donl

10+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
This is my first post so I apologize in advance if my questions have been answered elsewhere. :)

I'm currently living in Tokyo (patent translator/proofreader) and plan to move back to the US in the near future so that I can apply to pharmacy school, but I need to take a few more science courses before applying. I have a Bachelor of Science and intend on taking the prerequisites at SFSU. I would like to find a job as a pharm tech in the San Francisco area in the interim. Can anyone tell me if I need to pursue certification on my own or can I apply to a pharmacy and get certified on the job? I have "Googled " pharm tech jobs in the San Francisco area and have only found jobs requiring experience and certification.
 

Passion4Sci

LML
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2009
7,504
12
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Pharmacy Student
Experience will be tough to come by and is a nasty Catch-22 to people just starting out.

The best way to get around that is to rack up a few hours volunteering (Alameda County Medical Center, UCSF Med Center, etc) and shazam, you now have experience.

The certification, as the thread that Themulya linked will show you, is easy as cheesecake to take care of.
 
OP
D

donl

10+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Thanks themulya for the link.

Thanks Passion4Sci. My mother actually works in a pharmacy in Kansas and I asked her about my particular predicament, but she didn't know what I should do about experience.
Do you think that if I approach a particular pharmacy, Walmart for example, and gave them my resume and informed the manager that I will be pursuing a PharmD in the near future, it would better my chances of being offered a position?
 

Passion4Sci

LML
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2009
7,504
12
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Pharmacy Student
Thanks themulya for the link.

Thanks Passion4Sci. My mother actually works in a pharmacy in Kansas and I asked her about my particular predicament, but she didn't know what I should do about experience.
Do you think that if I approach a particular pharmacy, Walmart for example, and gave them my resume and informed the manager that I will be pursuing a PharmD in the near future, it would better my chances of being offered a position?
Absolutely. I think the best thing anyone can do is go directly to the Pharmacy in any potential employment place, avoid online applications entirely, and try to keep off HR radar for as long as possible. If you have the Pharmacist personally going up to the store lead and discussing you with them rather than just another electronic application coming in you stand a greater chance at snagging the position.

With your mom in pharmacy, you have an advantage for sure. I am surprised she didn't think of volunteering, though. That's the FIRST thing I did after I took my PTCE.
 
OP
D

donl

10+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I think things may be a little different in Kansas. She told me that most of the techs are pursuing pharmacy degrees, so I think that's why she didn't mention it. She also told me that in Kansas you don't have to go to school to get certified. California is different story, I guess. My biggest problem is that I married and we have an infant daughter. Although my wife should be able to find a job without much difficulty, I'm a whole different story. I'm currently a patent translator/proofreader which probably won't mean much to a prospective employer.

Do you know anything about getting certified without having to go to school to do it?
 

Passion4Sci

LML
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2009
7,504
12
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Pharmacy Student
I think things may be a little different in Kansas. She told me that most of the techs are pursuing pharmacy degrees, so I think that's why she didn't mention it. She also told me that in Kansas you don't have to go to school to get certified. California is different story, I guess. My biggest problem is that I married and we have an infant daughter. Although my wife should be able to find a job without much difficulty, I'm a whole different story. I'm currently a patent translator/proofreader which probably won't mean much to a prospective employer.

Do you know anything about getting certified without having to go to school to do it?
You don't need to have a class for the PTCE at all in California.

You front your $129 to PTCB, they arrange an authorization to test with PearsonVUE, you go, take the ridiculously easy test that a Mosby's book will completely prepare you for (In fact overprepare you) then $50 and a picture and a fingerprint to the State of California, and in 6-8 weeks, you get your pharmacy tech license. I know, it sounds like an infomercial, LOL. But, that's how it's done.

Maric, Western Career College and Heald, and all their ilk, are just out to make $13,000 from every lost soul who hadn't found the good fortune of stumbling across SDN.
 
OP
D

donl

10+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
That's kind of what I thought. I know that its a computer test, but not sure where I can take it. I was thinking that I would study here and then take a vacation for a week or so and kill two birds by also taking the test in SF. I've a couple books already but I'm going to order Mosby's practice tests too.

I'll try to contact PearsonVUE and see what I need to do in order to set up the test time.

Thanks for all you help.
 

Passion4Sci

LML
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2009
7,504
12
Palo Alto, CA
Status
Pharmacy Student
That's kind of what I thought. I know that its a computer test, but not sure where I can take it. I was thinking that I would study here and then take a vacation for a week or so and kill two birds by also taking the test in SF. I've a couple books already but I'm going to order Mosby's practice tests too.

I'll try to contact PearsonVUE and see what I need to do in order to set up the test time.

Thanks for all you help.
Hey there,

http://www.amazon.com/Mosbys-Pharmacy-Technician-Certification-Examination/dp/1416062041/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1248975347&sr=8-1 is all you'll need to pass the PTCE with flying colors, without ever setting foot in a pharmacy. If you need some tips, PM me and I can go into what I thought were the hardest parts about the exam for someone who has never worked in a Pharmacy (me) at the time of the exam. It has 10 practice exams, 2 timed, full-length and scored exams which tell you what you're BAD at (helped me a lot) and pretty much everything you will need, and a lot of what you won't need, to work in a retail pharmacy. (Some of it is actually really useful in a hospital setting).

PearsonVUE won't take your call, in all likelihood. What you need to do is go to ptcb.org, "Register for your Exam", take their silly little questionnaire thing, and then after throwing them $129, they'll send you an "ATT" which is an authorization to test letter, to your e-mail. This ATT gives you a date range, I think it's 60 days from the day you give them your money, during which you can schedule the exam (Also on PTCB.org, right below Register). You'll be redirected to Pearson to actually set it up,but everything's pretty smooth between the two sites and you can be set up for a test in about, oh, 15 minutes.

There are two test sites in San Francisco IIRC, and probably more in the greater bay area.
 
OP
D

donl

10+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Thanks for all the info. It`s going to probably be a few months before I will be able to take vacation. So I`ve got lots of time to study for it. I sent an email to PearsonVUE, but they redirected to me another site. I`ll bookmark ptcb.org for the future. I`ve already got the book on order from Amazon. I really appreciate all the info. I`ll pm you about my test results in the future.