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Pharmacy Technician Program Overview

Pharmacies play a vital role in America's health care industry. They dispense the standardized medications doctors prescribe to treat patients with chronic and acute conditions. They compare and cross-reference prescriptions to help patients avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions. They instruct customers on how to properly take the medications they're prescribed. They also offer advice about the non-prescription, over-the-counter drugs they sell.

Pharmacies are run by licensed pharmacists who've undergone many years of education and training. But pharmacy assistants often handle many of the day-to-day operations.

Everest can prepare you for a career in this growing field. Its Pharmacy Technician program is offered at Everest campuses across the country. In fact, most diploma programs are designed to be completed in less than a year.

As a pharmacy tech student at Everest, you'll get both the education and practical hands-on training to function as an entry-level pharmacy technician to licensed pharmacists in a variety of health care settings.

Upon graduating from Everest's Pharmacy Technician program, you should:

  • Have a foundational knowledge base in pharmaceutical and medical terminology, abbreviations and symbols used in prescribing, dispensing and documenting medications
  • Be able to perform the essential functions related to drug procurement and inventory control
  • Have a working knowledge of manufacturing and packaging operations, including the physical and chemical nature of drugs used in a pharmacy
  • Understand the packaging and labeling requirements, as well as the manufacturing techniques used for drug dispensing
  • Be able to perform pharmaceutical calculations, including conversions, working with pediatric dosages, parenteral and IV dosages, admixtures, and compounding dosages
  • Understand aseptic techniques, parenteral admixtures, compounding procedures, and microbiology as it applies to disease and the use of aseptic techniques in the health care field

Note: Program schedules and availability vary by campus.

Pharmacy Technician Courses

A pharmacy technician needs a broad background in medicine, chemistry, mathematics and nutrition. All of these fields play an important role in pharmacology, the science that deals with the preparation, uses and effects of drugs.

As a student in Everest's Pharmacy Technician program, you'll attend courses that focus on these and related subjects. Your Pharmacy Technician courses can provide a strong academic and clinical background in the areas of:

  • Pharmacy Administration
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Digestive, Respiratory and Reproductive Systems
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Health Care Systems

As you move through the Pharmacy Technician program, you'll have an opportunity to develop strong customer service, communication and interpersonal skills. These will help you interact with patients, coworkers and health care professionals when you're on the job. Having strong mathematical and organizational skills can help you manage inventories, count and measure medication, and use computers.

Note: This Pharmacy Technician program description is not necessarily reflective of every Pharmacy Technician program offered across all Everest campuses. This is a summary of general topics learned within most schools. Please check your campus catalog for specific details about what is taught in the Pharmacy Technician program near you.

Pharmacy Technician Careers

America's aging population is expected to increase the demand for medical and health care services in the coming years. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups will also lead to increased demand for prescription medications. And, advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.

These factors should increase the number of pharmacies across the country, as well as the number of job openings for pharmacy technicians.

Approximately 373,000 pharmacy technicians were employed in the U.S. in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS projects that number will increase by more than 71,000 through 2024. It projects growth of as much as 13%, for this field, which is considered "higher than average" for industries overall.

Also known as pharmacy technicians or pharm techs, pharmacy assistants perform many of the tasks associated with pharmacy operations. Typical responsibilities include:

  • Taking incoming prescription orders
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Instructing customers on the proper use of their prescription medications
  • Processing payments and insurance claims
  • Filling out regulatory paperwork

So where exactly will these new pharmacy technician jobs be? When you imagine a pharmacy, you probably think of the prescription counter at your local chain drug store or small independent pharmacy in your community.

But pharmacies are found in many other places, too. Specifically, retail supermarkets and big box department or warehouse stores often have their own pharmacies on site. And, of course, you can find them in medical office buildings, outpatient clinics, urgent care centers, hospitals and HMO facilities.

A growing number of pharmacies are also online. Although virtual, online pharmacies still employ pharmacy technicians to help process online orders and ship products.

As a graduate of Everest's Pharmacy Technician program, you may choose not to become a pharmacy technician at all. As many Everest graduates have done, you could use your education to qualify for work as a pharmaceutical sales representative or other type of health care industry professional.

Note: Program availability, version and schedules vary by campus. Please check your campus catalog for specific details about which pharmacy technician programs programs are available.

*Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors will impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.

Source: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-2052.00

Financial Aid

Everest helps students reach their educational goals and reduce student loan debt in a number of ways, including institutional grants and scholarships.*

Students are encouraged to use our resources as often as needed. These services are included at no additional cost and include:

  • Answers to your federal student loan questions
  • Information on your loan servicer
  • Clear explanations of all your federal student loan repayment options
  • Information on how to reduce or postpone your monthly payment

Contact ECMC Solutions, Everest’s loan counseling partner, by phone at 1-877-331-3262 or visit its website to email or web chat: http://www.ecmcsolutions.org/.

Scholarships and Grants

The Zenith Student Grant is a multimillion-dollar institutional grant program awarded to students of Everest and WyoTech schools owned by Zenith Education Group who demonstrate financial need.

This and other financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Contact a representative by phone at (888) 223-8556 or click here to learn more.

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