Pharmacy Technician Training
The term Pharmacy Technician refers to those medical professionals who provide help and support to the pharmacists in all pharmaceutical fields. They are involved in all aspects of pharmacy practice, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. For those students who would like to make a career in this field, there is special training and certification that needs to be completed. There are numerous state approved vocational institutes and academies which offer courses in becoming a Pharmacy Technician. Students will need to undergo training programs and complete a written examination, as well as do an internship and get many hours of on-the-job training, in order to receive a certificate.
Pharmacy Technician Certification is divided into two main types:
• The PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam) – offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board
• The ExCPT (Exam for Certification of Pharmacy Technician) – offered by the National Healthcare Association
Once certified you can choose to specialize. By choosing to work exclusively in one field or another, you can become a General Pharmacy Technician, a Community Pharmacy Technician or a Central Operations Technician.
The courses are fairly straightforward and not too difficult to complete, but there are certain requirements that a person needs to fulfill before they are eligible to enroll for a pharmacy technician course.
The Pharmacy Technician is the person responsible for working with different prescription drugs, carrying out pharmacy operations and protocol, dosing medications, filling prescription orders, taking care of administrative tasks, handling basic customer service duties over the counter and filling in medical insurance claims, as well as managing supply and inventory. The Pharmacy Technician training program prepares the student for all of these challenging responsibilities. The curriculum provides you with all of the skills and knowledge to qualify the ExCPT or the PTCE.
Another great advantage to pursuing Pharmacy Technician training is that there is good career scope once you have passed the examinations. Pharmacy Technicians are employed at chemists, hospitals and pharmaceutical research laboratories all over the country. As the population is rapidly rising there is an increasing demand for medical assistance in the health care field. Therefore, it’s a good career option.
What are the basic requirements to enroll for the Pharmacy Technician curriculum?
• The student must be at least 18 years of age
• The student must possess a high school diploma or GED
• The student must undergo a criminal background check
• The student must be proficient in reading, writing and following written material
• The student must be mentally and physically fit and healthy
• The student should possess good customer-service skills
• The student should be detail oriented
• The student should have excellent listening skills and the ability to work as part of a team
• The student should have good maths skills
• The student should be a highly organised individual with the ability to task manage
Duration and Fees of Pharmacy Technician Training
Basic Certificate Programs
This option for a career as a Pharmacy Technician generally takes about a year to complete. It involves about 600 hours of instruction or coursework time during which the student will learn the theory involved in being a Pharmacy Technician. It also requires 200 hours of internship.
Associates Degree Program
Some students decide to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree. This option takes two years to complete and can help students to prepare for a Bachelor of Pharmacy or associated fields.
Which Institutions offer courses in becoming a Pharmacy Technician?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you must undertake training at a well-recognized and state-approved institute of learning.
There are many colleges across the country who offer training. Although a certain amount of hands-on training is required, some of the more general coursework can be completed online. Various accredited schools offer Pharmacy Technician course online to make it easier for students to complete their education.
When choosing a college, make sure that they cover the following basic requirements:
• Accreditation: There is no point enrolling in a college which is not accredited in your state.
• Hands On Experience: Many colleges will assist in placing you in externships where you can get your hands on experience. Find out who the school is associated with and where you will be doing your practical training.
• Certification Preparation: The school should adequately prepare students for the certification examinations and help them with registering for the examinations.
Coursework for Pharmacy Technician Training
The coursework / curriculum for Pharmacy Technician programs includes:
• Pharmacy and medical terms
• Basic pharmacy operations
• Administration of medication
• Basic measurement systems and best practices
• Mathematical techniques and methodologies used in pharmacies
• Drug approval process
• Drug administration processes for individual patients
• Hospital pharmacy operations
• Basic guidelines for working in a hospital setting
• Role of the Pharmacy Technician in a hospital setting
• Modern laws governing pharmacy and pharmacology practices in the United States
• Ethical considerations for different customer situations
• Pharmacy Technician codes of conduct
• Pharmacy operations
• Advanced administration