Graduates of the Pharmacy Technician course will be trained in written and oral medical and pharmaceutical terminology, as well as basic human anatomy and physiology. They will be able to perform basic mathematical functions and dosage calculations utilizing metric, apothecary, and household systems. These skills will prepare them for an entry-level position in a hospital or retail setting.
Students learn about the role of the pharmacy technician in the medical field, distinguishing between the pharmacist’s and pharmacy technician’s scope of practice. Then, students begin the important work of developing their medical vocabulary. They practice using common symbols and abbreviations, as well as medical root words, prefixes and suffixes. After an overview of the human body’s organ systems, students build on their communication skills. Students learn about the laws and regulations that govern the pharmacy practice, as well as the benefits of a professional code of ethics to guide them in making good decisions. They access and use information sources to find new drugs and to assist patients with medication advice. Finally, students discover the duties of the pharmacy technician in a variety of settings.
Students learn about the many types of drug dosage forms, how drugs react in the body and how drugs interact with other drugs. Students read and interpret pharmacy terminology while learning about the two most important documents they will work with—the prescription and the medical order. Students’ drug vocabulary increases as they explore the challenges of prescribing drugs to the very old and the very young. Students then discover the procedures to prevent medication errors and what to do when a negative reaction or poisoning occurs. Students walk behind the scenes to discover how pharmacies maintain control of drug inventory and dispensation, as well as fiscal management of the pharmacy, including financial transactions with third-party payers.
After discovering the various antimicrobial agents that affect the human body, students study vaccines and analgesic agents. Students also learn about nutrition and the role of vitamins in drug therapy. Then, they begin a serious exploration of the types of drug agents used to battle disease— neurologic, anesthetic and respiratory agents. This pack wraps up with a refresher course in basic mathematics and pharmaceutical measurement systems.
Continuing their in-depth study of drug agents, students explore cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and endocrine agents. Before moving on, students encounter the second mathematics lesson, which teaches them how to determine the ratios, proportions, and equivalencies they will use to calculate drug dosages.
Students study the urinary system before wrapping up the study of drugs with antineoplastic agents. Students then learn the techniques to compound drugs in both a sterile and nonsterile environment. Parenterals and intravenous admixtures are explored. Students complete the course with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in their final practicum.