Pharmacy Technician Training Programs
Pharmacy technician training programs are intended to not only ensure that an individual has the knowledge to succeed as a pharmacy technician, but also to have real experience of working in that area. The training programs will make sure to give an individual the knowledge base in pharmaceutical and medical terminology, abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing, dispensing, and documenting medications. Also, the programs will enable the individual to be able to perform the necessary functions related to drug procurement and inventory control. The individual should attain a working knowledge of manufacturing and packaging operations, including the physical and chemical nature of drugs used in a pharmacy, and the packaging and labeling requirements along with manufacturing techniques for drug dispensing.
An individual must be able to demonstrate competence when performing pharmaceutical calculations, especially conversions, working with pediatric dosages, parenteral and IV dosages, admixtures, and compounding dosages. The individual should leave a training program, knowledgeable about aseptic technique, parenteral admixtures, compounding procedures, and microbiology since pharmacy technicians’ job relates and directly applies to disease and the use of aseptic techniques in the health care field.
Not only should an individual carry those sorts of skills out of a pharmacy technician training program, but he or she should also come out with great customer service, communication, and interpersonal skills since the pharmacy technician will be interacting with customers, health care facilities, and insurance companies. He or she should also ensure to have a strong mathematical background and be very organized.
Some typical courses associated with the training programs include the following:
- Pharmaceutical Calculations/Medical Mathematics
- Pharmacy Administration
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Digestive, Respiratory, and Reproductive Systems
In this section, we will briefly review what is involved in a course about pharmaceutical calculations. First, the course will teach about the proper notation for writing prescriptions. For example, roman numerals are always used in writing prescriptions, to specify the amounts of ingredients or quantity to be dispensed, and in the directions to the patient. Because proportions are the most widely used calculation in a pharmacy, studying proportions and ratios will be essential to this course. Also, percentage preparations are important: percent weight-in-weight, percent volume-in-volume, and percent weight-in-volume. This course will teach an individual how to properly round numbers, use decimals, and explore the different systems of measurements and conversions between the systems. Other than these basic topics, the individual will learn the essential calculations that are involved with the task of a pharmacy technician.
Anatomy and Physiology
A course in anatomy and physiology will serve as a comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Some of the main topics include body organization, homeostasis, cytology, histology, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous systems, and special senses. Such a course will prepare an individual to be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles of anatomy and physiology and any relationships associated between these principles. Many courses in anatomy and physiology will also include work in a laboratory, which includes dissections of preserved specimens, microscopic studies, physiologic experiences, and many other topics.
A course in nutrition could cover a variety of topics. Most generally and across the board, a course in nutrition will involve learning the basic principles of human nutrition. This course will most likely have a specific emphasis on nutrients, food sources, and their utilization in the body for growth and health throughout life. Such a course will also discuss and cover issues to nutrition in modern society.
A more advanced course may investigate the principles of food in more depth or even how metabolism works, especially when in comes to the digestion and ingestion of food and medicines.
Depending on the level of the course in pharmacology will depend on the depth of the material that the course will cover. However, in general, a course should be able to introduce molecular approaches, target identification, and drug development and delivery for cellular and sub cellular processes that contribute to human disease. A course will also include learning about the principles of drug-receptor interactions, ion channels as molecular targets of neurohormones and drug, the structure and function of G-proteins coupled receptors, and many other topics.