Pharmacy Technicians work in pharmacies under the direction of a pharmacist. Their main responsibility is filling prescriptions according to doctors' orders. Pharmacy Technicians prepare medications for dispensing to patients. This generally includes retrieving drugs in the correct dosage form and strength, measuring the appropriate amount of drug and producing a prescription label. Pharmacy Technicians work with drugs to be administered orally, topically, for the eye, nose, etc. Depending upon the practice setting, a Pharmacy Technician is also involved in the admixture of drugs for intravenous use. Other duties include:
- checking inventories and ordering supplies
- receiving and checking in supplies
- assisting customers
- keeping pharmacy work areas clean
- complete insurance forms
- preparation of “bingo cards” for nursing home patients
Pharmacy Technicians – Employment & Education
Pharmacy Technicians may work in retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, home infusion pharmacies, long term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, pharmacy benefit managers and large industrial complexes. The demand for Pharmacy Technicians continues to grow with demand expected to increase substantially through 2008. This high demand is the result of the constant availability of new drugs, the national shortage of registered pharmacists, the establishment of certified pharmacy technicians and the aging population.
Educational Requirements Students should have taken math and science in high school. A high school diploma or GED is required to sit for the PTCB exam.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Program This comprehensive 50 hour course will prepare students to enter the pharmacy field and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s PTCB exam.
Technicians work in hospitals, home infusion pharmacies, community pharmacies and other health care settings - working under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Course content includes medical terminology specific to the pharmacy, reading and interpreting prescriptions and defining drugs by generic and brand names. Students will learn dosage calculations, I.V. flow rates, drug compounding, dose conversions, dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control and billing and reimbursement. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Program includes a graded final exam to help prepare students for the PTCB exam.
PTCB Detailed Course Information:
- role of the pharmacy technician
- pharmacy history/discussion of various practice settings and the technician certification process
- recruiting by pharmacy specialty
- “Evolution of Pharmacy”
- review of hospital pharmacy setting, retail practice, regulatory agencies involved with a pharmacy practice, long term care practice setting, mail order pharmacy, home care pharmacy practice
- pharmacy measures, roman numerals, abbreviations
- review of generic drugs, basic biopharmaceuticals, dosage forms, patient profiles
- prescription label requirements, order transcription, ordering and inventory control, drug pricing, third party reimbursement
- formularies, unit dose systems, emergency and crash carts, house supplies, automatic stop orders, calculating number of doses required
- all major classes of drugs including top brand names and generic drugs
- aseptic technique, handling of sterile products including antineoplastic agent considerations
- basics of IV solutions, calculating 24 hour supply of IV solutions, percentages and electrolytes preparations
- the metric system
- apothecaries’ and avoirdupois systems of measurement
- children’s doses
- allegation method, math review
- Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), demonstration of TPN admixture, hands-on practice of IV admixture and parenteral medication preparation.
Please call the Continuing Education Office at 1 (800) 377-5222 ext. 7495 or ext. 7496 to request the required forms for this program.