720 clock hours; 47 Credit units Certificate Program

Program Description:

The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program provides both technical and practical training which will enable the technician, upon certification, licensure or registration, to function as a competent entry-level pharmacy technician to the licensed pharmacist. The program provides the student with the basic knowledge of and practice in pharmacy calculations, drug distribution systems, and preparation of sterile dosage forms. Computer skills necessary in pharmacy practice will be utilized and both pharmaceutical and medical terminology and anatomy and physiology, are also covered. The program emphasizes theory, as well as hands-on practice, followed by an externship which prepares the student for the actual work setting. Upon completion of this program, the graduate will be fully prepared to take the national pharmacy technician certification exam offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

Pharmacy services have expanded and grown at an accelerated rate. Pharmacy Technicians play a major role in pharmacy operations and in the overall healthcare work force. As pharmacy services continue to grow, with new services being offered, new drugs entering the market, and as comprehensive drug information becomes a necessity, the need for highly-trained pharmacy technicians increases.

Program Prerequisites

  • Must have a High School Diploma or a GED and proof must be presented to the college.
  • Proof of good health: A report which includes a medical history, physical examination and PPD test or CXR signed by a healthcare provider performing the physical examination shall be provided to the institution indicating that the student does not have any health conditions that would create a hazard to him/her and patients or visitors. Due before clinical training begins.
  • Must be free from conviction by any court (other than minor traffic convictions) or have clearance from the California Department of Health Services.
  • Must attend the Excell College orientation (1st day of class

Program Objectives

The Pharmacy Technician program provides the student with the theory and hands-on applications required to perform the following tasks:

  • To prepare the graduate to function at an entry-level competency as a certified licensed or registered pharmacy technician assistant to a licensed pharmacist in both retail and hospital settings. Training encompasses a thorough understanding of the duties and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians, including the standards of ethics and law, as they pertain to the practice of pharmacy.
  • To provide the student with a sufficient knowledge base in pharmaceutical and medical terminology, abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing, dispensing, and documenting medications. The student will achieve a working knowledge of trade and generic names, dosages, routes of administration, and dosage forms of medications. The student will also be prepared to perform the necessary calculations used in dosage determination and preparation of drugs.
  • To prepare the student to perform the essential functions related to drug procurement and inventory control and to provide a working knowledge of manufacturing and packaging operations, including the physical and chemical nature of drugs used in a pharmacy, and the packaging and labeling requirements as well as manufacturing techniques used for drug dispensing.
  • To provide the student with a working knowledge of aseptic technique, parenteral admixtures, compounding procedures, and microbiology as it applies to disease and the use of aseptic techniques in the health care field.
  • To provide the student with a working knowledge of computers for entry-level employment in a pharmacy setting.
  • To provide the student with skills required for CPR certification.
  • Use appropriate skills, including those required for administrative aspects of pharmacy technology and basic pharmacy applications, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy operations, and pharmacology.
  • Discuss and be able to demonstrate how to work with pharmaceutical dosage forms.
  • Demonstrate competency in performing pharmaceutical calculations, including conversions, working with pediatric dosages, parenteral and IV dosages, admixtures, and compounding dosages.
  • Explain the term “nonjudgmental duties,” explore various practice settings for pharmacy technicians, and describe current qualifications of technicians.
  • Identify professional organizations available to pharmacy technicians.
  • Demonstrate how to find State specific requirements for Pharmacy Technicians.

Describe various aspects of the National Certification Examination and the California State Board of Pharmacy Registration process. The method by which these objectives and the mission of the institution fulfilled will be achieved through direct instruction, lecture and practicum. Instructors utilize lectures, classroom discussions, hands-on experiences, exercises, role playing, presentations, demonstrations, research and student assignments (depending on section requirements) to facilitate students’ achievement of course objectives.

