Schools Training

A Pharmacy Technician Program Can Lead to a Healthcare Job in the Retail Sector

5 OCT 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

You want to work in healthcare, but aren’t chuffed about the idea of putting in years of study towards an advanced medical or nursing degree. You want a more immediate door of entry to a career that involves working with the public and helping them take care of their most precious asset: their health.

Look around you and you will see that there are pharmacies popping up on every corner across this great land of ours. Even in times of financial downturn, drugstores seem to somehow magically thrive. If a medical or nursing program isn’t for you, you may want to look into a pharmacy technician program. It could lead to a lifelong career, or simply open other doors for you, for instance, help you eventually get into a pharmaceutical program.

A pharmacy technician helps a licensed pharmacist with the day-to-day operations behind the counter of a pharmacy. A pharmacy technician program prepares students to assist with such tasks as:

– accepting payment (including processing insurance claims)

– fielding phone calls

– managing stock

– packaging prescriptions

Typically, a pharmacy technician program requires students to have acquired a high school diploma. It may also require student to have completed specific courses at the high school level, for example, Grade 11 or 12 math or biology.

Students may be subject to a criminal background check. And, as with a medical or nursing degree, is also sometimes recommended to make sure that one’s vaccinations are up to date before embarking on a career that will put one in touch with vulnerable patients.

Although it is not necessary to have completed a program, it can give job seekers an advantage on the job market. A certificate gives them credibility, but also access to employment opportunities, for example, internships.

A pharmacy technician program can also prepare students to pass the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) certification exam, which tests technicians on such topics as:

– quality assurance

– product prep

– prescription information

– ethical considerations

– teamwork

– management skills

While in your pharmacy technician program, you can expect to learn about:

– anatomy

– computers

– pharmaceutical calculations

– pharmacy and the law

Like students graduating from a nursing program, new pharmacy techs can expect to find a job with relative ease. They can choose to work in a rural area, in an urban area, in a supermarket pharmacy, in a freestanding pharmacy or in a hospital pharmacy. Graduates may also secure employment working for a pharmaceutical company, surveying and dispensing inventory.

A medical or nursing program is not the only pathway to a satisfying career in the medical sector. If you like working with the public and have good organizational skills, you may want to consider a pharmacy technician program.

Visit Mohawk College for more information on its pharmacy technician program.