Individuals looking to work as pharmacy techs must enroll in a program, either online or campus-based, that offers pharmacy technician courses. However, keep in mind that certification and education requirements are state-governed, and therefore the courses one can expect to take vary on a state-to-state basis.
Online Pharmacy Technician Courses
There are several online courses for aspiring pharmacy techs, which are either offered individually or as part of campus-based Associate of Applied Science programs. These courses can either be enrolled in simply as a way to prepare for certification exams, or in order to obtain higher credentials by pursuing continuing education. Courses that are offered by online institutions may offer their students opportunities for internships. These internships are typically completed at pharmacies or local clinics.
It is important to be aware of the fact that the requirements needed to work in the field vary in terms of continuing education, training, certification, registration and initial education. Therefore, it is recommended that anyone looking to work in the field contact their state’s pharmacy board to find out what these requirements are. A list of all state boards can be found on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website.
If students are considering enrolling in online programs, they must be comfortable in using a computer, particularly with word processors, Adobe Reader and attaching documents by e-mail. High speed internet access is also required in order to stream video lectures.
A List of Pharmacy Technician Courses
A pharmacy practices course aims to teach and familiarize students with the operation guidelines, safety practices, record keeping, inventory techniques and equipment used in a pharmacy environment. Other topics may include the skills needed to serve customers, quality control practices, over-the-counter medication and health insurance.
This course is focused on teaching students about the terminology and vocabulary of modern medicine. Types of illnesses, anatomy and branded drug names are all covered, as well as some of the most commonly used symbols and abbreviations used in the field of health care.
Basic pharmacology is one of the pharmacy technician courses that teaches students the way in which drugs interact with the body and bodily systems and how these drugs are able to fight diseases and illnesses. Classroom instructors also teach students all about administering drugs, drug interactions and their potential side effects. Topics which are covered include: compounding, toxicity, dosage, classification and therapeutic action.
This course teaches students about the federal and state laws which govern the field of pharmacy. The focus is on what the different responsibilities of pharmacy technicians and licensed pharmacists are. Ethical constraints, safety practices, the storage and dispensation of medication and the Controlled Substances Act are also covered.
The last of the pharmacy technician courses that needs to be taken is pharmacy mathematics. This course focuses on the metric units of measurement used in pharmacology. Students learn how to prepare concentrations and dilutions, how to enlarge and reduce formulas and how to calculate proportions, percentages, ratios and dosages. The methods used to translate between the numerous different types of units of measurement are also studied.