Program Outline

Course Descriptions:

Module 101: Administration of Medications and Pharmacology of the Endocrine and Lymphatic Systems

This module is designed to provide the student with an overall understanding of medication administration, safety and quality assurance. Included in this course is an overview and historical development of pharmacy. Body systems are covered in this module which includes the Endocrine and Lymphatic systems, and medications used to treat conditions of the endocrine system. Repackaging and compounding will be discussed and performed. Included in this course is use of policy and procedure manuals, materials management of pharmaceuticals, the pharmacy formulary system, computer applications in drug-use control, receiving and processing medication orders. Preparation and utilization of patient profiles, handling medications, storage and delivery of drug products, records management and inventory control, and compensation and methods of payment for pharmacy services are discussed. Conversions and calculations used by pharmacy technicians will be discussed along with drug dosages in units and working with compounds, admixtures, and parenteral and IV medications. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0 No prerequisites

Module 102: Aspects of Retail Pharmacy and Pharmacology of the Nervous System

This module is designed to provide the student with responsibilities of a technician filling prescriptions, including the information required to fill prescription and typing the prescription label. This module also covers how to read a drug label. Medications for the Respiratory and Nervous system are covered including a study of medications for neurological conditions, mental disorders and a discussion on muscle relaxants. This module will include C.P.R. certification. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0. No prerequisites

Module 103: History and Ethics of Pharmacy and Pharmacology of the Respiratory System & Nuclear and Oncology Pharmacy Practice

This module is designed to introduce the student to the professional aspects of working in pharmacy technology. Subjects covered include a history of and changing roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. This module covers the Law and Ethics of Pharmacy which includes the Food and Drug Act, the 1970 Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and other modern-day drug legislation. The respiratory system is discussed along with medications for respiratory tract disorders. Oncology agents are covered in this module along with HIV/AIDS. Calculations and dimensional analysis of drug dosages are covered. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0 No prerequisites

Module 104: Infection Control, Medication Errors and Alternative Medicine and Pharmacology of the Integumentary System and Senses

This module covers pharmacy technician registration and certification, including professionalism and communication in the pharmacy setting. Over-the-Counter medications, vitamins and skin care products are discussed in this module. Medications for the Integumentary system are covered along with a discussion on medication calculations for the elderly. Also covered in this module are medications used for disorders of the eyes and ears. Students learn the most common medication errors, alternative medication and food & drug interactions. Hands-on skills in the laboratory 31 practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0 No prerequisites

Module 105: Administrative Aspects of the Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacology of the G.I. and Muscular System

In this module, emphasis is placed on the role and responsibilities of the pharmacy technician regarding parenteral dosages, including using proportion in calculating drug dosages for pediatrics. This module is designed to provide the student with an overall understanding of the administrative aspects and hands-on applications involved in working in a pharmacy. Medications for the G.I. and Musculoskeletal System are covered along with medications for disorders of the musculoskeletal system, as well as a study of general operations of pharmacies at different settings. Subjects covered include safety in the workplace, using computers in the pharmacy, communications and interpersonal relations within the pharmacy. Students will learn about migraine headaches, analgesics and drugs for NSAID. Uses of computers in the pharmacy practice setting are covered. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0 No prerequisites

Module 106: Aspects of Hospital Pharmacy and Pharmacology of the Urinary and Reproductive System

This module is designed to provide the student with an overall understanding of anatomy and physiology as it relates to the Urinary and Reproductive Systems. Students will learn common tasks performed by pharmacy technicians in the hospital practice setting, including policies and procedures, responsibilities of the inpatient pharmacy technician, and specific State requirements regulating the use of pharmacy technicians in various States. Students will familiarize themselves with intravenous flow rates of large volume and small volume IV, infusion of IV Piggybacks, and the use of a Heparin lock. Critical Care flow rates and automated medication dispensing systems are discussed and calculated. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0 No prerequisites

Module 107: Home Health Care, Pharmacy Operations and Pharmacology of the Cardiovascular, Circulatory and Skeletal System

This module is designed to familiarize the student with all aspects of home health care, mail order pharmacy/E-Pharmacy, and long term care pharmacy. Also covered in this module is drug distribution systems utilized in the pharmacy to include pharmacy stocking and billing, inventory and purchasing. This module will provide students with the understanding of the cardiovascular, circulatory and skeletal system and discuss medications for circulatory disorders and medications for the skeletal system. Hands-on skills in the laboratory practice setting are performed. Lecture Hours: 40.0 Lab Hours: 40.0 Other Hours: 0.0

Module 10X: Clinical Externship

This 160-hour module is designed to provide the student with supervised, practical hands-on and observational experiences in the working pharmacy. Students will be expected to gain experiences in either a hospital pharmacy or a community (retail) pharmacy. Students will gain exposure to “on-the-job” experiences and training in the pharmacy setting and practice of skills, gaining experiences in all aspects of drug preparation, and distribution utilized by participating sites. Prerequisite: Completion of Didactic (Mod 101-107) Program. Lecture Hours: 0.0 Lab Hours: 0.0 Other Hours: 160