Schools Training

Nursing Program Versus Pharmacy Technician Program

10 OCT 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

Knowing that you want to pursue a healthcare career, but not exactly which kind, can be uncomfortable. Should you apply to medical school or dental school? A physical therapy program or a speech pathology program? Or, as we will discuss here, a pharmacy technician program or a nursing degree.

At first glance, these two programs may not sound like they have a lot in common. After all:

– a graduate of a nursing program can expect to earn a higher salary than a graduate of a pharmacy program.

– training to work in a pharmacy as a technician takes less time than training to become a nurse.

– graduates of a pharmacy technician program can find work in a supermarket, drugstore, or hospital pharmacy, but nurses are more likely to work in an a hospital or clinical setting, or in a private home.

– Becoming a nurse can mean embarking on a path of lifelong learning. Many nurses return to school after graduation to pursue such specializations as newborn nursing or palliative care; to learn about new developments in the field; and, to qualify for better paid positions.

But, a pharmacy technician program also has some fairly significant overlap with a nursing program in that both programs attract people who:

– want to help others – These are both caring professions. If you prefer the idea of chatting with a customer across the counter, opt for a pharmacy technician program. If you like the idea of participating more directly in the hour-to-hour care of a patient, opt for nursing.

– who are willing to work irregular (i.e., not 9 to 5) hours.

– can pass a criminal background check with flying colours.

– have good communication skills.

– are prepared to observe a code of ethics.

– are organized.

– are responsible.

In fact, some people leave nursing to pursue a pharmacy technician program, and vice versa. In a nutshell, nursing pays better, but can be more stressful. But nurses who switch to working in a pharmacy should be forewarned that they may find it difficult to resist the urge to share their past professional knowledge with clients, who must legally be referred to the pharmacist for medical information of this kind.

A pharmacy technician program, like a nursing program, prepares students for a career that is:

-          based on science

-          but geared towards patients or clients

Like nurses, grads of pharmacy technician programs must be prepared to work long hours on their feet. They must be alert for signs of drug-seeking behavior in clients.

Like graduates of a nursing program, pharmacy technicians should be able to secure employment fairly easily. So no matter what you decide, you should be able to start earning shortly after graduation.

Visit Mohawk College for more information on a nursing degree.