5 Pharmacy Technician Training Programs Starting Soon


As the technician's role on the pharmacy team continues to evolve, many current and future techs have turned to their local community colleges for training.

As the technician’s role on the pharmacy team continues to evolve, many current and future techs have turned to their local community colleges for training.

Technician training programs help students cultivate the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the changing pharmacy environment, as well as prepare them to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).

These courses have become increasingly important as many states implement strengthened technician regulations. A number of states currently require all technicians to be nationally certified in order to work in a pharmacy, while a proposed Pennsylvania bill would require techs to complete a training program approved by the state’s pharmacy board.

To help meet the increasing demand for formally trained technicians, the following 5 schools have announced the launch or reaccreditation of technician training programs.

East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, will offer a technician training course in its upcoming fall semester. Limited to 40 students, the class seeks to train students to assist pharmacists in handling medications and serving patients.

The class will meet 20 times on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm, beginning on September 22 and ending on December 1. The instructor for the course will be Helen Nemeth, an outpatient pharmacist at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center with more than 10 years of pharmacy experience.

The cost to register for the course is $400 until September 15, after which the fee will rise to $500. Those interested in enrolling can call 800-222-3878 or visit http://etsuaw.etsu.edu and click on “Health Care.”

Southern Regional Technical College

Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) in Thomasville, Georgia, will begin offering its own technician training program in October. Formed through a partnership with online health care education provider Heath Ed Today, the course will be taught by a registered pharmacist and provide students with 24-hour instructor support through the e-learning portal.

The interactive 50-hour program will use classroom lectures, hands-on labs, and online videos to prepare students to work in a retail or hospital pharmacy and take the PTCE. Students will also be required to complete an 80-hour clinical externship.

“This new program is a good example of how the Economic Development Unit at SRTC fulfills its purpose,” stated SRTC vice president Dennis Lee in a press release. “The pharmacy directors at the major hospitals in the SRTC service region expressed a need for trained pharmacy technicians. The Economic Development Unit found this noncredit program that will provide the training in the required skills that students will use to be a successful pharmacy technician.”

Those seeking more information on the program should contact Dennis Lee by phone (229-227-2414) or e-mail (dlee@southernregional.edu).

East Central Community College

The East Central Community College Workforce Development Center in Decatur, Mississippi, will soon offer a technician training course at its Carthage Career Advancement Center.

The class will meet for 18 consecutive Mondays from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, beginning on September 14. The cost to enroll in the course is $275 per student, with the textbook included in the course fee.

Those seeking addition information about the program or wishing to register should contact Matthew Riley by phone (601-298-0723) or e-mail (mriley@eccc.edu).

Spoon River College

Another technician training program will soon be offered at the Spoon River College Outreach Center in Macomb, Illinois.

The class will be held on Monday evenings from 6 pm to 10 pm, beginning on August 24 and ending on November 23. The course will provide students with skills essential to a career as a technician and prepare them to take the PTCE. All Illinois technicians are required to be nationally certified after 2 years.

Those who seek additional information about the program or wish to register should call 309-833-6031.

Hagerstown Community College

The pharmacy technician program at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, Maryland, has received continued accreditation from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), indicating that the program has been reviewed by the ASHP and meets the organization’s standards.

The 30-credit hour course prepares students to work as technicians in retail and institutional health care settings. Students can choose to either complete the certificate program in 3 semesters or obtain a letter of recognition after 3 classes. Classes for the upcoming fall semester begin on August 24.

Those seeking additional information about the program should contact the school’s information center by phone (240-500-2530) or e-mail (advise@hagerstowncc.edu).

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