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Passerby in Lynnwood, Washington

70 months ago

It will really just depend on the pharmacist but there's really very little to be nervous about. Most likely the pharmacist will expect very little and as long as you don't kill anybody you'll be in good shape unless that is you get stuck with some pharmacist a-hole (1/10 chance from my experience). You'll probably be working closely with another technician anyways that will do most of the grunt work while you learn the workings of a retail pharmacy.

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Jogs 4201 in New Oxford, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Well I am finished my externship a few days ago, loved the job....but the caddyness between the office women there (all CPhT's) and the RpH'S---was RIDICULOUS. All participated in the OFFICE GOSSIP and was unprofessional. As soon as one person leaves the room....they talk about that person, to no end. Is is like that everywhere? How disappointing....sadly it was mostly older women, with males and females as the pharmacists just as caddy as the others.

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Ashley in Brooklyn, New York

65 months ago

how long is the pharmacy technician program?

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Jay in West Covina, California

65 months ago

I'm about done with my externship at a local CVS pharmacy; it wasn't as bad as I thought. I learned a lot and I'm glad I did it. I'm fortunate that I got along with the staff, it was a friendly atmosphere and teamwork is very important for the process to flow smoothly, from script drop off up to the med getting pick up.

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SDguy in San Diego, California

65 months ago

I heard that I had to train at a "Regional Training Center" to first become a Pharmacy Service Associate, then get promoted to Pharmacy Technician, if I wanted to get formal training with CVS. Is there a Regional Training Center in California? If so, where? Thanks.

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mikey in San Diego, California

64 months ago

I heard things about Cvs that no person should go through. Iam a current student in a ROP pharmacy technician course. The problem is our school makes us find our own externship. Where is the best place to work at and the best people to work for?

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SDguy in San Diego, California

64 months ago

Which ROP?

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mikey in San Diego, California

64 months ago

Health Ocupations center IN SANTEE CA

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SDguy in San Diego, California

64 months ago

That's sucks. I was thinking about doing it too. So, on Phase II distance learning they don't help you find an internship?

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mikey in San Diego, California

64 months ago

No help at all and another thing is that the school has to have a contract with the place you want to externship with. And my school has mostly contracts with retail. No idependent pharmacies and even worse no hospital pharmacies. I guess that what i get for chossing Rop over a vacational school

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SDguy in San Diego, California

64 months ago

That's very disappointing to hear. I guess I better finish my bachelor's degree, although it's taking so long. Or maybe nursing school. They're hiring lots of RNs right now.

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dcomer164

64 months ago

I did five courses via an online program through a local community college and not only did they not affiliate with any sort of externship for pharmacy techs,they didn't even offer any friendly advice. I e-mailed my teacher inquiring about the next steps I should take and I never got a response. There was no job placement assistance or referral. Nothing. I also passed the national PTCBE and received my certificate as a board certified pharmacy technician (CPHT). It doesn't seem to matter. You can't get a job unless you already have a year or more experience. So how do you get experienced if no one gives you a chance? I believe that someone working in retail with cash register experience and no pharmacy education at all would be hired first. That's the impression I'm getting. Entry level jobs don't seem to exist in pharmacy tech, and most job openings are for pharmacists.

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dcomer164

64 months ago

mikey in San Diego, California said: You know what iam sorry but you are going to have to work at a retail they take any externships you should work for cvs, wallgreens, rite aid or some retail. Sorry to hear about your online classes.

I don't have a problem with working in any of those retail pharmacies, but I can't seem to get a job offer from any of them. It makes me wonder if there really is such a great need for pharmacy techs. It's gotten to the point where there is scandal and fraud even within education I'm afraid.

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beautifulcry1113@yahoo.com in San Antonio, Texas

61 months ago

I have one class left to do. I go to a vocational school and I went to Cvs pharmacy and I think they are the most understanding about externship compared to Walgreens and H-E-B. Everyone wants to get into H-E-B because of the benefits. I have 3 weeks.

