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pharmacy tech ?'s

QWIK83

Wannabe-a-Pharm.D.
10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2008
17
0
0
Louisiana
www.myspace.com
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am wondering how good the on job certification for the retail pharmacies are? I live in Louisiana and I'm majoring in biology then off to pharm school. I really want to get into a pharmacy tech position just because I can't stand waiting to go to pharm school to gain knowledge on this, but the certification program at my school is like 30 hrs worth of credits and I can't put my prerequisites on hold that long. Has anyone else been certified on the job and also is it just proof for that one company that you can be a pt for them or is it actual certification that is accepted at other pharmacies?

I searched and everything that popped up was from 05 and none were a clear answer for either. Thanks!
 

PharmTrout

New Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2008
7
0
0
Salem, OR
  1. Pre-Pharmacy
Hi!

I got all of my training on the job and then went and took the PTCB test. I know some states have come up with alternate tests that they consider adequate for the certified technician requirement, so you might check with the board of pharmacy in your state to determine what is appropriate.

I have worked with a girl that just went to classes and then got her certification. It was immediately obvious that she was not prepared to handle the real working environment, but it is slowly coming to her!

I would see if you can get into a pharmacy that has allowances for you to get some OJT before you take a certification test. Some places will hire you on as a cashier, and then you might be able to slowly get some additional training to do the certification :)


Hope that helps, and good luck!
 
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PharmGrl

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2006
64
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151
  1. Pharmacy Student
Thanks! Walgreens site says something about get certified on the job but it doesn't go into detail thats why I was just wondering.

I think that even if you get on the job experience, you still have to sit for an exam (like PTCB). Then you get recognized just about everywhere and you don't have to keep retesting if you change jobs.....does that help?
 
I was hired at Rite Aid (Eckerd at that time) in April 2006. I started as a cashier and quickly transitioned into counting and then filling. I learned all that I know working in this pharmacy and took the PTCB (national certification... allows you to use the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician, CPhT) in December 2007 and passed with high scores.

I think pharm. tech programs are great, but not for me. My local community college offers one. I didn't feel it was necessary to pay to learn the information when I could be paid OTJ while learning it and then sign up for and take the PTCB test on my own.

Does that answer your question?
 

gtpederson

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 1, 2007
194
23
161
  1. Pharmacist
The test isn't hard.

Common sense, basic math, and knowing your role as a Tech (you can't consult).

I took the practice test the night before and passed the real test without ever stepping foot in a pharmacy or taking the course.

Remember conversions, 5ml = 1 tsp, and whatnot, and you'll have most of the test down.


Now I work at Walgreens, and they have you attend little classes to (over) prepare for the PTCB. If you can get hired without your certification, that might be the road, but already having mine is what got me hired.
 

megsreesies

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2008
67
0
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
  1. Non-Student
does the certification test not ask about drug therapy? the one here in iowa makes it sound like it does. I've been working in a pharmacy for almost 3 years and got the hang of it right away, haven't taken the certification test yet. looked at practiced questions and it made it look like you needed to know what drug was for what. is that not correct?
 

PharmGrl

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2006
64
0
151
  1. Pharmacy Student
I took my test quite awhile ago, but I do remember that one of the questions was about NSAIDS vs. Tylenol, what class Celebrex is in (COX 1, COX 2, etc), what to do if someone overdoses on their Coumadin. I think that any question you could be asked about drug therapy will be really superficial, and over the biggest movers on the market.

I hope that helps! :luck:
 

ajh88

New Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 13, 2006
256
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0
  1. Pharmacist
I am wondering how good the on job certification for the retail pharmacies are? I live in Louisiana and I'm majoring in biology then off to pharm school. I really want to get into a pharmacy tech position just because I can't stand waiting to go to pharm school to gain knowledge on this, but the certification program at my school is like 30 hrs worth of credits and I can't put my prerequisites on hold that long. Has anyone else been certified on the job and also is it just proof for that one company that you can be a pt for them or is it actual certification that is accepted at other pharmacies?

I searched and everything that popped up was from 05 and none were a clear answer for either. Thanks!

Let me start my advice my disclaiming that I don't know the laws in Louisiana. However, to my general knowledge, "certification" is not required anywhere as of now but "licensure" is required everywhere.

Search for Louisiana pharmacy tech license and find out what you need to do - in Missouri, I had to get fingerprinted, agree to background check, and send them money to get licensed - that is it, but it varies from state to state.

Certification (the PTCB) is nationally recognized (except maybe in California), but is not accepted in lieu of a license. It might help you get a job if you have no experience or get you a little bump in pay, but in my experience, that is about it. If you become PTCB certified, it is applicable to any pharmacy as it is a national standardized test (not store specific). Specific stores may have certification programs of which I'm not aware - in that case, I'd think it would only apply to that company.

Don't spend your time or money taking certification classes. If you have relatively good study skills, buy yourself a couple of study guides from Amazon (or wherever) and study for the PTCB on your own. I passed doing this and I had never stepped foot in a pharmacy. That said, it didn't particularly prepare me for being a technician either - just a shiny thing to put on my application.

If you don't do the PTCB prior to getting hired, many companies will pay for you to take it. I'd get my state license first and start looking for a job, then worry about getting done with the PTCB.
 
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