If you’re thinking about becoming a pharmacy technician, you’re probably wondering what you can expect to learn in class. In this blog post, we’ll give you a brief overview of the topics you’ll cover in a typical pharmacy technician program.
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The Basics of Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy tech class will teach you the basics of the pharmacy technician profession. You will learn about the different roles of a pharmacy technician, the duties of a pharmacy technician, and the different settings in which a pharmacy technician can work. You will also learn about the different types of pharmacy technician certifications.
The role of the pharmacy technician
Pharmacy technicians are an important part of the pharmacy team. They work closely with pharmacists to provide patients with the medications they need.
The role of the pharmacy technician is to provide support to the pharmacist in dispensing medications and other healthcare products, as well as providing excellent customer service.
In order to become a pharmacy technician, you will need to complete a pharmacy technician training program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges and vocational schools. During your training, you will learn about the different types of medications, how to dispense them, and how to provide excellent customer service.
The pharmacy technician’s scope of practice
The pharmacy technician’s scope of practice is determined by provincial legislation and regulation. In all provinces, pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They perform their duties in accordance with established policies, procedures and guidelines set by the employer, which may include a code of ethics and standards of practice.
The pharmacy technician’s scope of practice includes:
-Compounding and dispensing medications
-Counselling patients on the use of medications
-Preparing and distributing medications
-Maintaining patient records
– Ordering, stocking and controlling inventory
-Billing for medications
The pharmacy technician’s code of ethics
The pharmacy technician’s code of ethics is a set of guidelines that help technicians act in a professional and responsible manner. The code includes principles such as respecting the confidentiality of patient information, maintaining accurate records, and ensuring the accuracy of dispensing medications.
Pharmacy Tech Class Curriculum
Pharmacy tech classes will generally cover a range of topics related to the field of pharmacy. This can include training on how to dispense medications, how to process insurance claims, and how to assist customers. The curriculum will also likely cover some basic medical topics, such as anatomy and physiology.
Class topics and learning objectives
Class topics for a pharmacy tech program will vary depending on the program and the state in which you are taking the course. However, there are some common topics that are covered in most classes, including:
-Anatomy and physiology
-Pharmacy law and ethics
Most programs will also include a clinical component, which will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in a pharmacy.
The importance of externships
While in pharmacy tech class, you will also learn about the importance of externships. Externships are an opportunity for you to get hands-on experience in a real-world setting, and they can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the pharmacy profession. Many students who complete externships are offered jobs at the pharmacies where they completed their training, so it is definitely worth considering.
The Certification Process
Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great way to jump-start your career in the medical field. And the best part is, you can do it in as little as a few months! In order to become certified, you’ll need to complete a pharmacy technician training program and pass a certification exam.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered by Pearson VUE. You must score a 70% or higher to pass the exam. The PTCE is broken down into eight domains:
-Medication Order Entry and Fill Process
-Pharmacy Inventory Management
-Professionalism and Pharmacy Law
-Pharmacy Calculations and Measurements
You will have two hours to complete the exam, and you will be asked 100 multiple-choice questions. Of those 100 questions, 20 will be “pre-test” questions that do not count towards your score but are used to gather data for future exams.
Maintaining your certification
The Certification Process – (What You Can Expect to Learn in Pharmacy Tech Class)
In order to become a certified pharmacy technician, you must complete an accredited pharmacy technician program and pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Some states have additional certification requirements.
Maintaining your certification
Once you are certified, you must maintain your certification by completing 20 contact hours of continuing education every two years and paying an annual maintenance fee. You will also be required to recertify every four years by either passing an exam or completing a portfolio review process.
Pharmacy technicians are in high demand. They help pharmacists dispense medication and provide customer service. They also perform some clerical duties. Most pharmacy techs work in retail pharmacies, but there are many other opportunities as well.
The pharmacy technician job outlook is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment will grow by 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1 This growth is due in part to an aging population that requires more prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. It’s also due to an increase in the number of retail pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics.2
As a pharmacy technician, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $32,700.3 And the top 10 percent of earners make over $45,360.4 Pay varies by experience, geographic location, and employer. For example, pharmacy technicians in California earn a median annual salary of $38,030, while those in Texas earn a median annual salary of $33,750.5
To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to take a certificate or diploma program from an accredited school. These programs typically take one year or less to complete and include both classroom and laboratory instruction.6 You’ll learn about drug interactions and side effects, dosage calculations, sterile compounding, recordkeeping, and pharmacy law and ethics.7
After completing your training program, you will need to pass a national certification exam administered by either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).8 Once you are certified, you will need to renew your certification every two years by completing continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee.9
1″Pharmacy Technicians.” Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , 14 Jan 2020. Web
Pay for pharmacy technicians varies depending on the industry, geographic location, and type of employer. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $47,350.
Many pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings. Others work in retail pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies. Some travel to patients’ homes to provide services or teach them how to take their medications properly.
The following tabulations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide detailed salary information for pharmacy technicians in different industries and geographic locations.
Industry Annual Mean Wage
General Merchandise Stores $36,610
Elementary and Secondary Schools $34,930
Outpatient Care Centers $33,690
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private $33,580
Federal Executive Branch $33,560
Grocery Stores $33,550
May 2017 median annual wages for the top industries employing pharmacy technicians:
Industry Annual Median Wage
General Merchandise Stores $35,280
Hospitals; State, Local and Private $33,760
Outpatient Care Centers $32,770
While working as a pharmacy technician, you may be able to find opportunities for advancement. Some employers promote pharmacy technicians to supervisory positions, such as lead technician or shift supervisor. In large pharmacies, pharmacy technicians may be promoted to a position of staff pharmacist. With additional training, you could become a clinical pharmacist or a certified diabetes educator.