Pharmacy Technician Programs
The Pharmacy Technician Training Program is a great choice if you want a prestigious, well-paying career. Medical advances, combined with our aging population, have created tremendous growth in this field. You’ll learn dosage calculations, product recognition, and drug distribution systems. Major emphasis is placed on learning the trade and generic names of selected drugs and their classification. You’ll also learn pharmaceutical and medical terminology including abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing, dispensing and charting. Basic anatomy and related pathological conditions are introduced.
A Pharmacy Technician assists a pharmacist. They work under supervision of a qualified pharmacist to prepare prescriptions, provide customer services as well as some doing some administrative duties. They might also be able to offer advice to members of the public. If someone is worried about a health issue, sometimes talking to a pharmacy technician or pharmacist can guide them as to whether they should consult a physician or not.
They can work in retail where they may operate a cash register and according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 75% of pharmacy technicians work in this area. As they are dealing directly with the public they need good communication skills.
They can also work in hospitals, nursing homes or long term care facilities where they might prepare sterile solutions, stock shelves, deliver medication to nurses and physicians and record the information on patients records. The might also prepare insurance forms. They are on their feet a great deal and often have to lift heavy boxes. A pharmacy technician needs to be in good health and fit for these reasons.
What Training Does a Pharmacy Technician Need?
There is no national standard but a high school diploma is useful because they need good reading, writing and maths skills to decipher and fill prescriptions.
Many train on the job but employers are more likely to favor those who are certified. Courses can be found in colleges and vocational colleges. These courses will include; medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmacy techniques, as well as laws and ethics relating to pharmacy work. They also need to know and understand the names, actions, uses and doses of medications. This is detailed and precise work.
Possible qualifications are a high school diploma, a certificate or an associated degree. Some pharmacy technicians decide, after experiencing the work, to further their education and become pharmacists in their own right.
In most States, pharmacy technicians are registered with the State Board of pharmacology. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy pharmacy technicians administer the examinations. Many employers will reimburse the cost of the exams. The applicant must have no felony convictions and every two years the certification must be done again. This maintains high standards.
As with many other professions there is continuous education and twenty hours annually is expected. This can be earned in colleges, pharmacies and pharmacy training programs. Ten hours of continuous education can be earned on the job under the supervision of a pharmacist. The need to be up to date with drugs, techniques and ideas is important to provide a good and safe service to users.
Good customer service and communication skills are useful for anyone dealing with the public. Basic maths, spelling and reading need to be competent because of the need to interpret prescriptions and verify dosage. Precision in this work is vital. A small error of numbers can have a seriously adverse effect on patients.
There is not much opportunity for advancement beyond a supervisory role in a large organization which is why some pharmacy technicians choose to become pharmacists. At the same time the opportunities for this work are growing and it seems there will be an increasing amount of pharmacy technicians needed in the future.
The American Association of Pharmacy Technicians was formed in 1979 to encourage professional recognition of pharmacy technicians. Another objective is to encourage the development of formal training.
A pharmacy technician provides useful information and a valuable service to the public. This is work which might appeal to someone interested in the medical aspects but who is not willing to train in any other field of medicine.