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Pharmacy Technician

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Cram Happy Er, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Cram Happy Er

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    Hey I recently passed the PTCE. Other than that I have no experience in pharmacy so far.
    If I apply to a hospital as a pharmacy technician do you think they will hire me?
    Do you think they take volunteer pharmacy technicians? lol Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Highly doubt it. I've been working in a pharmacy for more than 2 years and I have a PTCB Certification and none of the hospitals have responded so far.
     
  3. PharmD321

    PharmD321 SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I agree with you, Sparda. I don't have any experience and passed the PTCB, but the University of Colorado Hospital Human Resource department emailed me after I applied. The HR asked if I had any experience and why I wanted the job. I guess the staff didn't like what I had to say in my essay. But, I think there were many other people applying and probably had more experience than I did.

    Another thing, the director, of pharmacy technician school that I went to prepare my ptcb, emailed me and said I could take a class called Introduction to IV Admixture course. I think I am going to take it because it is about the hospital setting and maybe if I apply again for the same hospital, I could tell the HR about this class that I am taking and the HR would maybe consider my application.

    To answer the thread's question, I would try and apply at the hospital anyways and see what they have to say....if you get a no, then ask the hospital if they need any volunteers, because if you volunteer, you get experience and will help you get a job at the hospital you were volunteering at....
     
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    #3 PharmD321, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  4. Transformer

    10+ Year Member

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    If you only submit your application to hospital pharmacies, more likely than not, they will not hire you. I consider myself one of the lucky ones who got out of CVS after a year. I got my hospital pharmacy job by volunteering at a hospital continuously over 2 years. When the opportunity presented itself, the hospital pharmacy hired me because they already knew me and can count on me to do a good job.

    So the trick here is.....it is who you know that will get you that hospital job..

    I suggest volunteering once a week at your local hospital pharmacy. Who knows, they might hire you when they're short handed.


    good luck:)
     
  5. Cram Happy Er

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    Thanks for the replies guys, and your responses were pretty much what I expected.
    Do you guys think retail pharmacies might be more willing to take me on and train me too? I basically just studied for the PTCE myself, so I didn't take any classes.

    Anyways, from your guys' experiences, can you guys tell me what most pharmacies expect out of their technicians. I'm guessing they would rather want technicians who can work full time. I'm only a student and i'm looking to work 2-3 days max. What hours did you guys put in while in (or out of) school ?
     
  6. ImDaStyle

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    It depends. I volunteered at the hospital near where I lived, and the pharmacy director asked me if I wanted to become a pharmacy technician 1 month later. I wasn't even certified..
     
  7. Cram Happy Er

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    How much did you get paid, if you don't mind my asking?
     
  8. ImDaStyle

    2+ Year Member

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    I said "no" to her because I had to move to another state :p it sucks...now I'm desperately looking for one :laugh:
     
  9. Acid11

    Acid11 I speak Chinglish
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    Sorry about veering off the main topic point,
    but are retail pharmacies (chain or independent) just as likely to accept volunteers as the hospitals do?? Or is it harder to land a volunteer position at retail? I prefer maybe a "once a week" volunteer position or something of that nature.
    Thanks!
     
  10. GlamDoc

    7+ Year Member

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    Hi!

    I self-studied for the PTCB exam as well! Very stress-free. And congrats! :)

    I also recently landed a job as a pharmacy technician! I'm a full-time college student so I told them I could only work a few days a week (probably just weekends) during the semester, and they were fine with it. Told me I would work Sat., and one weekday of my choosing, which is fine.

    I have no experience in a pharmacy, whatsoever, and they didn't have a problem with that. Said they would do mostly all on-the-job training. The fact that you're certified puts you WAY ahead of all the other applicants (which is the first thing the pharm manager said to me).

    So go out to all the pharmacies, talk to them face-to-face, and give them a resume to remember you by. Keep trying and you'll be sure to get something! :D
     
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  11. kismet

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    It really depends on the facility - both hospital and retail - if you can get a job without experience or if you can volunteer. Best way is to get your resume ready and apply EVERYWHERE. If you're still in college, see if your school sets up any internships or volunteer positions - my school coordinated a few dozen pharmacy "internships" every quarter, just four hours per week for the quarter. It's a good way to get your foot in the door somewhere.

    At my hospital, we look for techs with experience. Certification might bump you over someone with equal experience but otherwise we don't really care. An applicant with any hospital experience will be favored over an applicant with only retail experience, but the retail tech will be favored over someone with no experience. So even if you have to do some time in retail, keep applying to those hospital positions. The main reason we look for hospital experience is because we don't want to train someone to make IVs, so if you've got any opportunity to learn that, it can only help you.

