Schools Training

The Pharmaceutical Path

13 JUL 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

How often does a visit to the family doctor always lead to a second visit to the local pharmacist? We all know those dedicated apothecary workers are experts at reading those illegible scribbles the physicians made on those valuable slips of paper. But the pharmacist and the pharmacy technician need much more knowledge and expertise than mere bad handwriting discernibility.


A pharmacy technician is a healthcare worker who acts primarily as an assistant to a licensed pharmacist, but could also work in many other related functions. Although not a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy technician does require a diverse and engaging educational program before being able to work. Because of the many functions and areas of industries where a pharmacy technician can work, the courses they take over four-semester programs gives them a wide knowledge of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. For those looking to pursue a career that can combine knowledge of everything ranging from anatomy to legislation and human relations, then enrolling in a pharmacy technician program may be worth considering.


Not just anyone can apply into a pharmacy technician diploma course. Often one must have a minimum of their Grade 11 or 12 in several subjects, such as English, mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics. It is also a good idea to have a high proficiency in computer skills like basic Microsoft Windows OS. Because many programs have limited enrollment, having higher than just-average grades and proficiency will help get you into the most competitive programs. Once enrolled in a program for pharmacy technician training, one will begin getting equipped with a diverse education.


– It will often begin with the acquiring of basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. This will help the student understand the effect of medicine on the body and its various organs.

– The student will learn the role of pharmaceuticals within the greater healthcare industry, including its ethical ramifications.

– Mathematical calculations will be applied to basic pharmaceutical calculations, familiarizing the student for the measuring and preparing of prescription drugs.

– The use of retail pharmacy computer software is taught to help accurately enter different varieties of prescriptions.

– Learning how to form important connections between health information systems to specific clinical practices helps the aspiring pharmacy technician gain better information literacy and management skills.

– A program will make the student understand the various laws and regulations that the pharmaceutical industry is subject to learning how to apply proper compound sterilization methods.

– Teach the student how to adapt their own attitudes and behavioral habits to work better with pharmacists and within the greater community.

– Gaining knowledge of management and the business of the pharmacies by learning about merchandising, inventory, retail and profit margins.


These are just few examples of the kinds of courses offered in schools of health science with programs for pharmacy technicians. The training is a long path with many interesting stops and visits along the way.


Visit Mohawk College for more information on studying at a health science college.