Pharmacy Technician: Courses | Certifications | Requirements | Salary | Jobs | Role
Deciding to pursue a specific career option can be considered as one of the most crucial and important decisions in one’s life. Choosing a particular field, stream or subject is no joke. It requires passion, dedication, and efforts to ascertain that a student is going to embrace that one field for the rest of his or her life. Hence, student has to make an informed decision about the career path he or she aspires to follow.
Role of Pharmacy Technician in Hospital Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy:
The profession of pharmacy in all developed countries including Canada is very different compared to the developing countries like India. In Canada, the role of a pharmacist does not end at just the reading prescriptions and dispensing the medication. Rather, they even possess the authority to evaluate prescriptions and able to make positive impact in the clinical judgment process. Further, the systems with which medications that are manufactured and sold are not the same as in India. Pharmacy is one of the challenging health-care filed, in last few decades profession has grown exponentially, in terms of role and responsibilities of the pharmacist. Earlier, Pharmacist was only involved in dispensing the medicines but now pharmacist is a key healthcare team member who is primarily focused on cognitive service providing. Due to this radical shift of the pharmacist role have created Pharmacy technician as a regulated profession. Because, Now Pharmacist is mainly involves in clinical task and Pharmacy Technician is responsible for all the technical and business task like prescription check, dispensing, patient counseling , business management related activities.
What is Pharmacy Technician Job Description?
Pharmacy technician is involved in various technical activities like receiving the prescription, checking and verifying the prescription, dispensing the order, maintain the patients record, counseling the patient for Over the counter medication and on behalf of pharmacist Pharmacy technician can work as a delegate of Pharmacist. After getting some special accreditations, Pharmacy technician are eligible to do some special task like nuclear formulation and special compounding activities. Other the core pharmacy activities, Pharmacy technician is actively engaged in all the business related activities like record keeping, ordering, human resource management and taking care of insurance claim settlement. Additional, Pharmacy technician is also helping the pharmacist and other care professionals in the process of public health and disease prevention activities. Pharmacy technician is one of the important team members of the healthcare system in Canada.
What can a Pharmacy Technician do?
Assisting the Pharmacist in the preparation of prescription
- Receive Prescription and verifying the prescription
- Preparation of Prescription labels
- Dispensing the prescription by counting, pouring, weighing, measuring and mixing medications and Reconstituting medications
- Affixing prescription and auxiliary labels to prescription containers
- Pricing the prescription and Filing the records
Clerical activities like
- Preparing and reconciling third party billings
- Preparing receipts, invoices, letters, and memos, and general filing
- Billing appropriate department for medication
- Receiving and sending electronic communications
- Monitoring stock levels to ensure sufficient quantities for optimal operation
- Preparing and placing orders from specified sources
- Maintaining inventory records, including those for narcotics and controlled drugs
- Rotating stock and monitoring expiry dates
- Identifying expired products for disposal, destruction or return to manufacturer
- Unit dose Prepackaging of medications
- Pharmacy Technicians helps with filling of incident reports for mistakes outside the pharmacy
- Specially Certified to prepare injectable in a sterile environment including Chemotherapeutics and TPN
How to become registered Pharmacy Technician in abroad countries?
Pharmacy technician is a regulated profession in Canada, since 2015, the professional certification process is regulated by various organizations like CCAPP (Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs) and PEBC (Pharmacy Examination Board of Canada). There are two step processes to get the license to practice as a registered Pharmacy technician,
- To complete the Formal qualification of Pharmacy Technician course from any of the CCAPP (CCAPP – Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs) approved college
- After successfully passing the Course, Candidate has to register and seat for the Pharmacy Technician qualifying examination
After passing the examination candidate will awarded a license to practice as a pharmacy Technician.
How to select right College for Pharmacy Technician Program?
There are more than 50 different colleges offering CCAPP approved pharmacy technician program in Canada. The right and most appropriate college selection is the crucial step for all the students but it is especially very important for international students. Various factors need to consider before selection of your prospective College and course. Some of the important criteria are as below
Accreditations of the Program
First and most crucial step before selection of the right college is to check the program is approved by the CCAPP or not. If the program is not approved by CCAPP then candidates are not eligible for licensing examinations.
Privet Vs Community College
There are over 5o different institutes are offering Pharmacy technician program in Canada, which are range from privet colleges, Community colleges and Polytechnics. These institutes are offering Pharmacy technician program for domestic as well as international students. Being an International student, Candidate has to be very careful for selection of the type of institute. We have to select the institute which makes us eligible for getting post study work permit. After completion of program from Private College are not eligible to get the post study work permit. Hence, we are strongly recommending selecting the community college or government polytechnic which makes you eligible for post study work permit.
Generally, Pharmacy technician is a two years diploma program but some of the privet institutes are offering one year certificate program. As an international student, we have to select the two years full time diploma program because that make us eligible for 3 years post study work permit.
Admission requirement for Pharmacy Technician
Every college has their own admission criteria; some of the colleges are not offering the program for international students. Other colleges are expecting the good grads in graduation or High school with specific subjects like mathematics in higher secondary, few colleges are considering the Pharmacy graduation Mathematics for the admission purpose. Some colleges are allowing the student to write the basic mathematics examination for admission. Still there are many colleges are offering admission for Pharmacy Technician without mathematics in higher secondary.
