Pharmacy Technician As a Career

65You must have noticed that in some industries, the number of jobs available for newcomers is gradually declining. These sectors are in decline and do not seem appealing as a career opportunity. But healthcare and technology are two fields that continue to grow despite the bad economy. They offer plenty of new opportunities and are somewhat more immune from the effects of outsourcing/offshoring.

As a pharmacy technician, you get to work under supervision of a licensed pharmacist. This can be in a retail setting, in stores like CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid etc. Technicians also work in a hospital pharmacy or in a care facility like a rehab center.

Your primary duty is to assist the pharmacist in dispensing the prescription correctly, and working to make sure that the customers and patients are served quickly and efficiently. Specific job description varies based on employer need, but the central function of a pharmacy technician is the same everywhere.

For career advancement you can get specialized training. Nuclear pharmacy, oncology, management are some of the areas most in demand. I would suggest that you work as a technician for a year or so before deciding on specialized training.

As for earning potential, the median hourly rate for pharmacy technicians is $14.10, which keeps you well above the proposed federal minimum wage of $10.00. It is a good way to make a living and also offers advancement opportunities, all for very little initial investment.

The investment I am talking about is regarding time and money it takes to be a pharmacy technician. You can choose to take classes (online or in class), which is usually 6-9 months, and take the certification test. You can also do a self study and appear for certification test. In about a year, you can be ready to enter the job market as a pharmacy technician.

You can choose either the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification or the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT). They are both nationally recognized-although some states including Texas, accept the PTCB certification only. So, better to check you state’s requirements before making a decision.


What Are The Pharmacist Education Requirements?

64Pharmacy is very sought after profession. It is high paying with many perks that other professions don’t offer. It is considered to be one of the best health care professions these days.

Working as a health care professional can be messy at times, considering the blood or body fluids, and not everybody can handle that. So if you are a person who can’t handle the messy part but still want to be in health care, pharmacy can be the right thing for you.

Pharmacist education requirements are not difficult at all. You can join a pharmacy school right after graduating from high school. If you have decided that early, meaning that you made the decision while still in high school, it will be wise to opt for math and science courses while you are still in high school. But even after that, during college or later, you can join a pharmacy school anytime.

The basic pharmacist education requirements to pursue a degree in this filed will be to clear the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test) but all colleges listed by PharmaCAS do not require a test. The interview, application and letter of recommendation are all part of the process.

The prerequisites are an important part of the pharmacist education requirements. If you are joining a pharmacy school right after high school you can join a joint undergraduate and Pharm. D program. This way you will be completing your prerequisite courses in two years and the actual pharmacy education in the next three to four years.

But if you are a bachelor’s degree student than the courses you are taking can make a lot of difference. Science and life science subjects will give you a greater advantage over arts subjects. You can always get the most accurate information from the websites of the particular schools you are interested in. By getting that information you can be sure about the pharmacist education requirements and the admission process will become easier for you.

The bachelor’s degree for pharmacy has been phased out. You will very rarely hear about a registered pharmacist meaning a pharmacist who is only a BS. It has become essential to obtain a Pharm. D Degree before you become a licensed practicing pharmacist. Another important thing to note is that the doctor in Pharmacy is different than both PhD and MS in pharmacy.

Being in a pharmacy school is as demanding and as hard as being in a medical school. There is extensive study and practical work involved. But once you have completed your years at a pharmacy school the road ahead is comparatively easier. To begin with, you will not have to go through years and years of residency. At the most the residency will be one to two years and that also only if you want to.

You can get straight to practicing without the residency. It is important to get a license from the state before you start practicing. You don’t necessarily have to work at a drug store. Pharmacy is exciting and diverse. You can work alongside doctors as part of a medical team or choose to work in the lab for further research. Once you obtain your degree it is up to you to decide what you want to do with it.

Online Training to Leave the Competition Behind In the Pharmaceutical Industry

young women science professional pipettingApart from producing genuine medicines, the biggest challenge for a pharmaceutical company is to beat the prevalent competition in the industry. After the real estate, pharmacy is a sector that faces a heavy competition in the market. To beat the rivalry and pace ahead, a company needs to focus on quality, along with improving the skills of its employees. To improve the skills of the employees, providing them with online training could be a positive and prolific tool. Since it is an always changing industry, a pharmaceutical organization, willing to pitch a tough competition to their rivals, should always be present with innovative ideas and training modules for their employees.

Why Online Training

With the progress of e-learning system, things have become much easier now. There are manifold advantages of organizing online training sessions for the employees, a few of which are –

Cost-effectiveness – It is an immense burden for an organization to arrange classroom sessions to train and educate their employees. It is really an expensive pursuit to step ahead for such things. However, e-learning sessions could be more economical. There will be no need to hire an expert trainer, and organize the sitting arrangement for the trainees. Online training sessions could be accessed by the trainees on their computers or laptops. Skill development programs through online learning modules could be a beneficial affair for the employees as well as the organization.