    Your work schedule depends on the facility, too. At my hospital, we've got two full-time technicians who are lifers and three part-time technicians who are all students (part-time means I work two 8 or 10 hour shifts per week). When I worked at a local retail store, almost every single tech and clerk was a student and working part-time (anywhere from 4-8 hour shifts multiple days per week.. i.e., I was working 4 or 5 days a week but only 4 hours every night). Retail stores are probably going to be more flexible on the schedule? But if you live in a college town, employers are usually pretty used to students.
     
  12. ohlmin

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    Don't just limit yourself to Retail or Hospital. I got my start with an independent hospice pharmacy and used the skills I learned there to land a job with a hospital. Although, if you are looking for part time work only, you might be stuck cutting your teeth on retail. But what others have said is correct, any experience is better than no experience.

    As for pay, from what I have gotten from others you usually make substantially less in retail as a tech than you do in a hospital. I work second shift, which gives an additional 8% differential, and with that I make $19/hr as a tech. I've been a tech for three years, and have worked at the hospital I'm at now for the last two. I know that what I make is unusual. Realistically you're probably looking at $10-$14 in a retail setting and $13-$21 in a hospital, DOE.
     
  13. laketica

    laketica Moo... tired.
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    i got certified PTCB-style and i got a job at kaiser without any tech experience... it was my first and only tech job so far! i don't work inpatient, i work outpatient - but kaiser still counts as a hospital right? hehe. but yeah, i totally think there is hope even if you don't have any tech experience!!! i recommend walking in and talking to HR and getting them your resume, as well as the pharmacy itself.

    bottom line: YES! you can do it! best of luck~
     
  14. Cram Happy Er

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  15. TTUMike

    TTUMike Accepted Pharmacy Student
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    Where I am located in Texas they don't allow volunteers in hospital pharmacies. I tried with 3 years pharmacy experience and they flat out told me that it wasn't going to happen. On the other hand, I have been working retail and volunteers aren't usually accepted only in the case of externships (from community colleges). When they are in our pharmacy they only come in late at night or weekends when we aren't terribly busy. I imagine this is only the case for us because we are so busy. I would not let this discourage you from trying considering that every situation is different.
     
  16. phar2013

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    Is it necessary to really study for the PTCE? I will be taking it soon.
     
  17. phar2013

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    No chain pharmacy such as Walgreens, Krogers, Walmart, CVS, etc. is not going to let you come in and volunteer because of HIPPA, lost prevention, etc. But, you probably could volunteer or shadow at an independent pharmacy where a pharmacist runs his own business--no major industry. But, you can not go wrong volunteering in a hospital.
     
  18. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun
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    Studying, not really necessary but it is really helpful to have already been working at a pharmacy prior to taking the exam.
     
  19. vtran007

    vtran007 Pre-Pharmacy
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    Your availability is very important. Even though I had a another job on the side, I told them I would be available to work anytime. After a few weeks, I told them about my other job and they changed my hours. :D
     
  20. Frederico Albin

    Frederico Albin Yes thats my bulldog :)
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    But that's where the certification comes into play... lol It is almost impossible to find a pharmacy job without being certified. I am also thinking about taking the PTCE and really worried about what you just said. Will my inexperience on the field take a tool on my grade?

    For the ones who have taken the exam, what study materials did you guys use?
     
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  21. PharMed2016

    PharMed2016 Eternal Scholar
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    Are you doing this for the pay raise that you would get? Once your an intern - it doesn't matter if your PTCE certified or not. However, it does look good on your CV, if you don't have a PharmD already.

    Anyway, on the topic of hospital pharmacy technician, I highly doubt that they will hire you unless you know someone in the hospital with some weight... etc (Nursing supervisor).
     
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  22. GlamDoc

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    Nah. Don't sweat it. Just get a review book and dedicate a few hours each weekend to studying. Math's key. Drug names not so much. I used "Delmar's Pharmacy Technician Review" by Patricia K. Anthony. It should work just fine.

    Good luck! :thumbup:
     
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  23. Frederico Albin

    Frederico Albin Yes thats my bulldog :)
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    Thanks man, I just ordered a review book with a few practice questions. :p
     
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  24. VAPrePharm

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    Hey guys, I just read that most of you are certified pharm techs and I wanted to get your insight on studying for the exam. I just bought the Mosby's Pharm Tech study guide and its got lots of info...Any feedback on what I should focus on and how you studied is greatly appreciated, Thanks!
     
  25. Passion4Sci

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    Honestly, if you read through the book and do the practice tests and do well on them, you'll kill the PTCE. Some questions on the actual PTCE are practically verbatim from what was on the Mosby's exam book.

    It really IS that easy.
     
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  26. docss26

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    That's good to know. I was thinking about taking it for fun since I have 9 months to kill before pharmacy school starts. I think it will be a good thing to have. Too bad my boss won't give me a raise for passing the test lol.
     
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  27. Passion4Sci

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    Just take it and add the cool letters to your name :thumbup:
     
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  28. docss26

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Right on! I like the way that sounds. Rolls off the tongue nicely.
     
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