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Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Tech Course - Get Started Today!

Pharmacy technicians have become indispensable to the health care industry, and it’s a great time to join this growing field. Pharmacy technician classes can get you started on this fulfilling career path. Learn the skills you need to become a pharmacy tech in a hospital or retail setting with the Pharmacy Technician Online Certification Training course. You'll gain the skills and knowledge to qualify for entry-level positions in pharmacies and be prepared for national certification.

While completing our pharmacy tech training course, you’ll be paired with an instructor for one-on-one assistance, as well as receive hands-on practice (read more on our Externship Program below). Upon completion of this course, you will be prepared to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), offered by Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The registration fee for this exam is included with this course, as well as all materials. Pharmacy technician certification is an important issue for many industry employers and state legislatures, some of which now require national certification.

12 Months / 400 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Finance Options Available

Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study on your own schedule.

Contact Us

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Tech Course - Get Started Today!

Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study on your own schedule.

Contact Us

Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES117

What You Will Learn
  • The federal and state laws that govern pharmacy, as well as the ethics of pharmacy practice.
  • HIPAA requirements and their application to pharmacy.
  • How to interpret physician orders and prescriptions.
  • Techniques required to order, stock, package, prepare, and distribute medications.
  • Definitions of medical and pharmaceutical terms and common abbreviations.
  • The pharmacology of medications in relation to the anatomy affected.
  • How to perform pharmaceutical calculations.
  • How to process insurance billing and collect payments.
  • How to communicate successfully with patients and medical professionals.
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 12 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 400 course hours
How you will benefit
  • After successfully completing your course, you’ll receive access to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) practice tests to help you study for your certification exam.
  • Jump start your career towards working as a Pharmacy Aide, Pharmacy Technician, Certified Pharmacy Technician, Health Technician/Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Records Clerk/Technician, or a Nursing Assistant.
  • You will get hands-on practice in retail pharmacy procedures through an online lab module, applying what you’ve learned to fill mock prescriptions.
  • You will have the opportunity to complete a 100-hour externship.
Outline
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Program Details

I.        Orientation to Pharmacy
                    A.    History
                    B.    Foundations and Roles
                    C.    Reference Materials
                    D.     Terminology Words and Abbreviations
                    E.    Terminology – Body Systems
                    F.    Community Pharmacy
                    G.    Hospital Pharmacy
                    H.    Advanced Pharmacy Environments
II.        Pharmacy Law and Ethics
                    A.     Introduction to Law
                    B.    Liability
                    C.    Ethics
                    D.    Federal Regulations
                    E.    Controlled Substances
                    F.    HIPAA
                    G.    Safety Laws
                    H.    State Laws
                    I.    State Boards of Pharmacy
III.        Pharmaceutical Calculations
                    A.    Number Systems
                    B.    Math Skills Review
                    C.    Dosage Calculations
                    D.    Percentage of Error
                    E.    Business Math
                    F.    Dilutions and Concentrations
                    G.    Oral Medications and Reconstitutions
                    H.    Parenteral Doses
                    I.    Intravenous Flow Rates
                    J.    Pediatric Doses
IV.        Pharmacology I:  Basics and Specific Populations
                    A.    Legislation and Regulation
                    B.    Sources and Forms
                    C.    Biopharmaceutics
                    D.    Pregnancy and Lactation
                    E.    Pediatric Patients
                    F.    Geriatric Patients
                    G.    Misused/Abused Drugs
V.        Pharmacology II:  Body Systems – Neurological
                    A.    Antidepressants/Antipsychotics
                    B.    Antianxiety/Hypnotics
                    C.    Autonomic Nervous System
                    D.    Parkinson’s/Alzheimer’s
                    E.    Seizures
                    F.    Anesthetics
VI.        Pharmacology III – Body Systems – Muscles, Heart, Lungs
                    A.    Musculoskeletal
                    B.    Cardiovascular
                    C.    Hypertensives/Cholesterol
                    D.    Diuretics
                    E.    Anticoagulants
                    F.    Respiratory/Allergies
                    G.    Gastrointestinal
VII.        Pharmacology IV:  Multi-body Systems
                    A.    Hormones – Endocrine
                    B.    Hormones – Reproductive
                    C.    Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutritionals
                    D.    Antineoplastic
                    E.    Analgesics
                    F.    Anti-Infective/Antibacterial
                    G.    Antivirals/Antifungals
VIII.       Communication Skills and Billing
                    A.    Computers
                    B.    Communications
                    C.    Financial Management
                    D.    Insurance
                    E.    Billing and Collections
                    F.    Inventory Control
IX.        Lab Practice I – Retail
X.         Lab Practice II - Hospital
XI.        Externship
XII.       Final Comprehensive Exam

 

Instructors & Support
Melissa Dunworth

Melissa Dunworth has been a pharmacy technician for over 13 years and has worked in retail, closed pharmacy, and training/education areas during her career. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and works as a Developmental Specialist in Early Intervention for children ages 0 to 3 years. She has been a certified pharmacy technician since 1997. Melissa is also registered with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy.

