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Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program

Pharmacy Technicians primarily assist the pharmacist, help prepare and distribute medications, review prescriptions for completeness and authenticity, assist in payment and billing, control inventory and place orders. The work is very rewarding, including financially. Full-time Pharmacy Techs earn between $31,000 and $46,000 per year (part-time positions also exist) and often receive benefits. Pharmacy Techs working in a clinical environment like a hospital typically earn 30-40% more per hour, up to $79,000 per year. Pharmacy Technician is among the fastest growing occupations in California, predicted to grow by 25-35% through 2018. The Westside Extension Pharmacy Technician Program can prepare you for a career in this high-demand field in 9 months.

Program Features

  • Certificate program can be completed in 9 months.
  • Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturdays. Attend school while you work!
  • Our clinical training gives you greater opportunities to earn money as a Pharmacy Tech and to advance in your career.
  • AFFORDABLE! Program cost is $3,300 plus books, materials and other required fees. Or pay as you go in three installments (total $3,550).
  • Our program curriculum meets the requirements of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
  • When you complete the required course work and meet the state requirements, you are able to obtain a State of California Pharmacy Technician license and can work in retail pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare settings.
  • Program is WorkSource Center (iTRAIN) approved and can be provided FREE to job seekers who qualify for occupational training. For more information on WorkSource Center locations, visit the WorkSource location map.

Program Schedule (For Continuing Students)

B. Retail Pharmacy Operations   May 8-June 19 (No meeting May 26-28)
Gain an understanding of the roles and opportunities open to pharmacy technicians in retail, closed-door, home healthcare, and mail order pharmacy settings. Become competent in handling and gain hands-on experience preparing medications in our lab. Learn about pharmaceutical dosage forms, practice prescription labeling and perform role-playing scenarios. An emphasis will be on workforce professionalism and handling and preparing medications following legal and ethical guidelines.

C. Pharmacology    June 21-July 26
Learn the use and side effects of prescription medications, nonprescription medications and alternative therapies used to treat diseases affecting the muscular, skeletal, respiratory, renal, cardiovascular, hematologic and other body systems. Learn the brand and generic name, standard pronunciation, routes of administration for each medication studied and the medical terminology and abbreviations associated with the various medication therapies.

D. Hospital Pharmacy Services   July 28-Aug. 9
Gain hands-on training in an hospital (inpatient) pharmacy setting, covering pharmacy patient profile maintenance and medication preparation, order processing and distribution using manual and automated systems. Note that you cannot start the program with this module.

E. Sterile and Non Sterile Products & Compounding   Aug. 14-Sept. 25 (No meeting Sept. 1-3)
Learn to prepare non sterile compound mediations, including creams, ointments, lotions, gels, suspensions, syrups and capsules. Receive hands-on training in the preparation of sterile products, like IVs, which are used in hospitals and other clinical facilities. Covers aseptic techniques, parenteral calculations, sterile dosage forms and quality assurance procedures.

A. Pharmacy Calculations  Oct. 2-27
Learn to perform the calculations related to drug dosage, measurements of strength and preparations of medications.

F. Pharmacy Externship   120 hours, schedule TBA approx. Oct. 30-Jan. 29, 2019)
After you have successfully completed all 5 classroom modules, practice your Pharmacy Technician skills in a real-life community pharmacy. Externships schedules are flexible so you will start your externship anytime in the year after you have completed your classroom training.

Classes meet Tuesdays & Thursdays 6:45-10 pm and Saturdays 9 am-5 pm. Dates and times are subject to change.

Note: To participate in the clinical experiences, you must be a high school grad and at least 18 years old. You will also need to get a clear criminal background check and a clear drug screen (this and other lab materials will cost about $200).

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