Pharmacy technicians assist and support licensed pharmacists in providing health care and medications to patients. Pharmacy technicians must have a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be skilled in the techniques required to order, stock, package, compound, and otherwise prepare medications. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for assisting the pharmacist, processing prescriptions, entering patient data into a computer and preparing some medications.
The curriculum for the pharmacy technician’s program follows the model curriculum for pharmacy technician’s education and training programs from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The course will exceed the minimum of 160 clock hours of theory presentation. The curriculum includes the following content areas appropriate for the pharmacy-technician role:
- Personal/Interpersonal Knowledge and Roles - Ethical and professional conduct, appearance and communication, management and critical thinking skills
- Foundational Professional Knowledge and Skills - Health care occupations and health care delivery systems, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology, including pharmacy math
- Processing and Handling of Medications and Medication Orders - Demographic and clinical information pertinent for patient medication use, review and screening of medication orders, providing counseling on use of medications, equipment, and devices, infection control procedures, preparing, storing, and distributing special handling products, and maintaining pharmacy facilities and equipment
- Sterile and non-sterile compounding
- Procurement, Billing, Reimbursement, and Inventory Management, computer basics,
- Patient and Medication Safety
- Technology and Informatics
- Regulatory Issues
- Quality Assurance
Students will participate in a minimum of 80 hours of simulated training occurring in the Simulation Center at San Manuel Gateway College. The clinical experiences will include a minimum of 160 clock hours of education and training. Clinical experiences will occur at the Loma Linda University Pharmacy, San Bernardino Campus located within the Social Action Community Health System building. Additional clinical experiences may occur at retail pharmacies and Loma Linda University Medical Center.
A wide variety of employment options are available to pharmacy technicians. Options include hospital or long-term care pharmacies, out-patient clinics, retail drug stores, compounding pharmacies, pharmacy help-desk services, or drug manufacturing companies.
According to the California Employment Development Department, jobs for pharmacy technicians are expected to increase by 11.6% between 2014 and 2024. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase the demand for medical services, which often require medication support for continued health and well-being. This increased health care support will also increase the demand for pharmacy technician employment.
A pharmacy technician annual salary will vary based on region and practice setting. In California, the wage scale ranges between $33,000 to $37,000 per year. The salary for an individual with the title Pharmacy Technician may vary depending on a number of factors including industry, company size, location, years of experience and level of education. (http://www1.salary.com/CA/San-Bernardino/Pharmacy-Technician-I-salary.html)
- Customer service skills including strong communication skills
- Detail oriented, paying attention to close details and accuracy
- Strong in math and calculation skills
- Excellent visual acuity and manual dexterity
- Strong level of integrity and self-control
- Able to be courteous at all times with strong listening skills
- Organizational skills
- Comfortable with data entry and basic computer skills