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Mii in Livingston, California

59 months ago

Jogs 4201 in New Oxford, Pennsylvania said: Well I am finished my externship a few days ago, loved the job....but the caddyness between the office women there (all CPhT's) and the RpH'S---was RIDICULOUS. All participated in the OFFICE GOSSIP and was unprofessional. As soon as one person leaves the room....they talk about that person, to no end. Is is like that everywhere? How disappointing....sadly it was mostly older women, with males and females as the pharmacists just as caddy as the others.

In my experience working in a VA hospital as a volunteer, I find that elderly women gossip and talk about people all the time, right behind your back and then smile in your face. Sometimes that can be a bit much when you're surrounded by a lot of negativity.

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Mii in Livingston, California

59 months ago

Jay in West Covina, California said: I'm about done with my externship at a local CVS pharmacy; it wasn't as bad as I thought. I learned a lot and I'm glad I did it. I'm fortunate that I got along with the staff, it was a friendly atmosphere and teamwork is very important for the process to flow smoothly, from script drop off up to the med getting pick up.

Did you get hired?

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Jay in La Puente, California

59 months ago

Mii in Livingston, California said: Did you get hired?

While I was doing my externship at CVS, the part-time employees were getting their hours cut back to a maximum of 20 hours a week. Since the employees are part of a union, the management couldn't lower their hours any less. In other words, CVS pharmacies (or at least where I did the externship) are not hiring.

I did finish the externship months ago.

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Amy Schnitzel in Berkeley, California

59 months ago

I just finished 120 hours with Rite Aid for my externship. I didn't get to work enough with insurance issues. Also I wasn't typing a lot. I did count a ton of RX's and handle the phones. Also, I helped alot as far as customer service and putting the drugs away. I should have my license in my hand by Christmas. I will now hardcore cram for the PTCBE. How about you?

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Jay in La Puente, California

59 months ago

I was put in the "drop off" section of the pharmacy so 90% of the time I was entering Rx info in the system. Hardest part was trying to be able to read the physicians' handwriting. I was told they usually get the same doctors prescribing the same drugs so it gets easier after a while. I hardly rang the register as interns weren't allowed to touch any cash. I get nervous when a long line forms and I'm having trouble reading the script and trying to convert strength, etc. but I know I'd eventually get over that as I get more experience.

I received my license a few months ago and slowly preparing to take the certification test, hopefully by the end of the year as well.

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SDguy in San Diego, California

57 months ago

Thank you so much for the information. I will definitely look into this, and good luck to you in all of your endeavors as well.

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Jay in San Dimas, California

57 months ago

Amy Schnitzel in Berkeley, California said: I will now hardcore cram for the PTCBE. How about you?

I took my PTCBE exam this morning and was able to get the results right after I finished. I passed, even though I wasn't sure I would as many of the stuff I studied were not on the test. It's really a matter of knowing which drugs to study (classification very important to know, not just the gen/brand), conversions, I had several of the concentrations/dilutions math problems, which to me are a pain in the butt.

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Big Murff in Vallejo, California

57 months ago

I am about to graduate one week from today. My externship coordinator has not found a single person in my class an externship yet, and that's including myself! I have already took initiative 3 weeks ago to search for my own externship, seeing that my school was taking rediculously long to lock on an extern site.

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muneka in Los Angeles, California

57 months ago

I'm getting my Pharmacy Tech. diploma in February, and ready to go for the externship,at the end of this month the instructor is making the calls, to put all the students in a place near our homes, I don't understand why some places don't take care of the students they are just going behind your money, I'm studiying in a program that doesn't cost thousands of dollars, and the teacher it's even giving us the nice paper to set up our resumes(profesionally),and he has the list of the students that already got a job after the externship

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Alysha in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California

56 months ago

Big Murff in Vallejo, California said: I am about to graduate one week from today. My externship coordinator has not found a single person in my class an externship yet, and that's including myself! I have already took initiative 3 weeks ago to search for my own externship, seeing that my school was taking rediculously long to lock on an extern site.

