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Post PTCE stress syndrome.

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Farmercyst, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Just got the PTCE results from my 2/9 test on Sunday, I passed. Never stepped foot in a pharmacy, nor any labwork compounding. Both scary and satisfying. The scariest part is I have absolutely no experience and I'm thinking I'll look rather stupid my first day in a pharmacy, certified as a tech, and have no idea what to do other than math. Compounding, IVs, heck counting even. I've never touched a pill in my life (in terms of behind the counter). What would my best course of action be?

    I could:

    1) Provided I get accepted, sit on it and do nothing until I start pharmacy school and get my intern license.
    2) Go ahead and apply for my Tech license (CA) and get a tech job.
    3) Volunteer at a pharmacy and just let them know I passed certification, but have no license.
    4) Get license and volunteer since I have no other experience.
    5) Finish the pharmacy tech classes at CC which include lab work with compounding, IVs etc, and then look for a job/volunteer work (only if I don't get accepted for F2007)


    Any suggestions? Other options I missed?
     
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  2. OP
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    Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Oh, and Bananaface, feel free to move if you want, but I'm thinking since this would technically be advice for a prospective practitioner, not necessarily improving my chances for pharmacy school, that I put it in the right place.:D
     
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  3. nightcrawleRx

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    I would definitely work at a pharmacy. I don't know about Cali but you don't have to be licensed to work as a tech in all states. Assuming that you'll be a P1 next yr I wouldn't bother paying the fee to be certified, unless you need it. Eventually you'll be an intern so why bother, you know?

    Anyways, don't worry about looking like an idiot b/c you've never worked in a pharmacy...everyone starts somewhere. In my opinion, the two most essential things you could learn before starting as a tech are the actual drugs, brand/generic...at least for the available generics or top 100rx's. In addition to that learn the sig codes so you can type in Rx's. If you already know that stuff then you're good to go. All the other crap like store policies, insurances, orders, etc. will be something they will teach you and can't possibly expect you to know before starting. Hell, when I started I knew jacksh*t but you learn over time. I have no hospital experience so I can't comment on that.

    By the way, if you can count by five's you'll be good. I actually count by 4's and have no friggin clue why...I guess I see 4 pills better than 5 and I can go quicker; I'm weird like that. Anyways, best of luck.
     
  4. Requiem

    Requiem Senior Member
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    I'm gonna move this to pre-pharmacy;

    You'll get a lot of people in similar positions who have tech certification or who have worked as a tech. As well, pharmacy students browse that forum and can give you that perspective.

    Cheers bud.
     
  5. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd
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    It can go either place. As long as it has nothing to do with choosing or getting into a school, it's your call. Let us know what you decide. We can always leave it in PP and make the redirect in pharm non-expiring if you want to keep a toe in each forum. Requiem is probably right about PP giving more responses, though. I don't think that many of us in school were certified techs beforehand. And, there are just way more people in PP.

    Personally, I'd choose to get hands-on expereince in some way. Any experience is going to help you decide what you may or may not care for, and give you a foundation for what you will learn in pharmacy school.
     
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  6. OP
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    Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Sometimes predictability is a good thing, sometimes no so much.:rolleyes:
     
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  7. Idesiretosling

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    I say go and get your feet wet buddy!:D

    I was wondering what materials you used to prepare for the test and if they reflected the test well? The pharmacy I am going to apply pays more if you are certified, so might as well do it.
     
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  8. OP
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    Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    I took classes at CC. The pharmacy Calcs book was definitely useful. The only thing I studied for PTCE was the method for calculating how much of each concentration was necessary to make a single strength medication from 2 medications of different concentrations. I just finished the pharmacy calcs class in December so everything else was pretty fresh. Pharmacology I took in Spring of 2004 so I just read through my notes the day of the test. Most of the info was easily recognizable if you know a few generic drugs in the major classes. In my case it was benzodiazepines, antihistamines and a few heart meds. I probably only got 80-85% out of 100 question, but 50% or better seemed to be calcs. If you study those, you could pretty much wing the rest if your good at multiple choice tests and name recognition.
     
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  9. Wordsworth301

    Wordsworth301 New Member
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    I got my tech license the same way so when I finally got a job at Target I was pretty overwhelmed, especially since we were a relatively busy store and they really didn't have time to train me. It took me about 3-4 weeks to really get to be familiar with the system and the day to day tasks of the pharmacy so don't worry it just takes time
     
  10. Leb

    Leb
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    If i dont want to take any classes, and do not have any experience, but still want to become a certified tech. because i probably have to work as a tech for sometime. What study materials do you recommend for me in order to pass the test. I know that pharmacies offer study material for their techs for that purpose, but can i get the same material from somewhere on my own?
    Thanks
     
  11. OP
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    Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    You'll notice I'm a big Google fan.

    Try this: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ptce+study+guide

    Looks like there plenty of stuff.

    I don't know if my text books would do you much good because they've got all the info you'll need, but no direction as to what's important. Though they did come with CDs that have some pretty good sample problems. I used the Pharmacology for Technicians, Pharmacy Calculations for Technicians, and Pharmacy Systems for Technicians books by Ballington and Green. They were available from ASHP, but you could also get them used from Amazon or some other web store. But again those were used in a classroom setting so I got direction, not just reading and trying to figure out what was important.
     
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  12. OkiePharmD

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    can relate. I am a certified tech with very little experience and freaked at the idea of going to work in a pharmacy and not knowing what I'm doing. I applied recently at a hospital and I think the fact that I am certified and going to school to try to go to Pharmacy College helped me get the job. I got the impression they felt I was serious about pharmacy. I know what I have to gain from working hard and learning the job and I know I have a lot to lose if I don't take advantage of the opportunity. They will train me for almost 3 months before they set me loose on my own anyway…and I get an extra buck an hour because I'm certified. Good luck to you.
     
  13. happyface68

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    hey guys,
    just wondering if someone can explain to me the process of getting a pharmacy tech certification! thanks!
     
  14. OP
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    Farmercyst

    Farmercyst From the shadows
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    Varies by state. Several states will take the PTCE plus some fees and maybe a background/fingerprint check. Some states have their own requirements that involve OJT and some schooling. Some just require you to show up and not give people the wrong drugs too many times. It's hard to tell which category you fit in. If you check with your state's board of pharmacy and peruse a bit, you'll probably find all the info you need.
     
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  15. UCIGUY

    UCIGUY Dispensing Machine
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    thats how it was for me too. I got my tech license and applied for Target. They sent me to a busy store to train for about two days, and I felt everything was too new to me. I didn have enough time for it to sink it. I hated my job for the first two months because I didn know anything. But now, I like my job better because everything clicks now.
     

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