Getting Your Pharmacy Technician Certificate

If your goal is to be a certified pharmacy technician you should first ascertain that there are no impediments to your career goal. Besides a high school certificate, you need to be free of any criminal record and to have not been involved in any drug-related incidents. If there are no obstacles to your goal you should start finding out all about your future career.

One way that you can obtain the necessary preparation for obtaining certification is by enrolling in a technician program at your local community college. There you will learn the basic aspects of the job and other knowledge that will be tested in the examination. You could also intern as a technician in a pharmacy where you will also learn by observing and by helping a certified pharmacy technician. Online classes are also a viable alternative that will help you to prepare for the examination.

The examinations that will test your knowledge are given by the ICPT and the PTCB. The ICPT or the Institute of Certification of Pharmacy Technicians examines candidates for certification and grants the certification if a passing grade is achieved. The PTCB or the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board is another body that examines candidates and grants certification. Both bodies are recognized by the Pharmacy Boards in most states. The examination given by the PTCB is made up of 80 pharmacy-related questions and an initial 10 questions that are mainly for surveys.

Getting Your Pharmacy Technician Certificate

The three-part exam deals with all aspects of a technician’s job, from dealing with customers to the more complicated tasks involving medical prescriptions and their purpose. Part one of the exam is more pharmaceutical in nature and you will need to show your knowledge of all types of drugs, both generic and brand-name, and any side-effects that could occur in some patients. Prescriptions, their interpretation and dispatch, are also an important part of a pharmacy technician’s world and this is also tested in part one.

All pharmacies need to have an efficient inventory and control system in place, given the life-spans of certain drugs and the effects that could occur if they are administered past their stated lifetime. In part two you will have to demonstrate that you have mastered, or at least have a good knowledge of, the maintenance of an inventory system. All drugs need to be stored in a special manner and, if necessary, disposed of in accordance with hazardous waste specifications. This is also an important aspect that you should study and be prepared to answer in the examination.

Part three deals with the daily operations in a pharmacy. Since you will be assisting the pharmacist in all aspects of administration you will need to know about the daily running of the business. You will be tested on the correct way to maintain hygiene on the premises and also on your knowledge of the documentation required by organisms such as the FDA.

As a certified pharmacy technician you can be assured of a steady availability of jobs anywhere.

All pharmacies need certified pharmacy technicians who are qualified to assist the pharmacist in doing his job. Since the FDA gives approval to drugs on a regular basis you will need to be up to date at all times. You will also need to be re-certified every two years, during which time you will also have to complete at least 20 hours of continuing education. This requirement can be satisfied by taking a course in Pharmacy Law or in a pharmacy-related area such as chemistry or biology.