With technology making rapid strides in health care services and the future of health care industry bright, the job prospects will continue to grow, the same applies in the field of pharmacy as well and it pays well to gain a head start first over others by obtaining a pharmacy tech certification . By clearing a pharmacy technician certification exam, employers are bound to notice and prefer you over others. A Pharmacy certification is a symbolic representation of your dedication and commitment in the field of pharmacy. While Pharmacy certification is not obligatory it ensures you get that much needed boost to facilitate your growth in a professional environment. A survey reportedly conducted by Bureau of Labor Statistics, reveals that most employers prefer to hire certified pharmacists and these certified pharmacists earn 20% – 40 % more than non certified pharmacists.
Here in the U.S it’s not mandatory that every person be a certified practitioner to practice, but it does help provide a professional edge. Pharmacy Certification can be clearing the National Pharmacy Technician Certification (PTCB) exam after completing the appropriate programs.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program is designed for licensed pharmacy technician aspirants. It is designed for those career minded prospects with dedication and commitment as their key attributes. In order to clear the certification programs in pharmacy it’s required you be trained and pharmacy certification programs cater to this need.
Pharmacy technician certification programs enable the aspirants to succeed in their professional environment with monetary gains and benefits by their side. It involves imparting both theoretical knowledge and obtaining practical hands-on experience through pharmacy practices. The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program can range from 12 – 16 weeks which help prepare students primarily for entry level positions in medical and health care related settings. Graduates are likely to find employment with local drug stores, hospitals and medical institutions, at community pharmacy stores, hospitals, retail pharmacy stores and insurance companies. Students under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist will gain invaluable training and experience in drug dispensing, catering to prescription orders, mixing of various drugs as prescribed , perform pharmacy related calculations, and conforming with federal and state regulatory pharmacy related laws and regulations.
Objectives of Pharmacy Certification Programs: Upon completion of the pharmacy certification program students should be able to fulfill the below objectives:-
- Comprehend the knowledge related to practice of pharmacy.
- Complying and understanding the various the regulatory and federal laws that govern the practice of pharmacy.
- Understand the importance of maintaining and analyzing use of the patient medical profile and contents of history pertaining to administration of drugs in hospital charts
- Order and efficient controlled maintenance over pharmacy inventories with regular stock checks and disposing of recalled or expired medications.
- Recognize and comprehend the divergence required in handling controlled medications and their related drug orders.
- Demonstrate adeptness in pharmacy calculations
- Maintenance and importance of practicing aseptic techniques
- Identify and process drug orders across various job related environments.
- Learn and develop a keen understanding of various procedures and its process for bringing novel drugs to market and the prerequisites as stipulated by the NDA process.
- Understanding and realization of drug generic names and its related products
- The patent process involving drugs.
- Learning pharmacology and erudition of pharmacological classes of medications.
- Realizing importance of pharmacokinetics and its dependant factors
- Proficiency in pharmacy administrative duties.
- Identify and enhancing pharmacy assistant duties and extending support the pharmacist
- Understand and apply proficiency in pharmacy math.
Prerequisites for Certification Courses:-Before enrolling into pharmacy certification program its necessary that you meet the standard prerequisites that includes having successfully completed an associate degree in applied Science/ pharmacy technology or any other higher college degree which requires completion of both pharmaceutical technology and other classes such as chemistry and biology from a recognized college which is accredited by the local or national educational governing bodies.
The prerequisites and eligibility conditions for pharmacy certification however may vary from institution to institution and hence it’s necessary that you speak face-to-face to educational representatives assigned for that particular certified school before enrolling.
Some schools may impart both requisite pharmaceutical degree and certification programs and such schools require a minimum high school diploma or GED along with relevant knowledge in biology and chemistry along with suitable working experience in the same.
Pharmacy Certification Program: Its Duration and Course Features:- Most programs have a 12 – 16 week certificate programs ranging over a period of 3 – 6 months which are designed to impart necessary prerequisite skills for the successful completion of the pharmacy certification exam.
The students will be required to learn basic practices and procedures pertaining to pharmacy. Course module may feature subjects pertaining to Institutional Pharmacy, Medication Orders, Inventory Control, and Regulatory Agencies: Their policies and procedure manual, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Medical and Pharmaceutical Terminology, Drugs and Effects on Body Physiology, Pharmacology, Lab Modules among others
Do’s and Don’ts for Selecting Pharmacy Certification Program
- Pharmacy certification programs should be taught by experienced pharmacist professionals
- Do not opt for schools that are too diverse in nature or that teach detailed aspects
- Don’t opt for schools which stretch their program beyond 6 months and at same time should give you ample time to revise pharmacy course modules and understand them.
- Don’t opt for certification programs that deal only with basics and those that do not offer a practical session.
- Do not opt for pharmacy courses that are overly priced , being expensive doesn’t necessarily mean quality imparted education
- Do not opt for courses online that promise you guaranteed national pharmacy certifications, national certification is an independent body which is not affiliated to any schooling program
Obtaining your Pharmacy Certification:-Upon completion of this program students are now prepared to take the certification exam of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) which is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. They are a reflective test on the student’s pharmacy capabilities and skill levels. A certified pharmacist will brighten his futuristic job prospects. Certification holds a validity of 2 years and the certification is likely to be revoked if the pharmacist doesn’t attain recertification after every two years and stipulates that the pharmacist have 20 hours of education within that 2 year time period. You can enroll online through http://www.ptcb.org/am/template.cfm and for training pharmacists can attend certification programs.
Pharmacy certification can vary with the pharmacy tech degrees and have various kinds of certifications to offer for the pharmacy tech. Some specialized certificate are exclusive to pharmacy technology that identifies the skills in drug preparation and mixing such as skills needed to fill and mix IVs, while others may be exclusive to inventories and administrative duties such as handling pharmacy inventory, taking orders, performing stocks and other activities.
Not all pharmacy tech program offer students the chance to sit for the certification examination, sometimes the students are required to apply personally for such exams. The certification programs however may develop and train students with the necessary skills needed to clear the certification exam such as communicate effectively using medical terminology, filling out prescriptions, and give a patho-physiological understanding of drugs and their effect on human body .
State of California Pharmacy Certification Requirements
The California State Board of Pharmacy established in 1891 is managed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate the practice of pharmacy and sale of poisons in the State of California.
The California State Board of Pharmacy is concerned with licenses/registration for pharmacists, intern pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians, permits for pharmacies or other pharmacy related establishments that distribute prescription drugs.
Eligibility requisites include being licensed pharmacy practitioner in California, with high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate and clearing degree programs such as
Associate Degree in Pharmacy Technology or related pharmacy programs with minimum of 240 hours or training courses accredited to American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)/ Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or Certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Pharmacy Certified Courses: Rewarding Your Career:-
A certified program thus not only thrusts and impels self confidence but also helps you professionally, helping you with jobs that reward your career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, survey says that about 75% of U.S work in a retail setting with additional 16% of pharmacy technician jobs in hospitals majority of who were certified nationally, while the rest of certified trainers worked in nursing homes, pharmaceutical wholesalers, the Federal Government etc. A pharmacist not only contributes to the society but is the patient’s friend who plays a more proactive role in interacting and, garnering patient related information. To conclude certified pharmacists enjoy the privilege of job security and other medical related benefits much better than a non certified practitioner.