED TO TAKE AFTER COMPLETING THIS PROGRAM?

PTP graduates will be encouraged to apply for certification with the State of California. Students will also be eligible to sit for the national certification board exam. Students are required to take a 1 unit career preparation course that will address the steps, procedures, exam, and value of becoming certified.

The National Pharmacy Technician Association administers the Pharmacy Technician exam. You may visit their website at: www.pharmacytechnician.org to get information about exam dates and requirements. On this website, they also have exam review handbooks and materials that you can purchase that mimic the actual exam quite closely. In addition, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board also has an online exam review. Details can be found on their website at www.ptcb.org.

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WILL THE COLLEGE PROVIDE JOB PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE AFTER I GET MY DEGREE?

The college will do its best to inform the students of any job opportunities. However, the college cannot guarantee job placement after graduation. The practicum courses are ideal situations for the students to demonstrate their skills to the preceptors and potential employers. The college career center is also available for student assistance.

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WHAT ARE SOME RELIABLE WEBSITES FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON DRUGS?

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, 2215 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20037-2985. Website on the Internet: http://www.ptcb.org.

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 7272 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814. Website on the Internet: http://www.aspph.org/.

For pharmacy technician career information, contact:

National Pharmacy Technician Association, P.O. Box 683148, Houston, TX 77268. Website on the Internet: http://www.pharmacytechnician.org.

Merck and Company: http://www.merck.com/

Pfizer: http://www.pfizer.com/home/

Pharmaceutical Online: http://www.pharmaceuticalonline.com/

Novartis: http://www.novartis.com/

PhRMA: http://www.phrma.org/

American Pharmacists Association: http://www.pharmacist.com

Physicians' Desktop Reference Health: http://www.pdrhealth.com/

Health Central: http://www.healthcentral.com/medications/medications/

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