Pharmacy technicians may be taught how to support a pharmacist by completing on-the-job training. More employers in today’s growing field however prefer to hire those that have completed a formal education. The best educational training program is provided at the associate’s degree level. Students gain a complete understanding of what it means to be a technician. The job duties are explored through specific courses that teach students how to prepare prescriptions, label containers, and more. Online courses may include:
Students explore the different measurements and calculations used in the profession. The main goal is to teach students how to read and calculate the correct dosage for a prescription.
Technicians maintain the office and prepare insurance claims and patient profiles on a regular basis. In order to do these activities students need to be comfortable with the industry’s technology. Students study medical office administration, database management, up-to-date record keeping, and medication pricing.
Students that want to become pharmacists are required to complete a doctor of pharmacy degree program. This program has replaced the bachelor’s degree level of education. The PharmD is a six-year program that trains students how to mix ingredients and advise patients on medicine use. Before admittance to a program students are required to have at least two years of pre-pharmacy study completed. These courses typically include biology, chemistry, and physics. Many students who enter a PharmD degree first complete an associate’s degree program. This makes it an easy transition for students that are currently working as pharmacy technicians to enter education. Some online schools offer students pre-pharmacy programs to prepare them for further education. Online courses may include:
- Institutional Pharmacy
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Pharmaceutical Calculations
Education centers on providing students with the knowledge to interact with other health professionals. The dosage and side effects of prescription drugs are learned so students understand how to correctly mix medications, which is commonly referred to as compounding. To enter a career as a pharmacist obtaining licensure is required. Students will take the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam upon completion of the program. Forty-four states also require students to complete the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam. Another law exam is required by the remaining eight states. Students should research their states exam requirements to ensure proper licensure is gained.