When pharmacy technicians perform their duties efficiently, they help patients live healthier and happier lives. The role of technicians has evolved in the past decades. In retail and hospital pharmacies, their duties have expanded to include more innovative and advanced roles in disease specializations and pharmacy administration. By assuming a more active role in the pharmacy, technicians free up pharmacists to spend more time with patients. In the hospital setting, technicians will prepare medications, restock automated dispensing machines, deliver medications to the patients’ rooms, and compound medications. In some settings, technicians may have additional training to assist with medication therapy management and controlled substances management.
The vital role pharmacy technicians perform is reflected in the expansion of the role. Often, it is the pharmacy technician who sees to the daily operation of the pharmacy. Pharmacy technician programs give students an in-depth knowledge of the pharmacy practice to prepare them for the expanded role. Students learn the importance of updating the patient profiles with vital information, such as the patient’s medical conditions, that will help pharmacists prevent or uncover medication errors. Pharmacy and medical terminology, drug names, and drugs and their effects will also provide another layer of security that will help prevent medication error. As a final security measure, a pharmacist will check the final product for accuracy to ensure the patients receive correct medications. At a time when pharmacies are offering more services to fill a gap in care, it is vital that technicians have the training to take on new and expanded roles, but understand their need to work collaboratively with the pharmacist to get the job done safely and efficiently.
American National University
The pharmacy technician diploma program at American National University provides adults with the academics and practical skills in the filed to assume an entry-level position as a pharmacy technician. The instruction also covers the preparation students need to succeed on the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Moreover, students will have a solid foundation to pursue an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology or medical assisting. Graduating from the program requires completion of 48 credit hours. Course units include pharmacy law and ethics, dosage calculations, communication for the healthcare profession, institution pharmacy practice, intravenous admixture and compounding lab, community pharmacy systems of operations, pharmacology, pharmacy technician success exam, and pharmacy technician externship. Students will also gain valuable experience in computer operations, drugs and their applications, updating patient profiles, preparing insurance claims, and trade and generic drug names. Upon completion of the classroom theory and lab experiences, students will also participate in a pharmacy externship in a retail pharmacy or another setting to reinforce the theoretical instruction. ANU offers students convenient and flexible day and evening classes, personalized instruction, career services, professional instructors, and alumni benefits that include refresher courses and access to career services. The tuition of $20,130 does not include expenses for books, supplies, and fees. The program is designed to be completed in 40 weeks.
- Website: https://www.an.edu/locations/princeton-wv/
- Address: 421 Hilltop Drive, Princeton, WV 24739
- Phone: 304-431-1600
Mercer County Schools
The pharmacy technician program at Mercer County Schools is a test prep program that gives students the knowledge and practical skills to pass the PTCB exam and assume an entry-level position in a pharmacy setting. The curriculum covers 180 hours of practical and theoretical instruction in the areas of pharmacy and medical terminology, pharmacy law and ethics, dosage calculations, pharmacology, reading and interpreting prescriptions, packaging and labeling, inventory management, and billing and insurance. Classes meet Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Applicants must pay the tuition in full when registering for the program. A copy of insurance card and a high school diploma or GED are other requirements for entry. Students are expected to attend all classes to graduate from the program. Tuition for the program costs $600. A payment plan may be available for eligible students.
- Website: http://mercer-k12.wvnet.edu/technicaled/community-resources/
- Address: 1403 Honaker Avenue, Princeton, WV 24740
- Phone: 304-487-1551