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Associate of Applied Science Degree Program in Pharmacy Technology Overview

Majors Overview June 25, 2014

Students in Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs in Pharmacy Technician will be prepared to assist pharmacists by providing patients with prescription drugs. Graduates may process insurance, fill and prepare orders, and perform other pharmacy duties. In order to find work as a pharmacy technician, state registration requirements have to be met.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Programs in Pharmacy Technology

Students enrolled in a pharmacy technology associate’s degree are trained to seek entry-level careers in pharmacy settings. The training may include preparing orders, processing insurance information, and filling orders. Students are taught about how drugs and the human body react with each other.

Students would benefit by enrolling into a program that carries the approval of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Students enrolled in pharmacy technician programs are typically expected to participate in an internship under the supervision of a pharmacist. They are given real-world work experience in performing various tasks. For instance, they get to interact with patients, handle medication, and receive orders.

No standard training requirements have been specified for pharmacy technicians (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Instead, they may be offered on-the-job training by some employers. Admission criteria may require candidates to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in pharmacy technician programs may cover a variety of subject areas, including law, ethics, recordkeeping, and pharmaceutical terminology. Additional to general education requirements, students are taught about a variety of drugs, their purposes, and their dosage. Coursework may include the following topic areas:

•Medical terminology
•Calculation and measurement
•Pharmacy procedures
•Pharmacology
•Pharmacy law and ethics
•Pharmacy management

Career Choices

A faster-than-average job growth rate of 25% has been predicted for pharmacy technicians during the decade of 2008 to 2018 (BLS). The optimistic prediction is based on the assumption that a greater demand for prescription drugs will be fueled by an aging population. Pharmacy technicians can seek entry-level careers in department stores, grocery stores, hospitals, and healthcare stores. They can also choose from various other career options, including:

•Pharmacy records manager
•Specialty pharmacy technician
•Medical records manager
•Pharmaceutical care associate
•Pharmacy billing specialist

Continuing Education Choices

Registration and certification are mandatory for pharmacy technicians in some states. Though individual state requirements may vary, the certification offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is accepted by several. Meeting education standards and passing a certifying exam will help candidates achieve this credential. Topics covered in the PTCB exam include pharmacy management, patient service, and maintenance of medication and inventory systems. Continuing education would be required to meet recertification standards.

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