Pharmacy Technicians 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 Technician A.A.S.
Associate of Applied Science
61 Credit Hours
Certificate of Applied Science
30 Credit Hours
Community Pharmacy Technician
16 Credit Hours
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 require licensure in order to perform pharmacy technician work. The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy currently requires licensure of all pharmacy technicians. 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. Currently, the PTCE pass rate for program graduates is 53%.
The college adheres to an open admission policy which means applications with a high school diploma or GED are eligible for admission. Applicants with neither a high school diploma nor GED may be admitted on a conditional basis.
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.
Our program uses PioneerRx, the best pharmacy software, so our students can apply the knowledge and methods they learn in the classroom to a simulated pharmacy environment. For more information, visit pioneerrx.com. See what pharmacists around the nation are saying about PioneerRx at Pharmacy Software Reviews.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 7% from 2018-2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Pharmacy Technicians’ work in retail or mail-order pharmacies, hospitals, home health pharmacies and clinic pharmacies. 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.
The population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, among all age groups also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.
In addition, pharmacy technicians will be needed to take on a greater role in pharmacy operations because pharmacists are increasingly performing more patient care activities, such as giving flu shots. Technicians will need to perform tasks—such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians—that were previously done by pharmacists.