Purpose: The Pharmacy Technician program is designed to prepare students to assist and support licensed pharmacists in providing health care and medications to patients. Students will obtain a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be skilled in the techniques required to order, stock, and package, prepare, and dispense medications under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Program graduates will be eligible to take a national pharmacy technician certification examination.
The Pharmacy Technician program is approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and is designed to meet the requirements leading to certification in the state of Virginia. To become certified in Virginia, individuals must complete an approved program, pass a national exam (PTCB or ExCPT), and complete the registration process through the Board of Pharmacy. Each state has its own requirements concerning licensure where passing the PTCB or ExCPT exams may be part of the requirements; other requirements may differ from those in Virginia. Additional information regarding out of state licensure can be found on their professional licensure website.
Occupational Objectives: Pharmacy technicians work in hospital, retail, home health care, nursing home, and clinic, nuclear medicine, and mail order prescription pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians have been employed with medical insurance, medical computer software, drug manufacturing, drug wholesale, and food processing companies, and as instructors in pharmacy technician programs. Currently, hospital, home health care, and retail pharmacies hire the majority of technicians. Examples of job duties include: computer information entry, preparation of prescription labels, assisting the pharmacists in filling prescriptions, ordering pharmaceutical supplies, customer assistance, reading and interpreting written prescriptions and physicians’ orders, cash register operation, answering telephones and use of other routine equipment such as computer-assisted medication dispensing machines, computer-assisted intravenous preparations and electronic tablet/capsule counting machines in the retail, institutional, or hospital pharmacy. An understanding of state and federal pharmacy and drug laws is required. The curriculum includes learning experiences in class and in the laboratory, as well as clinical, retail, institutional, and hospital pharmacies.
Admission Requirements: All students will be required to demonstrate college readiness through transcript review or informed self-placement. Based on this review students may request or be required to enroll in prerequisite or corequisite math and/or English courses. Admission requirements include high school graduation or GED, demonstrated math competency and ENG 111 eligible. Students who do not meet required placement levels must enroll in developmental studies courses.
A prospective student with a felony/misdemeanor conviction needs to see the course instructor/program advisor. Certain convictions will prevent an individual from being certified as a pharmacy technician in Virginia and other states. The program requires additional expenditures for the student’s immunizations, urine drug screen, criminal background check, and uniform, which are required for clinical assignments in HLT 290 .