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Pharmacy Technician:

Index : Pharmacy Technician | Pharmacy Technician Board |Job Highlights


Pharmacy Technician TrainingProgram Offerings: Our recommended schools offer, associate or bachelor degrees and certificates and diplomas for Pharmacy Technicians. Work in hospital pharmacies, web site and retail pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians assume responsibility for routine tasks previously performed by pharmacists and oversee the machines, stock the bins, and label the containers. Pharmacy technicians also will need to learn and master new pharmacy technology as it surfaces.

Job Highlights for Pharmacy Technicians

Job opportunities are expected to be good, especially for those with certification or previous work experience.
Many technicians work evenings, weekends, and some holidays.
Two-thirds of all jobs are in retail pharmacies.

Pharmacy technicians

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication for patients, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy aides work closely with pharmacy technicians. They are often clerks or cashiers who primarily answer telephones, handle money, stock shelves, and perform other clerical duties. (See the statement on pharmacy aides elsewhere in the Handbook.) Pharmacy technicians usually perform more complex tasks than do pharmacy aides, although, in some States, their duties and job titles overlap.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor's office. They must verify that the information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to a patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, technicians have added responsibilities. They read patient charts and prepare and deliver the medicine to patients. The pharmacist must check the order before it is delivered to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient's profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The package is then placed in the medicine cabinet of each patient until the supervising pharmacist checks it for accuracy. It is then given to the patient.

Pharmacy Technicians work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves.

Technicians work the same hours as pharmacists. This may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Because some hospital and retail pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, technicians may work varying shifts. As their seniority increases, technicians often have increased control over the hours they work. There are many opportunities for part-time work in both retail and hospital settings.

Although most pharmacy technicians receive informal on-the-job training, employers favor those who have completed formal training and certification. However, there are currently few State and no Federal requirements for formal training or certification of pharmacy technicians. Employers who can neither afford, nor have the time to give, on-the-job training often seek formally educated pharmacy technicians. Formal education programs and certification emphasize the technicians' interest in and dedication to the work to potential employers. In addition to the military, some hospitals, proprietary schools, vocational or technical colleges, and community colleges offer formal education programs.

Formal pharmacy technician education programs require classroom and laboratory work in a variety of areas, including medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also are required to learn medication names, actions, uses, and doses. Many training programs include internships, in which students gain hands-on experience in actual pharmacies. Students receive a diploma, certificate, or an associate degree, depending on the program.

Prospective pharmacy technicians with experience working as an aide in a community pharmacy or volunteering in a hospital may have an advantage. Employers also prefer applicants with strong customer service and communication skills and with experience managing inventories, counting, measuring, and using computers. Technicians entering the field need strong mathematics, spelling, and reading skills. A background in chemistry, English, and health education also may be beneficial. Some technicians are hired without formal training, but under the condition that they obtain certification within a specified period to retain employment.

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board administers the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination. This exam is voluntary and displays the competency of the individual to act as a pharmacy technician. Eligible candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, and those who pass the exam earn the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPHT). The exam is offered several times per year at various locations nationally. Employers, often pharmacists, know that individuals who pass the exam have a standardized body of knowledge and skills.

Pharmacy Technician's who are certified technicians must be re-certified every 2 years. Pharmacy Technicians must complete 20 contact hours of pharmacy related topics within the 2-year certification period to become eligible for re-certification. Contact hours are awarded for on-the-job training, attending lectures, and college coursework. At least 1 contact hour must be in pharmacy law. Contact hours can be earned from several different sources, including pharmacy associations, pharmacy colleges, and pharmacy technician training programs. Up to 10 contact hours can be earned when the technician is employed under the direct supervision and instruction of a pharmacist.

Successful pharmacy technicians are alert, observant, organized, dedicated, and responsible. They should be willing and able to take directions. They must enjoy precise work details are sometimes a matter of life and death. Although a pharmacist must check and approve all their work, they should be able to work on their own without constant instruction from the pharmacist. Candidates interested in becoming pharmacy technicians cannot have prior records of drug or substance abuse.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills are needed because there is a lot of interaction with patients, coworkers, and healthcare professionals. Teamwork is very important because technicians are often required to work with pharmacists, aides, and other technicians.


