As a pharmacy technician you will work assisting the pharmacist in duties such as customer service, filling prescriptions and inventory control. Those interested in working as a tech will need to enroll in a certificate or degree program at an accredited pharmacy technician school. These schools will feature options for two different types of associate’s degree programs and the basic certificate programs.
How to Choose a Pharmacology Program
Some states will not require formal training in order to work as a pharmacy technician, however, by completing a training program you’ll have more experience in the field as opposed to new employees that require on the job training and you’ll therefore be more valuable to potential employers who will save money that will otherwise be used for training programs.
Some pharmacy technician schools will offer information sessions for potential students in order for the applicant to determine if a technician program is right for them before they commit to enrolling in a program. The sessions will cover such topics as cost versus benefits, overall job duties, course curriculum and pharmacy technician certification options and responsibilities. Often admissions tests can be administered by the school during one of these sessions or it can be required before a student enrolls in order to evaluate a student for acceptance into the program.
Many of these schools will offer programs that will include internships that can help to prepare a student for immediate employment once they have completed the required courses. Through affiliations with local pharmacies a student is able to gain experience in the field by performing such duties as inventory control, recordkeeping, medication counting and physician order transcription. Every school will differ in this area as some will offer more lab time as opposed to more time spent in the field.
Pharmacy Technician Courses for Degree and Certificate Programs
Applicants for pharmacy tech programs will need to be 18 years of age and have their high school diploma or state equivalent. Students will need to complete an admissions application and provide school transcripts for the admissions department to review.
Training for this program can be found through degree or certificate programs, both of which will include field and classroom training. The associate’s degree program covers traditional courses which will include classes in social and behavioral science, mathematics, natural science and general elective classes. Students can also expect courses in anatomy, medication absorption, medical terminology, medical laws and ethics and medication dosage effects.
Certificate programs that are available for this field can be completed in one to two years and will also include an internship in a professional pharmacy setting and courses in drug interactions, medication absorption, anatomy, pharmacology laws and ethics and patient documentation.
After completion of either program the student will need to take certification exams through an accredited organization such as the PTCB, in order to obtain their licensure for this profession. To qualify for recertification the technician will need to earn twenty hours of continuing education every two years for license renewal.
As a professional, the technician can work in a number of environments such as retail pharmacies, dental offices, scientific research and development labs, private or public hospitals and medical clinics.