Pharmacy Technician Program

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Program Info

  • Length Of Study:

    9 - 12 months of training; including required 130 hours clinical externship (non-paid); time will vary per student.

  • Career Level:

    Pharmacy Technician

  • Online Type:

    Hybrid, Asynchronous

About

Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians conduct the more basic, repetitive activities of preparing prescription medicines for patients, such as counting pills, putting medicines in containers, labeling, and packing, after a pharmacist checks a doctor's prescription for errors or potential problems.

Computers are used by pharmacy technicians to search for medical insurance information and generate prescription labels. They are also responsible for keeping track of inventory, ordering when supplies are low, and stocking shelves. They may answer phones and check with doctors for prescription refill information. They verify insurance coverage, collect money, and answer regular questions from the public in community pharmacies.

Pharmacy technicians create individual patient doses (also known as 'unit doses') of each drug a patient will receive that day in hospitals. Pills or capsules, intravenous medications, and injections are all examples of this. Pharmacy techs mix intravenous pharmaceuticals into solution bags and transfer liquid medicines into syringes. A pharmacist oversees and checks each significant task.

Length of Study

9 - 12 months of training; including required 130 hours clinical externship (non-paid); time will vary per student.

Prerequisites

Jump Start coursework

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in areas of science relevant to the pharmacy technician’s role, including anatomy/ physiology and pharmacology
  • Compare and contrast the roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in ensuring pharmacy department compliance with professional standards and relevant legal, regulatory, formulary, contractual, and safety requirements
  • Describe the steps, skills, and knowledge needed to prepare medications requiring compounding of sterile products, chemotherapy/hazardous products, and nonsterile products
  • Explain patient- and medication-safety practices in all aspects of the pharmacy technician’s roles
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quality assurance practices for pharmaceuticals, durable and nondurable medical equipment, devices, and supplies
  • Describe the use of current technology in the healthcare environment to ensure the safety and accuracy of medication dispensing
  • Apply standard procedures used when compounding nonsterile products
  • Demonstrate knowledge of accepted procedures in purchasing pharmaceuticals, devices, and supplies
  • Apply the steps in the medication order entry and fill process and interpret medication orders
  • Describe the steps needed to initiate, verify, and assist in the adjudication of billing for pharmacy services and goods, and collecting payment for these services
  • Explain the skills and strategies needed for professional and appropriate personal behavior and interpersonal communication

Online Type

Hybrid, Asynchronous

Credential Awarded

Certificate of completion

Occupation

Pharmacy Technician

Career Level

Pharmacy Technician

Student Support

  • Our partner education institutions will provide student support services, as outlined in their student handbook.
  • Your assigned Futuro Health Navigator will provide additional coaching and support along your student journey.

Student Cost

  • In support of our aim to grow the largest network of healthcare workers, Futuro Health provides generous financial support.
  • Students who enroll in this program during 2022 will have 100% of their tuition covered by the Futuro Health Scholarship Fund
  • Students can expect to pay some minimal out-of-pocket costs associated with the application and enrollment process. A summary of student costs are as follows:
    • $50 non-refundable registration fee for Jump Start coursework, a mandatory pre-requisite to the Pharmacy Technician Program.
    • $100 non-refundable registration fee for the Pharmacy Technician Program; to ensure participant commitment and completion.
    • $77–$119 Background Check and Drug Screen cost. A one-time background check and drug screen is required for those enrolling in clinical programs.
    • Up-to-date Immunization costs. Current immunizations are required for those enrolling in clinical programs. Some healthcare providers require payment for immunizations while others may cover the cost with insurance.
  • $20 per month for optional SEIU-UHW Membership. Students have the option to join SEIU-UHW's Healthcare Justice Division to receive added benefits. This $20 monthly fee is waived for current SEIU-UHW members.

Fast Facts

Job Outlook

California has a projected growth of 13% between 2018-2028, median annual salary $45,090

Work Environment

Pharmacy technicians work predominantly in retail pharmacies or stand-alone private pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians also work in acute care (hospital), home infusion, and compounding pharmacies.

Career Opportunities

Pharmacy technicians can advance to a certified compounded sterile preparation technician (CSPT), and obtain micro-credential:

  • Medication History certificate
  • Technician Product Verification certificate
  • Hazardous Drug Management
  • Billing and Reimbursement certificate
  • Controlled Substances Diversion Prevention certificate
  • Immunization Administration certificate

There is also the advanced certified pharmacy technician (CPhT-Adv).

Duties

  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
  • Enter prescription information into computer databases.
  • Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
  • Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
  • Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
  • Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
  • Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
  • Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
  • Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into a computer.
  • Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
  • Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
  • Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records.
  • Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques.
  • Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
  • Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
  • Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
  • Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services.
  • Price stock and mark items for sale.

Day in the Life

The pharmacist is assisted by a pharmacy technician in the preparation of prescription medications for customers. The pharmacy tech is the pharmacist's right-hand, and they collaborate with pharmacists to ensure that patients' medications are processed, filled, and distributed as quickly and safely as possible.

Enrollment

Minimum Qualifications

  • Upon acceptance to a program with Futuro Health, will you seek a job in this field for which you are being trained?
  • Are you at least 18 years old?
  • Are you able to provide proof of high school diploma/GED or equivalency?
  • Are you legally allowed to work in the United States?
  • Are you able to pass a background check with no felony conviction?
  • Are you willing to commit 3-5 hours per day (estimated at 20+ hours per week) of study time for your coursework?
  • Do you have regular access to high-speed Internet?
  • Do you have regular access to a computer or laptop that is less than seven years old? NOTE: iPads and
  • Chromebooks will not work.
  • Do you have proficiency in English fluency reading and comprehension?
  • Are you comfortable working with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and mucus?
  • If required by your education provider, are you willing to complete all immunizations and vaccinations (including COVID-19)?
  • Are you willing to take a drug test if needed?
  • All patient care programs require full-time clinical externships which may require you to coordinate your work and family obligations for successful completion of training. Will you commit to completing these required hours?

Preferred Qualifications

  • Family or friend referred by a member of SEIU-UHW who is in good standing.
  • How would others describe your level of attention to detail on written documents?
  • How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? I see myself as dependable/self-disciplined.
  • How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? I see myself as disorganized/careless.

Additional Requirements

  • You must reside in California to enroll and complete the program
  • Reliable transportation: You will be expected to have reliable transportation to attend any in-person requirements.
  • Prepare graduates to sit for industry certification exams such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification
  • Board (PTCB) and the exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT).
    • Students will receive a voucher upon completion for the exam fee.