Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.
This class meets State Board requirements for Registered Pharmacy Technician Licensure. Study basic principles of pharmacology, pharmaceutical calculations, medical terminology, functions and duties of a pharmacy technician in both a retail and hospital pharmacy. Course includes hands-on training and experience in making I.V. solutions, piggybacks and aseptic techniques. A computer lab is utilized by students to input outpatient/inpatient data. Preparation for optional national certification exam is included. Externship at local pharmacies. Clinical hours vary by location. Students who successfully complete the course are eligible to take the optional Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
- Basic principles of pharmacology
- Medical terminology
- Pharmaceutical calculations
- Pharmacy theory
- Federal and California pharmacy law
- Safety considerations
- Pharmacy computer training
- Doctor and / or chart orders
- Functions and duties of different pharmacy settings
- Unit dose drug distribution
- Aseptic techniques / I.V. solutions
- Review for PTCB
Classroom Dates: January 23 - June 7, 2024
Clinical Dates: TBD
Days: Tuesday - Friday
Time: 8:00 am - 11:30 am; Clinical schedules vary per student and location
NCCRS Credits: 15
Fee: $1,750, includes textbooks, scrub set, classroom supplies, and CPR training
Prerequisite: Must be 18 years or older; U.S. high school diploma or equivalent (English version). Students must show proof of high school diploma or equivalent by the end of the class. Pre-algebra math skills, and ability to speak, read, and write English at US 9th grade reading level recommended. See bottom of page for program, clinical, and licensure requirements.
A background check may be required for externships, clinicals and licensing, certification or registration with the appropriate governing board.
Medical Program Requirements
All SICE medical courses include required textbooks, supplies, and uniforms (unless otherwise noted). Students in all SICE medical programs should be 18 years or older, and speak, read, and write at a minimum 10th grade level.
A Social Security or tax ID number, background check, medical exam, vaccinations (including Covid-19), drug screening, government-issued picture ID, N95 mask fitting, CPR, TB test, and Fire Card (for Los Angeles if applicable) are mandatory for those SICE medical programs that require clinical externships at partner facilities. Other clinical requirements may exist. Clinical externships included in SICE medical programs are unpaid educational experiences.
In addition to program completion and clinical requirements, proof of U.S. High School diploma or equivalent, passing licensure exam score, and additional items may be required for licensure in California.
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Important Qualities To Have
Customer-service skills. Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.
Detail oriented. Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.
Listening skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.
Math skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.
Organizational skills. Working as a pharmacy technician involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.
Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:
- Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
- Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
- Package and label prescriptions
- Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
- Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
- Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
- Answer phone calls from customers
- Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters
Pharmacy technicians work primarily in pharmacies, including those found in grocery and drug stores. Some technicians work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Pharmacy technicians spend most of the workday on their feet.
Most pharmacy technicians work full time. Pharmacies may be open at all hours. Therefore, pharmacy technicians may have to work nights or weekends.
NCCRS College Credit Recommendations
More than 1,500 cooperating colleges and universities (including most California Community Colleges and Cal State Universities) will consider granting college credit based on NCCRS credit recommendations. Additional colleges may also award college units for SICE Medical Career Courses.