Any luck finding your own externship site, I graduated and am waiting to be placed its been 4mos and I just keep getting excuses from my externship coodinator. I think they aren't even looking honestly. So I'm considering finding my own, would've preferred to be placed since that's part of the reason I chose the school I did, they provide externship placement. Anyhow just wanted to check your progress in finding a site on your own. Thanks!

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Ms. K

56 months ago

Alysha in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California said: Any luck finding your own externship site, I graduated and am waiting to be placed its been 4mos and I just keep getting excuses from my externship coodinator. I think they aren't even looking honestly. So I'm considering finding my own, would've preferred to be placed since that's part of the reason I chose the school I did, they provide externship placement. Anyhow just wanted to check your progress in finding a site on your own. Thanks!

I know for sure Walgreens encourage exterships as well as CVS... Check ur local hospitals as well... Both my externship coordinator and I are looking. It's very competetive right now due to pharmacies only allowing to extern one person at a time. I would check in with your coordinator at least once a week just to see how things are going.

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Kim in Cleveland, Ohio

56 months ago

Externships are sometimes a waste of time. I use to teach at these "career colleges" and am honestly amazed how they treat their students. I was upset with my school that they did not offer long-term care externships or hospital ones. The only problem is.. is that even if you get an externship is that some companies dont care or count that as experience. I was lucky and entered the field 10 years ago when they hired you at 16.
The market is competitive right now. My problem is.. is that i have too much experience so they dont want to pay me. So like Ms. K i was looking with me students as well.
My best experiences I think are with clinical pharmacies and "ma and pa" shops. They are sometimes more willing to give you a chance. I understand someone of you want a tech job because thats what you got your certification before, but if you are having a hard time because of lack of experience, try going for more a pharmacy assistant, or pharmacy cashier role. This gives you "pharmacy experience" but it also can help you move up in the company or just to get what you need to find another job. It might be a pay cut, but the experience is then worth it if you are having troubles.

SDguy in SAN Diego... honestly finish your Bachelors!!!!!!! I have my bachelors and its opened more doors.
Pharm tech is a great career, but its also something you dont have to go to a school for and pay thousands of dollars. People will hire you with out going to one of those fancy schools. Most do want you to have certification, but you can study that on your own. Pharm tech is a great job to have while in school. But honestly if you are anywhere in completely your BA and are not on a work assistance program... dont go for extra schoolingin being a pharm tech. I dont want to sound "yuppy" in saying a BA is better than pharm tech.. it all depends on what you want out of life and what is comfortable living to you.
Honestly techs dont make the $ they should.

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Kim in Cleveland, Ohio

56 months ago

i apologize i didnt re-read my post and spelling errors

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SDguy in San Diego, California

56 months ago

Kim. Thanks for the insight. I'll keep what you said in mind. My bachelor's is in teaching (history) and the market for that kind of job is crap. That's why I was considering another field. Well, I hope things work out for you as well. Good luck.

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ana in Lathrop, California

56 months ago

Ms. K said: I know for sure Walgreens encourage exterships as well as CVS... Check ur local hospitals as well... Both my externship coordinator and I are looking. It's very competetive right now due to pharmacies only allowing to extern one person at a time. I would check in with your coordinator at least once a week just to see how things are going.[/Q

Ms. K how r u? U r always very helpful. I hope this is Ms. K that i know.hehe

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Ms. K in San Diego, California

56 months ago

ana in Lathrop, California said:

I try... I know how frustrating this school thing can be. I live in San Diego so I don't know if you would know me:)

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Kim in cleveland, oh not addison in Addison, Illinois

56 months ago

"SDguy in San Diego, Californi
I know the markets are crap, but I have noticed that if you are willing to move the markets open up. Since I moved to cleveland from milwaukee, I have seen many more options open up. I know back in wisconsin.. evryone I knew that went for teaching has a job. Its tough, but if you are willing to relocate it opens up a lot more options. If your looking for a career change nursung is great. The problem with the medical assistant programs is that the market is flooded. Schools pop out students faster then jobs are created, which to be honest might be what's happening to pharm techs too. Those schools are a whole nother issue for me.

