As pharmacies expand patient care services, the role of and need for pharmacy technicians will also expand. Pharmacy Technicians are highly skilled individuals who play a critical role in pharmacies. They assist Pharmacists with day-to-day operations so that Pharmacists can spend the time they need to provide quality counseling and care to their patients.
Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on state rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor’s office. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure and sometimes mix the medication. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
In hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities. They read patient charts and prepare and deliver the medicine to patients. The pharmacist must check the order before it is delivered to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s profile.
Many states required licensure in order to perform pharmacy technician work. The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy currently requires licensure of all pharmacy technicians. Beginning July 1, 2015, newly hired technicians in West Virginia must be nationally certified. Upon completion of the PhT program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the national board examination. For more information about West Virginia requirements and the national certification exam, visit www.wvbop.com and www.ptcb.org.
What You’ll Learn
Pharmacy technician students will learn to verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate, to prepare a prescription, and to retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix medications. Successful completion of the PhT program will include a clinical internship at an affiliated health-care and retail facility. See the current advising sheet for more details. Learn about our one-year certificate in Pharmacy Technician Certificate.
Credits Required: 63 hours
Credential Earned: Associate of Applied Science
Pharmacy technicians work in retail or mail-order pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. With the appropriate amount of training and experience, pharmacy technicians may be promoted to supervisory roles, may seek specialization (e.g. oncology, nuclear pharmacy), or may pursue further education and training to become a pharmacist. Some technicians gain specialized skills in sterile products admixture, pharmacy automation and health information systems.