Betty Stahl

Betty Stahl has a doctorate in pharmacy from Shenandoah University. She has taught pharmacy technician programs at ASA College in New York City and ACT in Arlington, Virginia, over the past several years. Betty has also worked as a pharmacist at CVS and in hospital settings.

Lorraine C. Zentz

Lorraine C. Zentz completed her pharmacy tech certification in 1981 and has worked in the retail, home health, hospital, oncology, and education areas. She currently works at the Job Corps Center in Collbran, Colorado. Lorraine received her Bachelor's degree in biology, her Master's degree in education, and completed her doctorate studies in adult education. In 2004 she received the Outstanding Leadership Award and was named Technician of the Year in Colorado. Lorraine has taught continuing education programs for technicians throughout Colorado and nationally.

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Prerequisites / Requirements

Prerequisites:

If you're interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, this course is for you! No healthcare or medical office work experience is required.

You should be proficient in keyboarding (approximately 35 words per minute), have a basic understanding of a word-processing computer program (Microsoft Word is recommended), and have a command of English grammar and punctuation.

You are encouraged to have a basic understanding of high school math including percent’s and proportions at the algebra level. This course will provide a review of fractions and decimals, in addition to covering more advanced pharmacy equations. 

In order to sit for the national certification exam, you must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent; therefore, it's recommended you have this within 6 months of enrolling for this course.

To participate in the CVS or Walgreens externships, you must not have a criminal record. Background checks will be conducted prior to the student's admittance into the externship program.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari (We recommend Firefox or Chrome).
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Instructional material requirements: 

  • The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment: 
    • The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach
    • Pharmaceutical Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
    • Law and Ethics ISBN: 9781285082066
    • Fundamental Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians
    • Fundamental Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians Workbook
    • Pharmacy Lab Kit and Manual (e-Science)
    • Virtual Medication Safety for Technicians – Online
    • Virtual Inventory Management for Technicians - Online
    • Virtual Pharmacy Externship for Technicians – Online
    • Externship packet and lab coat provided upon acceptance into the Externship Program
More About

After successfully completing your course, you’ll also receive access to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) practice tests, to help you study for your certification exam.

While you’ll learn everything you need to know to pass the PTCB National Certification Exam, you'll still need to make sure that the Pharmacy Technician course will meet your state's requirements. To check, visit your state's Board of Pharmacy site. You can access this information directly from the PTCB website at www.ptcb.org. You can also call your state board and ask for the current technician regulations. 

Click here for information regarding your state-specific regulations for Pharmacy technicians

Our Pharmacy Externship Program*

As a part of the Pharmacy Technician Online Certification Training course, you are required to complete a Virtual Externship. You will also have an option to perform an actual hands-on, 100-hour clinical externship. Clinical externships are based on individual state board requirements.

ed2go has reached a nationwide agreement with several pharmacies that will give our Pharmacy Technician Program students an important leg-up in the job market. These pharmacies will offer their renowned externship programs to you, provided you meet basic qualifications. Externs will get hands-on experience that includes assisting pharmacists with prescriptions, answering patient questions about medications, and a bevy of administrative duties.

In order to qualify for an externship, you'll have to pass a drug screening test, obtain professional liability insurance, complete a background check and employment verification, meet current immunization standards, and conform with and complete any state mandates, such as registration, fingerprinting, licensing, etc. Additional forms may be necessary for externships with certain pharmacies. It may take up to 12 weeks to find an available opening.

*Disclaimer: An externship with these pharmacies is not guaranteed. You must apply to the program and complete the prerequisite criteria before being accepted. Positions in the externship program are contingent on availability at each pharmacy location. You may also set up your own externship at any other retail or hospital facility. The externship is an additional 100 hours. To participate in the CVS or Walgreens externships, you must not have a criminal record. Background checks will be conducted prior to your admittance into the externship program.

PLEASE NOTE: Walgreens is not currently able to place externship students in Arizona and Florida because they're piloting a POWER project in those states. An alternate externship may be available in these states.

Certified By

Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is an organization established by the American Pharmacists Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists, and Michigan Pharmacists Association more than 20 years ago. It was joined by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy in 2001. The organization advances the interests of industry professionals and the public health as it seeks to establish a national standard for pharmacy technician certification. The Board is at the forefront of medication safety and pharmacy technician training, ensuring that professionals in the field have the skills they need to do their jobs well in any practice setting. 

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FAQs
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How can I find my state's requirements for certification?

The Internet is a great resource for finding your state’s requirements for certification. All states have a website with Board of Pharmacy information. You can access this information directly from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) website at www.ptcb.org. Click on the “Who we serve” link, then the “states” link for information. You can also call the state board and ask for the current technician regulations.

What if my state requires more than what's offered in this course?

