Pharmacy technicians do more than just refill prescription bottles per day. They need to know a lot about drugs and their classifications, dealing with insurance claims and the processes involved, and giving good customer service. For those who aspire to be in this position, there are many accredited pharmacy technician programs offered by community colleges, technical schools, or online schools.
Why Enroll in Formal Programs
While there are employers that accept pharmacy technicians who learned their work through hands-on experience, those who completed a formal pharmacy technician program and on-the-job training are likely to have better employment opportunities. These opportunities will increase further if they choose to complete a certificate or associate’s degree program.
What to Expect from the Pharmacy technology Programs
Students who enroll in a pharmacy technician program will tackle the following areas:
- Medical terminology
- Pharmaceutical measurements and calculations
- Anatomy and physiology
- Drug or poison
- Label and prescription information
Certificate Programs for pharmacy technicians
Those who want to take the shortest route towards becoming a pharmacy technician can choose to complete a diploma or certificate program. However, the courses in this program are focused on teaching the students the specific skills that they need for the job.
For instance, the program will include subjects such as Introduction to Health Professions, Drug Classifications, Pharmacy Law, Pharmaceutical Math I and II, and Institutional Pharmacy Practice.
Certificate programs are often completed in two semesters, including on-the-job training in retail pharmacies, hospitals, or home care settings.
Associate’s Degree Programs in Pharmacy Technology
Those who want to complete a more comprehensive program for pharmacy technicians can enroll in an associate’s degree program. Aside from the pharmacy-focused subjects, there will also be general education subjects such as college algebra, English composition, and general psychology.
The associate’s degree is also ideal for students who are planning on pursuing a higher degree in the future. The units earned by taking this program can be easily transferred to an undergraduate degree program, granted that the associate degree program is completed at an accredited school.
Some of the subjects discussed under this pharmacy technician program may include Pharmacology, Pharmacy Technician Fundamentals and Ethics, Chemistry for Pharmacy, Pharmacy Law and References, and Pharmacy Calculations.
Students will also learn about management, supervision, customer service, and human relations. Internships are also an integral part of the program.
Pharmacy Technician Online Programs
Students who are planning on taking their pharmacy technician program online can choose from several online schools, including the following:
- Purdue University. Their College of Pharmacy, Health Sciences, and Nursing offer among top pharmacy techs in school.
- University of California. This is among the best schools for pharmacy technicians in the US. They boast of great academic quality, doctoral and post doctoral programs, and scientific journal entries.
- University of North Carolina. They have ranked first among the pharmacy universities in the US. However, they only accept students with passing GRE, TOEFL, and PCAT scores.
- University of Kentucky. This is the most popular university for pharmacy courses in the US.
Aspiring pharmacy technicians can choose from various schools and programs, depending on what suits their career goals. They can even complete it at their own pace, usually in the case of an online program.