A Pharmacy Technician assists licensed pharmacists with the overall operation of the pharmacy, performing activities related to the dispensing of drugs that do not require clinical judgment. In California, a pharmacy technician must obtain licensure from the California Board of Pharmacy as a prerequisite to practice. The duties, role, and function depend on the setting. For instance, in a retail pharmacy, technicians may prepare medications, maintain inventory, maintain patient records, manage the cash register, print prescription labels, prepare insurance claims, and answer questions not requiring the clinical judgment of a licensed pharmacist. In hospitals, pharmacy technicians may prepare medications that are not available commercially, repackage medications, prepare sterile intravenous medications, collect data for quality improvement, deliver medications to patients’ rooms, operate computerized dispensing, and replenish nursing stations in addition to those duties that technicians perform in a retail setting. Apart from the traditional pharmacy setting, technicians may also find employment in mail order pharmacies, federal and state jail pharmacies, medical insurance companies, and drug manufacturing companies.
San Francisco State University
The 50-hour pharmacy technician program at San Francisco State University prepares students to work as a pharmacy technician in a retail or other pharmacy setting and to take the PTCB exam. Topics covered include the history of pharmacy, medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, reading and interpreting prescriptions, defining drugs by generic and brand names, and pharmacy practice in multiple environments. Classroom and hands-on training will teach students how to calculate dosages, IV flow rates, aseptic technique, total parenteral nutrition, inventory control, drug classifications, and billing and reimbursement. An online version of the course is available and includes six months access to all the course materials, textbooks, and resources to encourage students to study at their own pace. Tuition for the traditional campus program is $1,199 and includes all textbooks and materials.
- Website: https://cel.sfsu.edu/pharmacy
- Address: 835 Market Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, California 94103
- Phone: (888) 963.5967
City College of San Francisco
The two-semester pharmacy technician program at City College of San Francisco covers 684 hours of didactic and practical experience in a simulated community pharmacy. In the classroom, students will learn the role and function of pharmacy technicians. Applicants must be 18 years or older, possess an official high school transcript or GED, a 2.0 GPA on college or high school transcripts, and attend an individual orientation. Upon acceptance to the program, students must complete a physical exam and provide proof of immunity for specified communicable diseases. Successful completion of Math, English, Introduction to Computers, Medical Terminology, and Anatomy is recommended. All applicants must first secure admission to CCSF for applying for the pharmacy technician program. Admission to CCSF requires a completed application and completion of a placement test in Math and English. Tuition for the 24-unit course is $46 per unit for California residents. First semester expenses total approximately $350 for textbooks, supplies, lab coat, and name tag.
- Website: https://www.ccsf.edu/dam/ccsf/documents/health_care_technology_documents/PharmacyTechnician.pdf
- Address: 1860 Hayes Street, San Francisco CA 94117
- Phone: (415) 561-1900
Bay Area Medical Academy
Pharmacy technician students at Bay Area Medical Academy learn the skills needed to support pharmacists in a hospital or retail setting. Graduates are prepared for success on the national certification exam and entry-level positions in pharmacies. The 7.5-month long program features 600 lecture hours in the classroom and 240 hours on a clinical externship. Topics covered include pharmacology, pharmacy calculations, abbreviations, pharmaceutical and medical terminology, symbols used in prescribing, dispensing, and documenting medications, and standards, ethics, and laws that pertain to pharmacy practice. Applicants must provide appropriate credentials demonstrating their ability to succeed in the program. To qualify for entry, the applicant must be at least 18 years, have a high diploma or GED certificate, complete the applicant information form, pass the English and Math comprehension exams, verify their criminal background, complete a personal interview, review the school’s rules and policies, and make arrangements to finance the program. The approximate cost of attendance is $7,000 including registration, textbooks, lab fees, uniforms, and tuition.
- Website: http://www.bamasf.com/pharmacy-technician
- Address: 530 Bush, Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94108
- Phone: 415-217-0077
- Fax: 415-358-5997
- Email: [email protected]
Mission College facilitates an accelerated evening or day pharmacy technician program to help individuals who are interested in qualifying for California State Board licensing. The intensive program runs for 30 weeks to prepare students for entry-level employment in the shortest possible time. High school graduates, college students, and adults seeking a career change benefit from the practical approach to training, which allows them to enter the in-demand healthcare industry. The curriculum, developed by licensed pharmacists, and taught by pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians, covers all the skills students need to function effectively as a pharmacy technician. The 400-hour program includes classroom and lab instruction as well as externship experiential training in an approved pharmacy. Applicants must participate in a formal interview, obtain the minimum required scores on the assessment exam, pass a background check, obtain health and TB clearance, possess strong English, math and communication skills, and be proficient at computer and printing. Day classes meet from August to April. Evening classes meet from February to October. Tuition is $4,950 inclusive of books and materials.
- Website: http://missioncollege.edu/community/comm_ed/pharmacy-technician/index.html
- Address: 3000 Mission College Boulevard Santa Clara, CA 95054-1897
- Phone: 408-855-5083
The pharmacy technician program at Foothills College is open for admission during the fall quarter only. Students who successfully complete the 9-month program will be qualified to apply for registration as a pharmacy technician with the California State Board of Pharmacy. A two-year expanded program is also available and includes general education courses that lead to an associate’s degree in pharmacy technician. Graduates of the expanded program can transfer to a four-year program or enter the workforce with advanced theoretical and clinical abilities. Punctuality and reliability are critical for those enrolled in the program as these traits are essential to success in health care. Students who are habitually late or absent will be placed on probation and may be dismissed from the program. Due to the intense nature of the coursework, full-time employment is not recommended. The overall cost of attendance for California residents is $1,900.
- Website: https://www.foothill.edu/bio/programs/pharmtec/#about
- Address: 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
- Phone: (650) 949-6121