Most states still offer employment prior to certification. This often comes with the stipulation that certification is acquired within a period of time (usually a year). During this period, you’ll work as an unlicensed personnel member, clerk, or aide. On-the-job training or externships are a great way to obtain the number of hours required (many states require a minimum number of hours worked before you can be registered or certified with the board). If your goal is to work in a hospital pharmacy, finding that job while you’re still a student will help you reach your employment requirements, along with the educational clinical requirements.     

How will the Pharmacy Externship be established?

ed2go has established a national contract with Walgreens and CVS for Pharmacy Technician externships. Externships are based on availability and cannot be guaranteed. We will work with you to set up a pharmacy externship, in addition to the program hours. If you are interested in applying for an externship in a local pharmacy that is not a Walgreens or CVS, you may discuss these other options with your facilitator or externship coordinator. If you’re currently working in a pharmacy setting, that will qualify. With the increase in confidentiality and privacy regulations and liability issues in relation to health information, externships could become difficult to accomplish. In the event that you can’t arrange an externship, you will complete the Virtual Pharmacy Externship for Technicians provided with the program. Please do not select the completion button unless you are opting out of the externship program. Selecting the completion button can disqualify you.

*By state regulation, you may be required to apply for your pharmacy technician license or register with the State Board of Pharmacy before you can apply for the externship. Please check the website for your state’s Board of Pharmacy regulations and additional information. The state’s Board of Pharmacy has the most accurate and up to date information. Please also note that students may be required to provide proof of professional liability insurance for the externship program.

Can I qualify in the externship program if I have a criminal record?

Unfortunately, you will not qualify for the externship program if you have a criminal record. While you can still enroll in the course, to participate in externships, students must not have a criminal record. Background checks will be conducted prior to the student’s admittance into the externship program.  

Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are online, so you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive twelve (12) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go programs are non-credit programs, so they don't qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehabilitation or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our programs.

What happens when I complete the program?

Upon successfully completing the program and fulfilling the financial obligation, you'll be awarded a certificate of completion. In addition, you will receive an exam voucher to sit for the National Certification Exam which is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), offered by Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We do not offer direct job placement services, but our instructors and career counselors will help you build your resume and advise you on starting your career. Instructors can also be used as a professional reference upon course completion. However, you should always research the job market in your area before registering.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with a facilitator or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE CHAT or by calling us at (855) 520-6806. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the Contact Us form.

When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Please note: Once the course curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

Does this course prepare for a certification?

Yes, this course does prepare you for a certification. You will be prepared to sit for the National Certification exam titled Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

What does a pharmacy technician do?

Pharmacy assistants and technicians order and stock medications; prepare and package medications for distribution to patients; and provide information to patients. Pharmacy technicians may perform many of the same duties as a pharmacist; however, all of their work must be checked by a pharmacist before medication can be dispensed to a patient.

What is a PTCB certification?

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) administers the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE), which determines an individual’s pharmacy technician knowledge. When you pass the exam, you become certified and may use the designation “CPhT”. You will need to sit for the exam after this course; certification is not included.

How long does it take to complete pharmacy tech school?

Our pharmacy technician courses are self-paced and completed in 12 months or less. You will then complete a 100-hour externship, if you qualify. Finally, you will sit for your certification exam. Once you are certified, you’ll have the qualifications you need to find an entry-level job.

How much do Pharmacy Technicians make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacy Technicians earn a median wage of $15.90 per hour, which equates to an annual salary of $33,000. Top earners in this position can make nearly $47,000 per year. Wages vary greatly by location, but the top paying states for pharmacy technicians include Washington, California, Oregon and Alaska.

What are some of the things that Pharmacy Technicians can’t do inside the pharmacy?

Pharmacy technicians can’t perform certain jobs without the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They aren’t allowed to make judgement calls related to drug substitutions, interpret of prescriptions, or give instructions for preparing prescriptions. In most areas, they also can’t take a chart order or a new prescription over the phone. They also can’t dispense medication unless the order for the prescription has been verified by a pharmacist.

Is there a demand for Pharmacy Technicians?

Yes, Pharmacy Technicians are currently in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the jobs for Pharmacy Technicians with certification will increase by 12 percent over the next several years which is faster than average. Increased demand for prescription medications will be the primary driver of the growth in number of positions. The BLS also suggests that people with formal training or certification will be more sought after to fill open positions.

How do you become a Pharmacy Technician?

In order to become a Pharmacy Technician, you’ll need to first have an interest in helping people from a wide range of backgrounds. You’ll also need a love (or at least a strong like) of biology, chemistry, and math. Next, you’ll need to check the requirements for your state’s board of pharmacy as each state has different requirements. You’ll then need to find a course that will help you get certified as a Pharmacy Technician. The best courses, like this one, will also include an externship component. Study for and earn your certification, gain experience, and apply for positions in the pharmacy environment that best suits you.

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