Trades are nice careers, my dad makes a killing for heating and air conditioning. Otherwise degrees in sciences, math and finance is where all the jobs are

said in mind. My bachelor's is in teaching (history) and the market for that kind of job is crap. That's why I was considering another field. Well, I hope things work out for you as well. Good luck.

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lenster in San Francisco, California

55 months ago

Hello, I have decided to go to school for Pharmacy tech. Any good schools out near the bay area. What is the difference between vocational schools and going to adult edu? The price or the quality of edu? Would appreciate any comments!

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curious abut safeway in Seattle, Washington

54 months ago

does any one kno if saefway drug tests for exernships

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confusedpharmacytechin training in Athens, Texas

54 months ago

Jay in San Dimas, California said: I took my PTCBE exam this morning and was able to get the results right after I finished. I passed, even though I wasn't sure I would as many of the stuff I studied were not on the test. It's really a matter of knowing which drugs to study (classification very important to know, not just the gen/brand), conversions, I had several of the concentrations/dilutions math problems, which to me are a pain in the butt.

i am taking my test in about 2 weeks i have been studying my butt off the math is really whats hard, and it just seems like there is a lot to learn, with the conversions, and the classification, but my question is what should i mainly be focused on studying these last few weeks

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NettaJ in Visalia, California

53 months ago

Does anyone know what California requirements are for Pharmacy Technician externship hours?

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germaneliza in Chicago, Illinois

52 months ago

well i have four weeks of school left before my externship and i do not know which location to choose, any suggestions?!

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mizlady74 in Chicago, Illinois

51 months ago

I'm starting my externship sometime this week. are there any pointers i can take with me? I'm going to cvs. I am excellent at reading the scripts but nervous about remembering the generic names. Do they test you on that stuff?

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Alysha in Henderson, Nevada

51 months ago

I did mine at Target, and no they didn't test me on brand/generic, but it helps to know the most common ones if you need to go find them on the shelf, or filling a prescription. Definately know your sigs, if they are good they usually are aware you are completely new to this and basically train you like for a new job. I'd just be on time, be willing to do anything to help them, even if it is stocking, cleaning up during down time. If you have a patient pharmacist, ask lots of questions. That way maybe you'll get a job out of it, if not at least a good reference. Unfortunately I didn't get a job out of mine. They weren't hiring, in fact they were cutting tech & pharmacy hours. So I am still looking but at least I got a good reference and learned a lot. Good Luck with yours.

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DracaHime in Sun Valley, California

51 months ago

ummm... i don't know if someone has asked this (i'm too lazy to read everything lol), but do you get paid during the externship? o.o

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markdrummer72@yahoo.com in San Diego, California

51 months ago

Ms. K said: Hi there,

I'm almost done with my Pharmacy Technician training and it took only 6 months (well, 7 due to all the breaks) I saw that you were somewhat interested in the program. I attend Boston Reed and what they do is utilize the adult schools classroom. It's affordable (compared to PIMA and UEI) and they help with externship placements. I attend class every Saturday from 8 to 3:30... check it out. Bostonreed.com Best of luck to you.

