The structure of online pharmacy technician courses usually follows a “module” setup, where each section is its own module, most likely followed by an exam that you must pass to be sent the next module. Another program structure is called “distance learning.” If your program is labeled as such, you will have correspondence with your school via mail, email or online. There may be instances where your program requires that you attend certain classes on campus or at another convenient campus location.
The PTCB has a practice test section on their website, so you can get a feel for the rigorousness of the exam. The exam itself consists of 90 multiple choice questions, 80 of which are scored and 10 are unscored and interspersed randomly throughout the exam. You have one hour and 50 minutes to complete the exam, which covers some of the following topics:
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The need for pharmacy techs is increasing. Retailers are expanding their pharmaceutical services, and scientific advancements continue. In addition, prescription requests are likely to increase as more people in the U.S. have access to health insurance. Pharmacy technicians will also be needed as pharmacists continue to offer more direct patient care, such as administering flu shots. Read more about your pharmacy technician career.
Getting a credential, such as the Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), or the Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)—which are commonly bundled under the umbrella term credentialed veterinary technician by the administering National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America—can enhance your career and provide more opportunity for advancement.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the accrediting body for pharmacy technician programs. ASHP-certified programs are available at many community colleges and vocational schools. Most certificate programs can be completed within a year or less, while associate degree programs typically take two years to complete. Coursework covers technical and practical training in the following areas:
The comprehensive two-year program covers topics in pharmacy operations, pharmacology and advanced administration, and may include an externship component. Students take a series of general courses in mathematics, science, psychology, humanities, and English, in addition to pharmacy- and medical-specific courses to fulfill degree requirements. Graduates of this program can process medication orders, have extensive knowledge about pharmacy law as it applies to filling prescriptions, and demonstrate fundamental knowledge of medical terminology.
In addition, many states are updating the rules and regulations concerning permitted technician duties. For example, the Idaho Board of Pharmacy recently updated its rules to allow certified pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations, clarify and transfer prescriptions, and take verbal orders, as long as key requirements—national certification and proper training—are met.8
Vet Tech Institute of Houston’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is taught at their campus in the city of Houston. Most of the school’s 216 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The cost of tuition is, as a rough guide, in the order of $14,200 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $934, depending on the program chosen.
Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam. Applicants for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must recertify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.
Pharmacy technicians’ primary responsibility is dispensing prescription medication, which requires great attention to detail. Pharmacy techs must be able to measure, mix, dose and dispense appropriate amounts of medication based on the pharmacist’s orders. They may also be involved with data entry tasks to update patient records and fill prescription orders.
The growth of pharmacists’ roles across health care settings has led to the need for a comparable evolution in the responsibilities and roles of pharmacy technicians. Traditionally, technician tasks have focused on cashiering, insurance claim processing, medication preparation, and order entry, usually within a community or hospital setting. Advancement opportunities have been limited to lead technician or supervisory roles, medication and supply purchasing, and sterile products compounding because of a lack of promotion opportunities.
Take Daniel Rau, a former Marine sergeant who returned from active duty in 2008, after two years as a comms technician and three years protecting embassies in India, Japan, and Yemen. — Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018 With over 1,300 medical, operational, and regulatory experts, technicians and supporting services working in the same facilities, communication and collaboration are greatly enhanced. — Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "Medpace speeds the advancement of safe, effective medical therapeutics," 8 June 2018 In addition to local authorities, a state hazardous material technician and postal inspectors also responded, police said. — David Owens, courant.com, "White Powder In Piece Of Mail Disrupts ESPN's Bristol Campus," 7 June 2018 CONSTRUCTION Horizon Retail Construction, Sturtevant, hired Raul Luis Antonio as an information technology helpdesk technician and Brooke Barlow as an assistant project manager. — Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New hires, promotions at Wisconsin companies," 7 June 2018 In the end, a team of almost 25 Danbury clinicians — including surgeons, cardiologists, gynecologists, physician’s assistants, anesthesiologists, nurses, operating room technicians and office staff — worked together to develop a treatment plan. — Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Connecticut Woman Had a 132-Pound Ovarian Tumor Removed," 4 May 2018 Other experts included anesthetists, pediatricians, lab technicians, and backups in case anyone couldn't make it for the birth. — Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Kate Middleton Left the Hospital So Quickly After Giving Birth," 23 Apr. 2018 More than 20m people recently applied for 100,000 railway jobs, as train drivers, technicians and porters. — The Economist, "India’s economy is back on track. Can it pick up speed?," 28 Mar. 2018 Graduates can land a number of utility jobs such substation technicians and equipment operators, according to the college website. — Jason Ruiter, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Puerto Rican receives training in growing lineworker field, hopes to return to help restore power," 20 Mar. 2018