Document Keywords : Pharmacy Technician , Board Certifications Exams



Online Programs Here

Anthem College Online offering Pharmacy Technician Courses.
PCDI offers home study entry level Pharmacy Technician program
Stratford Career Institute
Pharmacist's Assistant Program Online.
Thomson Education Direct
Online Pharmacy Technician - Open Online to all International Students
Training Direct is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, offering Pharmacy Technician curricula.

Campus Programs Here
Academy of Professional Careers has (5) campuses located in Indio, CA., La Mesa CA., San Marcos CA. Boise, ID. Amarillo TX. offering Pharmacy Tech. and lots of medical programs.
ACT College in Arlington, VA., teaches Pharmacy Technology.
Allied Medical & Technical Institute, (3) campuses in Fort Forty, Scranton PA. and Wayne NJ. offering Pharmacy Technology, ECG/Phlebotomist, Lab Assistant, Medical Assistant.
Allied College has (2) schools in North St. Louis and Arnold, MO. and offers Medical, Pharmacy& Surgical Technical degree programs.
AIHT is located in Boise, Idaho and teaches specialized Pharmacy Technology leading to a degree.
Apollo College has (7) Pharmacy Technology schools located in Albuquerque NM., Mesa AZ., Phoenix AZ., Tucson AZ., Portland OR. and in Spokane WA.
Bryman College (16) Campuses Nationwide courses include Degree Programs for Pharmacy Technician - Diagnostic Medical Sonographer - Medical Laboratory Technician - Limited X-Ray Technician - Medical Office.
Cambridge College teaches Pharmacy Technology and offers more medical programs in Portland OR.
Career Education Institute teaches you to become a Pharmacy Technician and is located in Lowell MA., and Somerville MA.
CEI Career Education Institute is located in Somerville, Brockton, and Lowell MA., Lincoln RI., Marietta, and Norcross GA., and Henderson NV., offering Pharmacy Technician courses.
CHI Institute teaches Pharmacy Technician and has (2) campuses in Broomall and Southampton PA.
College America has (12) campuses in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho and Utah offering medical specialties programs. Medical - Pharmacy - Technician.
Clarita Career College is located in Canyon County, CA offering a one year Pharmacy Technician program.
CLN is located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania Pharmacy Technology.
Daymar College teaches Pharmacy Technology at (2) schools located in Louisville, KY., and Owensboro KY.
Draughons Junior College teaches Pharmacy Technology in Bowling Green KY., Clarksville TN., Murfreesboro TN. and Nashville TN.
Duffs Business Institute is located in Pittsburgh, PA., and offers Pharmacy Technician degree, and Patient Care Technician Diploma.
Eagle Gate College has (2) schools in Murray, Utah and Layton UT. and teaches Pharmacy Technology.
Everest College in Arlington, Texas offers Pharmacy Technology.
FMU has (9) Florida campuses teaching Pharmacy Technician.
Georgia Medical Institute has (3) schools in Atlanta, Jonesboro and Marietta GA. teaching Pharmacy.
High-Tech Institute (10) Campuses Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Orlando, Minneapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Sacramento offering Pharmacy Tech.
Lincoln Tec h is located in Allentown PA., offering a Pharmacy Technician program.
Long Technical College has (2) schools in Phoenix, AZ. both teach Pharmacy Technology.
Maric College offers (2) locations in Palm Springs and North Hollywood, CA., Pharmacy Technician.
Median School in Pittsburgh, PA. offers Pharmacy Technician programs.
National School of Technology (4) campuses Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah Kendal and Miami Beach, FL. offering Patient Care Tech - Medical Assisting Cardiovascular Technologist - Pharmacy - Surgery.
Nevada Career Academy is located in Sparks, NV and offers Pharmaceutical Technician programs.
NIT (11) Campuses: Long Beach, CA - San Jose, CA - Austin, TX - Houston, TX - San Antonio, TX - Cross Lanes, WV - Dearborn, MI - Southfield, MI -Pharmacy Technician - X-Ray Technician.
Olympia Career Training Institute
has (2) campuses located in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo MI and teaches Pharmacy Technology.
Rasmussen College has (2) campuses Eagan, and Mankato MN offering an Associates Degree in Pharmacy Technician.
UEI has (5) campuses serving students in the southern CA area and teaches Pharmacy Technician diploma.
Western Business College located in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA offering Pharmacy Technician Degree


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