The introduction of new medications is on the rise as patients are in need of treatment for many different types of diseases and ailments and for this reason, pharmacy techs with a solid pharmacy technician education are in great demand in hospitals, pharmacies, mail-order and retail. When you learn how to become a pharmacy technician, you will be introduced to certain pharmaceutical and medical terminologies and given the tools to increase your understanding of what is involved in this field. While a formal education may not be required by all prospective employers, receiving your pharmacy tech certification makes you a better candidate for the job. With a proper pharmacy technician education and a pharmacy tech degree, you will be offered higher wages and will be in a position to advance quicker in the field.
As a pharmacy technician you will learn to interpret a physician’s prescriptions and orders, distribute medications and become capable of performing according to the state and federal governing laws of pharmacy. It is also important to maintain the highest level of confidentiality, ethics and professionalism. Your training will equip you for performing pharmaceutical calculations, enable you to understand the relationship between the pharmacy and the HIPPA requirements and prepare you for the National Pharmacy Technician Test.
Pharmacy Tech Training
The pharmacy technician courses are varied, but precise in providing a curriculum that will leave you well-prepared for a real world experience. A few of those pharmacy tech certification courses are Pharmacy and Health Care, Community and Hospital Pharmacies, Inventory Management, Routes and Formulations and Pharmaceutical Terminology and Prescriptions. Through these specialized courses derived from various pharmacy tech schools, you will develop skill levels conducive to today’s pharmaceutical demand.
As you learn how to become a pharmacy technician, you will be made aware of basic essentials related to pharmacy such as, drug administration and regulation, elements of patient interaction, pharmacy settings, biopharmaceutics and medical history. Some pharmacy tech schools offer a 60-hour online training course where you will perform problem practice exercises, utilize study guides that consist of detailed course instructions, take multiple choice quizzes and open-book exams. Other 60-hour online courses focus on pharmacy calculations where you are taught how to solve pharmacy related problems. These pharmacy technician courses will also offer you the opportunity to apply your new skills a real world environment.
Some 30-hour online pharmacy tech classes are designed to reinforce your career by learning to pronounce and spell terminology, differentiate drug classifications and learn monographs on prescriptions and common drugs. More specific courses involve special emphasis on substance abuse, pregnant and nursing women, children and end-of-life care.
When you decide to sit for the pharmacy technician test you must be aware of when and where the exam will be offered. Also be aware that deadlines are set for receipt of your application materials and that all of your prerequisites are met, as your application is accepted based on the specified received dates rather than the postmarked dates. The materials will be returned to you if received after the deadline dates. If received before the deadline, your application will be held until the proper date for processing. It is recommended that the online application process be utilized to avoid any mailing errors.
Finding the Right Pharmacy Technician Schools
Where you obtain your pharmacy technician certification is equally as important as getting certified. You should look for pharmacy tech schools that have a history of granting pharmacy tech degrees and have gained the respect of the industry. Among the most reputable certifying organizations, the prerequisites are basically the same. A GED, high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient. You may also be required to have a clean background of at least five years before your application date. Today’s increased drug usage is the reason why great care is taken in this regard. A drug related felony or any form of imposition by the State Board of Pharmacy will result in your application being rejected.
Upon meeting all the requirements necessary to enroll in the certification classes, the examination will be the next hurtle. The most popular exams are the Examination for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). The PTCE is focused on the core responsibilities of the pharmacy technician. This computer-based 90 question exam emphasizes the administrative role of the pharmacy tech and his client responsibilities. This exam can be taken an unlimited amount of times, but the fee must be paid for each exam appearance.
In order to maintain your pharmacy technician certification, every two years you must complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education. One hour of pharmacy law must be completed out of the ten, due to the law debates in the medical industry. For this reason pharmacy technicians should always be aware of any changes in the law that could affect the way they operate.
While obtaining a pharmacy tech certification does cost money, you are encouraged to go for it, as some employers may reimburse you for your incurred costs. Besides a place on the higher end of the pay scale, your certification will also place you in the perfect position to advance to the management level much faster than a non-certified technician.
In addition, when applying for pharmacy school, special preference is given to those who are already tech certified. Should you decide to advance your career and become a pharmacist, this will go a long way for your fully qualified pharmacist career in a stricter working environment such as a hospital. For a secure job in the healthcare industry, becoming a pharmacy technician is the next best thing to being a medical doctor, but without taking years to obtain. Your pharmacy tech training can be completed in as little as a year through an online course.
Accredited Pharmacy Tech Schools
When it comes to finding accredited pharmacy technician schools, the authority to turn to is The American Society of Health System Pharmacists. Here is a list by state of accredited pharmacy tech schools from their website. In addition, click pharmacy technician accreditation for more information.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, job opportunities for pharmacy techs are expected to be good, especially for those with certification or previous work experience. If you choose a career as a certified pharmacy technician, you can take advantage of several available opportunities to secure your future pharmacy career path. Your first step in your new career is to receive a well-rounded pharmacy technician education either online or from a local university or community college that offers a pharmacy tech degree.