As the pharmaceutical field continues to enjoy advancements and the number of health organizations continues to rise, there is an expected increase in the demand for pharmacy technicians, too. Getting a pharmacy technician license means getting more employment opportunities. But to get that license, one needs to pass the exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, meant to test the knowledge and skills of the aspiring technicians. States in the US have varying requirements as to the certification of pharmacy technicians.
Pharmacy technician Basic Requirements
Before taking the certification exam to get a pharmacy technician license, one needs to comply with the following requirements:
- A high school diploma or GED
- A certificate or diploma from a board accredited college, university or institution to ensure credibility
- A spotless criminal record
- All the necessary documents such as birth certificate, certificate or diploma, and more before submitting the form for application
Although the state requirements regarding the license of pharmacy technicians may vary, it would be safer to complete an internship under a licensed pharmacist’s supervision. Some schools may even help their students get their license.
Expected Skills of pharmacy technician
Candidates who want to become certified pharmacy technicians must have the following skills:
- Knowledge of medical and pharmaceutical terminologies
- Ability to perform math-based and scientific calculations
- Knowledge in packaging, compounding, marking and storage of medications
- Keeping a record of the medications and the patients’ prescriptions
- Monitoring the inventory
- Ability to perform administrative tasks in the pharmacy
Importance of a License in the field of pharmacy technology
The healthcare industry involves a lot of risks. Even the smallest mistake in filling prescriptions can have serious repercussions on the health of the patients or the reputation of the healthcare professional. There are many lawsuits that are based on minor mistakes. This is why the US government wants to ensure that all the healthcare practitioners, including pharmacy technicians, have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their job. Since this profession requires attention to detail, the license is only given to the most responsible and capable candidates.
Pharmacy Technician License Certification
Pharmacy technicians who want to take the test administered by the PTCB can do so using a computer. The exam has 90 multiple choice questions that cover the subjects of assisting licensed pharmacists in catering to the needs of the customers, maintain medication and stocks, and join in the management and administration of the work area.
Tests can be conducted all over the country and are available all year-round. The registration fee is around $129. Those who fail the exam can take it as many times as they’d like until they get a passing score. However, an exam fee has to be paid every time one wants to take the exam. Those who manage to pass the exam can use the title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). Find out more about Pharmacy Technician Degree.
Pharmacy Technician License Renewal
According to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), the Certification Governing Committee has decreed that the pharmacy technician certification should be renewed every two years. This is to help the healthcare professionals keep up with the rapid changes in drug treatments, health care techniques, and technology.
Before renewing their license, certified pharmacy technicians must log in at least 20 hours of continuing education, including at least an hour of Pharmacy Law.
Certified pharmacy technicians cannot use their CE credits in the next recertification period. They can apply for a renewal of their license up to 90 days within the expiration of their certification, although CE credits earned within this period will not be counted. If they fail to get recertified during this grace period, they will lose their license. Their certification will only be reinstated within 12 months of losing it.