Location of the College
When we are talking about location we have to think with two important viewpoints one is the Immigration possibilities and second is professional exposure during the study. Former one is point of state or provincial selection and letter one is to proximity of the college to hospital or other healthcare facilities. Pharmacy Technician is a professional program so during study candidate has to get the opportunity to find the work in healthcare facilities like community pharmacy, Hospital, age care center, long term care centers etc. This exposure will change the outlook of the professional career. Hence we have to select the college, which is close to the area where hospital or other healthcare facilities are there to find out the training or field placement during the study.
As an international student tuition fees is one of the most decision making parameter for college selection. There is huge difference in tuition fees of the same course, before you make final decision you must have to compare the tuition fees of the same program at different institutes.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
Statistical reports have shown that the field of pharmaceutical sciences is one among the highest paying jobs in Canada. The average pay in full-time employment in this field is CAD 25-30/- per hour means (CAD $50,000 to 60000/ Year), which generally increases depending upon factors like work experience, job performance, etc. Demand of the Pharmacy technician profession is growing exponentially because of various factors like low patient-to-pharmacist ratio, adding more professional responsibilities, increasing population and early onset of chronic diseases. Hence, this prompts many students to make their careers in this direction.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Pathway
Pharmacy Technician certification process is regulated by the Pharmacy Examination Board of Canada (PEBC). PEBC’s certification process comprised two steps like you must demonstrate completion of the educational requirements and pass both Parts of the PEBC Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination. Candidates, who have graduated from a pharmacy technician or pharmacist program accredited by Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), would be considered ‘Direct-entry Candidates’ who are eligible to proceed immediately to the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination. Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination has two different parts like Objective type (multiple choice exams) and oral examination like (Objective clinical examination). After completion of all the requirements, candidate is eligible to get license to practice as a Pharmacy Technician in Canada. For international candidates (either educated as pharmacy technicians or pharmacists abroad), there is a new evaluation process that is currently being developed which must be completed before becoming eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination.
International Students have two different three different routes to become Pharmacy Technician in Canada
- After studying Pharmacy Technician from any of the CCAPP Approved Community College
- Passing PEBC PharmacistEvaluating Examination (Direct Entry: Without studying Pharmacy Technician Course)
- Based upon International Pharmacy degree evaluation
What is the Job Market for Pharmacy Technician?
Overall Pharmacy is one of the biggest domains of the employment because as a Pharmacy health professional you can work in Clinical settings, Industries, Research organization and laboratory facilities. Being a Pharmacy technician mainly they focused to work in community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, critical care center, long term care centers, walk in clinics and many more healthcare facilities are available to work for pharmacy technician. Specially accredited pharmacist can work in various unique areas like compounding pharmacy or nuclear pharmacy and they are also certified to prepare Injectable in a sterile environment including Chemo/TPN Registered Pharmacy technician can expect an employment in a retail pharmacy chain or in a hospital or clinical pharmaceutical setup and many more healthcare facilities. Qualified professionals in these arrangements get involved in tasks like prescription reading and handling, drug inventory and data management, patient counseling, etc. Some popular retail pharmacy chains like Shoppers’ Drug Mart, Rexall Pharmacy, PharmaSave. Apart from these options, eligible candidates can find themselves in places like:
- Privately owned retail and community pharmacies
- Medical clinics and hospitals
What should I consider while making the choice of Pharmacy Technician?
Each year, a multitude of students travel overseas from India for study purposes. The most preferred options of countries for students to pursue their studies are USA, Canada, Australia, and UK. Among this lot, Canada is growing to become among the most popular choices these days owing to its welcoming government and positive immigration policies. After completion of Pharmacy technician license in Canada candidate is eligible to get qualification of certification which can give them 50 points extra towards their federal immigration. Means, Pharmacy technician license will significantly increase the chance to get the permanent residency.
Can I be registered Pharmacy Technician without studying Pharmacy Technician diploma in Canada?
It is obvious that students would get such a question in their mind while exploring their career options. In fact, ideally it is expected that sincere students do consider this avenue of possibility as well in their mind as this helps in planning the forthcoming career journey in a better manner. According to Nitesh Viramgama, students and aspirants must not get dejected if they are not able to secure an admission for Pharmacy Technician course. Because, after completion of your pharmacy technician you have to seat for Pharmacy technician qualifying examination and international students, who pass the Pharmacist – PEBC evaluating examination are eligible for direct entry in to the Pharmacy technician qualifying examination without studying the diploma.
What if I do not crack PEBC- Pharmacy Technician Qualification Examination after my course?
This a mandatory step in order to get Pharmacy technician license, if you do not pass the qualifying examination, you are not allowed to work as a registered pharmacy technician in Canada.
Is the Pharmacy Technician a best course for international students?
No, if you have done Bachelor of Pharmacy or PharmD and you are a good student will to pass Pharmacist –PEBC examination then Pharmacy technician is not best choice. If you are a good pharmacy student and willing to build future in the field of industrial or management or research segment then Pharmacy technician is not best choice. But if you are average student then you might think about Pharmacy technician as an option.
What are the best courses for Indian Pharmacy Students in Canada?
More than 40 different courses are available in Canada for International students in various field of pharmacy including industry related like Pharmaceutical science, Food quality assurance, Biotechnology, Functional genomics and clinical consultation, Cannabis technology, cosmetic science, regulatory affairs, chemical analysis and various management programs like Health information management, Healthcare administration, Project management, Digital health, health informatics, research analyst. Course selection matrix need to be used with your aptitudes, strength, liking and your short term and long term goals.
Does my Bachelor of Pharmacy is valid in Canada?
Yes, 4 years bachelor of pharmacy is valid in Canada. On based upon you qualification you are eligible for Pharmacist licensing process you do not need to study any course in order to become registered pharmacist in Canada.