I graduated from Boston Reed you dont need an expensive school just sheer determination to do this, I did now I am lic, tech in Ca, So no problem good luck and stay dilligent

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ksquires2005 in San Diego, California

50 months ago

I graduated and got my license in Nov of 2007 was able to work as a tech for about 7 months after that, but got laid off due to the fact i was working in an independant pharmacy and there were too many ppl working there. Now freaking almost 2 years later I still can't seem to get back into a pharmacy. Like someone prior said, how can I gain experience if no one is willing to give it to me.Hardly anyone is hiring pharmacy technicians an when they do they usually fill with the inturns that were there so they won't have to train anyone else. Either that or you have to have a year plus of experience in order to get an interveiw otherwise most of the time you just get brushed off. Any ideas of going about landing a job? they say that there is going to be a greater need for pharm techs by 2012 but I can't wait that long, I've got kids to care for and food to put on the table, which is probably like the majority of us on here. Am starting to think that they say that it is a growing field when it's not.

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necurry10 in Kansas City, Missouri

50 months ago

Girl you gotta get with a staffing agency!

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ksquires2005 in San Diego, California

50 months ago

necurry10 in Kansas City, Missouri said: Girl you gotta get with a staffing agency!

Believe it or not i went to several staffing agencies and one told me they didn't have any companies hiring and then had another keep me updated for like a week and when I kept calling to find out what was going on I got blown off like i was nothing. It's not the first time that's happened either.

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brown_dude_CPhT in Boston, Massachusetts

50 months ago

You are right about retail pharmacy chains cutting hours and using interns to fill the void of pharmacy technicians. The majority of the big retail pharmacy chains are gobbling up the small community pharmacies in many areas throughout this nation. This is big fish, eat little fish mentality.

Furthermore, obtaining a job as a pharmacy technician in this “tough” economy is very difficult. Even though I am a certified pharmacy technician via PTCB and my pharmacy technician license is current.

Unfortunately, the opportunities for obtaining a good position as a pharmacy technician in a hospital setting remains very difficult unless you have prior experience or you know someone within the hospital that can help you get the position.

The retail pharmacy experience is the worst experience in the world for aspiring pharmacy technicians. I used to work at CVS/Pharmacy, which is probably the McDonalds of the pharmacy world and I guess you could think of Walgreen’s as Burger King.

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Alysha in Henderson, Nevada

50 months ago

I guess I'm not the only unemployed tech here. I completed my externship in March with Target. While I was there I witnessed employees hours being cut along with the pharmacys hours. So unfortunately I didn't get a job through my externship and having been job hunting since then. Still unemployed and getting very frustrated, because its true how do you gain experience if someone doesn't give you a break. I'm not having any luck even with the other retail pharmacies, that usually hire new techs. Hospitals want 1-2 yrs experience. Now I'm looking at unrelated jobs that pay less..very frustrating...I hope things get better for everyone. It's a bad time to start a new career.

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von1102 in Wentzville, Missouri

50 months ago

Alysha in Henderson, Nevada said: I guess I'm not the only unemployed tech here. I completed my externship in March with Target. While I was there I witnessed employees hours being cut along with the pharmacys hours. So unfortunately I didn't get a job through my externship and having been job hunting since then. Still unemployed and getting very frustrated, because its true how do you gain experience if someone doesn't give you a break. I'm not having any luck even with the other retail pharmacies, that usually hire new techs. Hospitals want 1-2 yrs experience. Now I'm looking at unrelated jobs that pay less..very frustrating...I hope things get better for everyone. It's a bad time to start a new career.

I'm surprised Target would invest time and money on you and not hire you, doesn't make sense. I just started about a month ago as a pharmacy tech with Walmart, although I've been with Walmart almost 6 years. My pay was dropped when I went from Dept mgr to Tech and I'm only making 10.50 an hr. My hours were 40 and now range from 32 to 36, which I wasn't told was going to happen, so I'm not happy about that. But I figured the training would be beneficial, now I'm not so sure. The job market sucks and it's hard to quit if you have a job, even if it doesn't pay well. Don't see anything changing soon.

