Just as important as a pharmacist is a Pharmacy Technician program trained professional who is responsible for preparing, dispensing and compounding medications as well as receiving, ordering and managing inventory, interacting with patients and a variety of health care providers and assisting in the provision of pharmaceutical care and pharmacy services. Due to the range of tasks they perform and the challenging nature of their profession, these professionals must obtain post-secondary training that will give them the theory and practical application to perform their duties flawlessly.
One such post-secondary institution that offers Pharmacy Technician courses is Centennial College, which facilitates a two-year program that is accredited with the Canadian Council of Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs. The Pharmacy Technician program at Centennial College was granted Provisional Accreditation Status by CCAPP until December 31st, 2013. It prides itself not only on this association but also on its ideal balance of theory and practice that students obtain within its wide range of Pharmacy Technician courses.
Among specific Pharmacy Technician courses are: Advanced Pharmacology, Home Heath Care and Non-Prescription Products, Professional Practice and Drug Programs, Pharmaceutical Calculations, Compounding, Aseptic Technique Principles and more. Woven into these courses are classroom, lab work and the use of Morningside Campus, where the Pharmacy Technician program is based. As the college’s most technologically-advanced campus, it boasts high-tech labs with equipment that is common to the field on which students can practice. The combined elements of the Pharmacy Technician program are excellent preparation for the four field placements (at community, hospital and corporate environments) in which students partake for a total of 389 hours. During these placements students apply what they have learned, obtain new skills and network with those already established in the field.
Once they complete their Pharmacy Technician courses, students are eligible to write the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada qualifying exam for pharmacy technicians in pursuit of the Registered Pharmacy Technician (RPhT) designation. They are also eligible to complete structured Practical Training (12 weeks of supervised practice) in pursuit of the RPhT designation.
Applicants to the Pharmacy Technician program must posses at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or are 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must have the compulsory English 12C or U credit or skills assessment, or equivalent; the Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent; 11C, or U or 12C, or U, chemistry, physics or biology, or skills assessment, or equivalent. Due to the challenging nature of this profession, applicants should have strong critical thinking, mathematical and English communication skills and a commitment to self-directed thinking.
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In this article, Klaudia informs readers of the Pharmacy Technician courses that are offered at Centennial College and how they allow students to learn theory and then apply it in practical lessons such as simulations.
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