Q. What is a Pharmacy Technician?
A. Pharmacy technician is a pharmacy staff member who works under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, and performs many pharmacy-related functions. Job duties may include giving medication and other health care products to patients, as well as working with third party and doctors' offices in resolving adjudication of patients' insurance or state program. Pharmacy technicians perform the routine tasks associated with preparing prescribed medication and providing drugs to patients. Licensed pharmacists check all medications before they go to the patient, and only pharmacists may counsel patients on the proper use of medications.
Q. When does the program start and what is the application deadline for the program?
A. The program begins every Fall semester and Spring semester. Applications are accepted year round.
Q. What are the application requirements?
A. There are two forms that must be completed for admission to the Pharmacy Technician program:
The MDC Application and the Application for Program Admission.
Q. What are the admissions/selection criteria?
A. Enrollment in the program is limited. Meeting the admissions requirements does not guarantee program acceptance. For this reason, following criteria are used to determine which applicants will be admitted:
Overall GPA and T.A.B.E Scores
For the Pharmacy Program the T.A.B.E. scores that are required are:
READING - 10.0
MATH - 11.0
LANGUAG E - 10.0
Students who have earned an A.A., A.S., A.A.S., or higher degree or have passed the C.P.T. on their first attempt are exempt from the T.A.B.E. Test.
Q. Can I apply if I have not completed all of the general education and science courses?
A. Applicants must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. There are no required general education or science courses.
Q. What kind of degree will I be awarded when I graduate?
A. Upon completion of the program you will receive a Career Technical Certificate.
Q. What are the hours of the program?
A. This is an evening program with some courses beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Q. Can I work while I am a student in the program?
A. This program is highly demanding, and students are therefore more successful if they do not work while in the program. If students must work for financial support, the program strongly recommends a limit of 20 hours of employment per week. Students should also consider family responsibilities before committing to a full-time accelerated program.
Q. What are the necessary steps for becoming a Pharmacy Technician?
A. Steps for becoming a Pharmacy Technician include:
1) Complete a board approved Pharmacy Technician program—MDC coursework and clinical (including HSC0003 and successful T.A.B.E.)
2) Schedule, take, and pass the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam). It is recommended that you take your exam and become nationally certified between your in-class coursework and clinical experience (after your first semester at MDC). You can find out about the exam and register to take it at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's website www.ptcb.org
3) Upon successful completion of the MDC Pharmacy Technician Program, immediately register with the state. In Florida, Pharmacy Technicians are required to be registered before they can practice, this is VERY important. No exam is required for registration, you will need either final transcripts or your certificate to prove successful graduation from the program. The Florida State Application can be found and printed in PDF format through the Florida Department of Health website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/mqa/pharmacy/ap_phtech.pdf
4) Once you are certified and registered, you must complete 20 hours of CE (Continuing Education) every two years to keep both certification and registration. National certification requirements state that one of the 20 hours must be in Pharmacy Law. The State of Florida requires; in addition, that 2 of the 20 hours be in "Prescription Errors", 1 of the 20 hours be in "HIV/AIDS training", and 4 of the 20 hours must be "live" or "in-service" training.
5) Attaining CE: some good resources are to register with CE brokers, like www.powerpak.com and www.pharmacytimes.com (there are many out there, try searching for "Pharmacy Technician CE" in Google). Both above sites provide scheduled "webinars" that do count as live CE for Florida requirements. It is also a good idea to become a member or guest with the Miami-Dade Board of Pharmacy or Broward Pharmacy Board. They often provide live CE at monthly meetings. ALWAYS print your hardcopy of CE course completion, as both the PTCB and/or the State of Florida can audit you at anytime, keep these on file for a minimum of five years.
Q. What is the approximate annual salary for graduates of this program in this area?
A. In the South Florida area, entry-level graduates may expect to earn an annual salary of $21,000 - $29,000.00.