Effective learning – Another interesting aspect of online training! The course content for the training sessions is presented in an interactive manner, which proves beneficial for the employees. One of the biggest worriment for a company is content of the training. What and how the employees should be taught and trained so that the sales of the organization could be enhanced? The online training sessions and contents are designed in a practical manner that has a very effective impact on the trainees’ mind.

Up-to-the-minute cover – In the online medium, the latest developments and trends could be covered radically. It helps the trainees learn the insight of what’s happening inside the industry and enables them to stay updated with those latest developments. With this, pharmaceutical professionals can surpass rivals in the market.

Personalized course materials – The online system allows the organizers to decide content of the course for each of the participants before they initiate the session. For example, managers and executives need to be trained in different ways. So they will need different course contents for the training.

The training sessions encourage the dedication and superior performance in the employee and establish a strong connection between the industry, company and professionals. With ever-changing pharmacy sector, it is an essential exercise for an organization to arrange training sessions for its employees.

Obtain Pharmacy Certification With Higher Education

62Assisting a pharmacist is a reachable goal through the combination of proper schooling and certification. You can obtain pharmacy certification with higher education and become a certified pharmacy technician. Many schools and colleges provide the knowledge needed not only to become a pharmacy professional but also to successfully become certified.

Pharmacy certification is not required in most states. However, voluntary certification is obtainable by taking one of two national certification exams. These include The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians exam. The PTCB exam strives to provide the best overall assurance that pharmacy technicians accurately and proficiently assist pharmacists with medication use and delivery. The exam tests all areas learned inside formal education and reflects the standards in pharmacology care. The ICPT exam is a section of the National Health Career Association and tests technicians with their national certification exam, the ExCPT.

Certification covers all areas learned inside a higher education program. Students can expect to be tested on areas that include:

  • Technician Duties
  • Controlled Substances
  • Law and Regulations
  • Drug Classification
  • Preparing and Dispensing Medication
  • Calculations

These areas are broken down inside an exam to include every aspect of the pharmacy technician industry. Students that want to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to become certified can choose from the two main educational options. A certificate program or an associate’s degree program is a typical training path taken by technicians. Training can last anywhere from six months to two years depending on what schooling path students choose.

Certificate programs are shorter programs that provide students with the ability to enter a career as a technician. Studies teach students to assist pharmacists by conducting duties like labeling and counting pills. Students will learn skills that provide the best base for certification and job requirements. Anatomy, pharmaceutical terminology, calculation procedure, and inventory management courses are topics that are covered inside this level of schooling. Furthering education at the associate’s degree level gives students more career flexibility and increases their annual salary.

Associate degree studies center on the same general concepts as a certificate program but through a more intensive curriculum. Patient care techniques, pathology principles, and drug interactions are some courses that are involved in an associate’s degree program. Students learn to assist a pharmacist on more levels, which includes filling prescriptions, mixing drugs, and providing information about prescriptions to patients. The ability to work with pharmacists is obtainable directly after graduating a program. Students should consider becoming certified because it makes them more competitive in the hiring process. Being certified proves to an employer that the applicant is officially qualified to be a technician and prepares students to continue education at a later time to become a pharmacist if desired.

Guidelines for Choosing the Right Pharmacy Technician Schools

61Are you planning to venture into the pharmacy technical world? If so, there are several important considerations that you need to take into account. For instance, you need to have the necessary training. This requires you to choose the best school for your training. The good thing is that there is a myriad of pharmacy technician schools. However, for you to find the right institution, you have to research extensively on the available colleges. This should not trouble you much since most of the reputable medical schools have websites where they post the most important details about their services. Therefore you do not have to waste your time moving from one town to another searching for the best medical training institution.

However, the increasing range of pharmacy technician schools makes it difficult for students to choose the best school for their training. That is why it is important to learn a few aspects about the best pharmacy tech schools. Remember, the success of your career depends on the kind of training you get. You should also exercise caution whenever you are choosing the right schools for your training especially since there are some inept training institutions that have emerged with the sole aim of making a quick buck from unsuspecting students. The question is: How do you choose the right pharmacy technician school? There are several essential considerations that you should always make whenever you are searching for the right institution.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Pharmacy Technician Schools

• Hands-on training: Pharmacy tech requires adequate skills in handling different types of machines. That is why you need to have enough exposure to the various types of tools used in hospitals before you seek employment as a pharmacy tech. This can be achieved through rigorous hands-on training. Therefore when you are choosing the right school for your training it is important to go for schools that offer high quality training and enough practical lesions. That way, you will obtain the needed experience to work as a pharmacy technician.

• Understand your goal: Before you join any school, it is important to understand your achievements and objectives. Knowing what you want to achieve in your career allows you to choose an institution that will help you to realize those goals.

• Consider the type of equipment available: As aforementioned, pharmacy technical training requires a lot of practical lesions. This requires you to choose a school that has the right training equipment.