A training program would help you in proper assistance to the pharmacist, including dispensing medications, mixing the right proportions of drugs in the required amounts, maintaining inventories, tracking, being accommodative and cooperative towards customers and proper management of miscellaneous administrative tasks at hand. The added training feature not only helps you perform efficiently but also has a final say in your pay scale.
The Training Features of Pharmacy Technology
Pharmacy technology programs have extensive dedicated training related programs in medical billing that equip the students to develop and inculcate the various necessary skills needed in order to be an effective and efficient technologist who is capable of delivering performance and quality oriented results. They have the following objectives:
- Garner information about pathology and physiology of major diseases and their etiology, complications and drugs available to counteract them.
- Drugs and Drug Therapy along with treatment modalities
- Developing innovation and research oriented thinking in pharmaceutical science
- Comprehend the complexities associated with drug therapy
- Learning and gathering information about pharmaceutical care.
- Imbibing effectual coordination and cooperative interpersonal skills that help in educating patients and others
- Establishing an effective care centers that help solve the qualms and addresses needs of patients
- Designing and managing a pharmaceutical market in an ambulatory setting.
There are two ways you can enroll in a pharmacy technician training school program
Online Programs :- You can find various online programs that can be accessed from anywhere through internet An online program you can access from almost anywhere
Campus / Live Based Programs:- That are available almost in several cities and large towns
Whichever mode you choose you are entitled to get high quality education and training which help impart you with prerequisite skills needed of a pharmacy technologist. However care should be taken that the course and educational institute from which you are pursuing the course is a recognized one and should be accredited to a national or state regulated body. Avoid universities especially those online programs which make spurious claims.
Online Based Program Vs Campus based / Live Programs
Some features of campus based/ live training program would include various interactive workshops, administrative and practical activities, assessment at workplaces, intern based tasks and projects, discussion forums and interaction with practicing pharmacy technologist, evaluation of assignments and face to face sessions with your tutor. Live based programs often include E- education where in international experts would be requested to share their experience and imbibe a sense of learning for the students. And on successful completion of training program you would be provided with a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion
Online programs too offer something similar to that of its counterparts but are restricted to a virtual environment where in you would interact with local or international pharmacists. You will have web based forums discussions and threads with fellow students or others, through a dedicated college web page meant specifically for this purpose. Classrooms would be virtual where in video lectures are presented to students and they can post questions and doubt in dedicated columns for their tutor to answer them. A separate login ID is given to students where in they can maintain their portfolio, post questions, complete their assignments, access additional reference modules and are able to monitor through development tracking portal. However online schools often lack in inducing practical oriented learning and some institutes compensate this by affiliating with local medical facilities. Online E-Learning have time at their disposal and since is mainly targeted towards working professionals the assignments have a broad upper limit of time where in their assessment is done after which they are awarded Certificate of Completion
What Comprises the Pharmacy Course Module?
A common pharmacy course module may contain the following subjects
- Physicochemical Principles of Drug Action
- Physical Pharmacy
- Medical Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Analysis I
- Pharmaceutical Microbiology
- Industrial Pharmacy
- Applied Pharmacokinetics and Toxicokinetics
- Pharmacovigilance and Regulatory Science
- Pharmaceutical Marketing
- Research Methodology
Cost of Pharmacy Training Programs:-
Online programs are cheaper and may range from $3,000 – $ 7, 000 while campus based may range anywhere from $ 10, 000 – $30, 000 per year
How Long Will the Pharmacy Program Last?
The pharmacy training certification programs are designed to be completed in 5 months, diploma programs may take anywhere from 0. 8 – 1 year, while a bachelor’s degree training program may take 3- 4 years and master’s degree training program may range anywhere from 2 – 3 years.
National Certification exams:-
After acquiring certificate of completion, though not mandatory it is necessary that you clear a national entrance exam to obtain a license and acquire certification. There are numerous certification exams in U.S such as
- NAPLEX- North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam : Approved by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is a certificate exam for Pharm.D. graduates
- Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT): It is offered by the National Health career Association and is a nationally accredited certification exam for pharmacy technicians
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam(PTCB): Is a offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and is nationally accredited certification exam for pharmacy technicians
Apart from these we have separate specialized exams dealing with various divisions in pharmacy like Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE), and Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP)
Pharmacist Career Outlook after Training:
Once a student has officially completed his training and gained certification, the job prospects available to him are excellent. The industry with its current growth rate is always on the lookout for licensed and trained pharmacists and with medical research growing leap and bounds with its innumerable drug therapies certified pharmacists take the largest share of cake in this aspect. Lucrative job prospects, added health and other benefits with higher than average salary available at their disposal, they sure can step into a future that is bright and ever shining for them
Trained Pharmacists can work almost everywhere which include a national drug store chain which is retail environment, privately owned drug shops or they can be their own boss by owning their own small pharmacy business. Other options include Nursing facilities, Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or doctor’s offices with multi specialty medical services
A trained pharmacist is efficient in time management and completes his daily tasks much earlier than an untrained colleague, thus can spend more time to himself his family and friends without undergoing work related stress. Some trained pharmacists also enjoy the luxury of working part time with job-share opportunities. At same time he may lead a team of fellow pharmacists over a period of time after gaining relevant experience
Some pharmacists who have undertaken training and earned bachelors and masters degree may choose to work in the field of research and development in pharmaceutical industries contributing to new drug treatments. The icing on the cake however is the salary, and according to survey conducted by U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median annual salary for pharmacists in 2008 was $106,410 (Courtesy http://www.bls.gov/oco/ )