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Pharmacy Technician

Program Requirements: 

Formerly Community Pharmacy Technician

Gateway Technical College’s Pharmacy Technician technical diploma will prepare you for a rewarding, demanding and ever-evolving career as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of duties and responsibilities including preparation of prescriptions, record-keeping, inventory control, handling monetary transactions, filing third-party claims, preparing IV admixtures and unit dose medications and compounding.

Pharmacy technicians must have excellent attention to detail, mathematical incline and interpersonal communication and computer skills to work in any pharmacy. Gateway’s program gives you the one-on-one attention you need to make the transition towards your new career as a pharmacy technician. Class sizes are small; which makes it easy for students to get to know their instructors and classmates. Students in the program have a wide variety of learning experiences including lectures, team projects, classroom discussions, videos, field trips and physical and virtual labs. Each course is designed with real-world projects and pharmacy application assignments to demonstrate the interpersonal and technical skills needed to succeed as a health care professional.

Gainful Employment Information

What does a Pharmacy Technician do?

Gateway Technical College’s Pharmacy Technician technical diploma will prepare you for a rewarding, demanding and ever-evolving career as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of community pharmacy functions including preparation of prescriptions, record-keeping, inventory control, handling monetary transactions and filing third-party claims. Designated technicians with additional certifications can perform specialty compounds and collaborate with pharmacists in medication therapy management (MTM). Duties that can be performed in an alternative or hospital settings include preparation of unit dose medications, preparation of IV admixtures and additives, compounds, delivering medications to nursing stations or units, and maintaining automated dispensing machines. Some technicians receive additional training to prepare chemotherapy and nuclear medications.

Learning by doing

Our computer simulated lab uses innovative software which gives pharmacy technician students the opportunity to learn real pharmacy management scenarios on how to perform day to day tasks. Gateway students learn step by step how to perform the following:

  • Add new patients to a database
  • Determine possible adverse reactions
  • Fill and refill prescriptions
  • Examine a patient’s prescription history and add relevant medical conditions
  • Identify potential allergic reactions to medications
  • Use Case study scenarios that include more in-depth pharmacy tasks such as refill-too-soon, DUR’s, PA’s, inventory, and how to resolve other third party claims and much more!

Simulated labs are combined with hands-on labs to help pharmacy technician students become prepared to work as a pharmacy technician in retail or institutional settings. Our hands-on pharmacy lab scenarios includes:

  • Learning how to measure, mix, and count the appropriate prescribed medication
  • Simulated working under a laminar and vertical flow hood
  • Simulated working with a biosafety cabinet
  • Compounding
  • Working with Sterile Products
  • Filling bottles with prescribed medications and affixing appropriate auxiliary labels 
  • Perform patient medication safety checks
  • How to clean and maintain equipment and work areas and much more!

Pharmacy technician students are able to utilize the skills learned in externships after successful completion of their first two semesters. Students usually complete 162 hours of their externship in a community or clinical pharmacy setting.

Job and salary outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022. Higher rates of chronic disease states such as diabetes and hypertension among all age groups has led to an increase in demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research have continued to provide patient with alternative medication options. The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $29,320 in 2012. The earning potential for pharmacy technicians vary depending on experience, skill level, certifications and locations.

Certification and Licensing

As the need for clinical pharmacists on multidisciplinary hospital care teams increases, the need for well-trained, highly-skilled, and competent pharmacy technicians will continue to increase. Many states require technicians to have formal education in addition to completing a competency certification or license examination. Currently, there is a National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Examination that provides an opportunity for a pharmacy technician to demonstrate competency. Upon passing the exam, students are considered a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT). Students are able to take their certification exam at an authorized Pearson Vue testing center. For additional information, visit the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board website.

 

Admissions

Additional Requirements

Admission Requirements

Prior to petitioning

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact Natashia Hanson

Advisors

Burlington
BJ Wagner
wagnerb@gtc.edu

 

Program Administration

Mike O'Donnell, Dean
odonnellm@gtc.edu