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Rose in Carnegie, Pennsylvania

50 months ago

I went to Everest when it was Duff's Business Institute. At the time my husband was very ill and has since passed on.
I missed some days due to this. I still need to take the Certification Test and am worried if i'll pass it. I just want to know if it is really hard. As far as doing my externship I had to find my own too. The externship Coodinator first put me at Presby there I was told to be there at 8am, ok. Then they said they told me 6am and fired me. Then she put me with CVS in the bussiest one in downtown Pittsburgh with a mean pharmacist that expected me to be as quick as he was. I quit there because of all of the abuse of him. I then found my own at a Medfast Pharmacy where they were great, but no job ever came from it as they were not hireing either. It's been two years since then and I still can't find a job. No one is hireing. I'm wondering if it's worth the cost to take the test or just move on to something else? I was told mthat this was a growing field, I see it going no where! I too have kids to feed and am begining to think I was lied to just so the school could get my money which I still have in student loans.Any idea's ?

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?????????????? in Jonesboro, Georgia

50 months ago

Rose in Carnegie, Pennsylvania said: I went to Everest when it was Duff's Business Institute. At the time my husband was very ill and has since passed on.
I missed some days due to this. I still need to take the Certification Test and am worried if i'll pass it. I just want to know if it is really hard. As far as doing my externship I had to find my own too. The externship Coodinator first put me at Presby there I was told to be there at 8am, ok. Then they said they told me 6am and fired me. Then she put me with CVS in the bussiest one in downtown Pittsburgh with a mean pharmacist that expected me to be as quick as he was. I quit there because of all of the abuse of him. I then found my own at a Medfast Pharmacy where they were great, but no job ever came from it as they were not hireing either. It's been two years since then and I still can't find a job. No one is hireing. I'm wondering if it's worth the cost to take the test or just move on to something else? I was told mthat this was a growing field, I see it going no where! I too have kids to feed and am begining to think I was lied to just so the school could get my money which I still have in student loans.Any idea's ?

Rose Everest is a rip off....

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Externship Guy in Torrance, California

49 months ago

I am right in the middle of my externship at a CVS right now. Mixed feelings. There are some good people and it is nice being part of a team. It is a good introduction to retail pharmacy and how hectic and how boring it can be. One thing that became apparent early on is that CVS has kind of latched on to the idea of externships as a way to get workers for free. Consequently at times they are a lot more interested in you working for them rather than them teaching you anything. You'll learn the basics quickly, but it is harder to learn more advanced stuff because usually that comes up in relation to a problem a customer is currently having and the goal is to get that problem solved quickly not to teach you how to fix it. Unfortunately right now I am also experiencing one of those situations with an a**hole pharmacist who goes out of his way to be rude and unhelpful to me. Just don't be afraid to ask questions and defer when you don't know something and any externship should be tolerable.

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susan in Brooklyn, New York

47 months ago

brown_dude_CPhT in Boston, Massachusetts said: You are right about retail pharmacy chains cutting hours and using interns to fill the void of pharmacy technicians. The majority of the big retail pharmacy chains are gobbling up the small community pharmacies in many areas throughout this nation. This is big fish, eat little fish mentality.

Furthermore, obtaining a job as a pharmacy technician in this “tough” economy is very difficult. Even though I am a certified pharmacy technician via PTCB and my pharmacy technician license is current.

Unfortunately, the opportunities for obtaining a good position as a pharmacy technician in a hospital setting remains very difficult unless you have prior experience or you know someone within the hospital that can help you get the position.

The retail pharmacy experience is the worst experience in the world for aspiring pharmacy technicians. I used to work at CVS/Pharmacy, which is probably the McDonalds of the pharmacy world and I guess you could think of Walgreen’s as Burger King.

i am currently at the end of my pharm tech program in manhatten and i really want to get a hospital externship, but i think ur right. i have to know someone to get into one and all the school offers is retail for the externship. have u found a job yet? i am very discouraged by what everyone is writing cuz i really enjoy the field and i have a 3 year old to feed. i need a stable well paying job, and it sounds like i wont find that!

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