Pharmacy Assistant

Become part of a leading workforce with an education in pharmacy.

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32 Weeks



Program Outline

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About The Program

The Pharmacy Assistant diploma program provides the opportunity for students to pursue a 6-week field placement for hands-on experience.

Career Opportunities

As a Pharmacy Assistant, you’ll work as part of a health care team to ensure that consumers receive the best possible pharmaceutical care. Graduates of the Eastern Pharmacy Assistant program may work for Pharmacists in retail pharmacies, home healthcare divisions/companies, insurance companies, institutional settings and pharmaceutical distribution wholesalers/manufacturers.

Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads

  • Costco Pharmacy 
  • Shoppers Drug Mart 
  • Pharmachoice 
  • Jean Coutu Pharmacy 
  • Walmart Pharmacy 
  • Medicine Shoppe


100 %

Employment Rate*

$ 22

Average Wage/hr**

$ 27

High Wage/hr**

*Employment Rate based on 2018 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.


NOC Code: 3414 - **Wage data is for employees in all ranges of experience in the field, rounded down to the nearest dollar, and based on New Brunswick data. Local (or regional) income may vary.

Program Details

The purpose of the program is to prepare students with the necessary skills and academic knowledge for entry-level positions in retail pharmacies, as well as pharmaceutical companies.

This program provides an overview of the theory, principles and practices of the Pharmacy Assistant. Areas of study include prescription intake, pharmacy software practice, proper extemporaneous compounding techniques, controlling inventory, keeping accurate and confidential records, third party billing, acting within relevant legislation, and effectively communicating verbally and in writing. Graduates will be prepared to work as members of an interdependent health-care team.

The Pharmacy Assistant diploma program at Eastern College combines instructor led training with a work placement designed to prepare students for a successful career in healthcare. As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll provides services and assistance to pharmacists by compounding, packaging and labeling pharmaceutical products and by maintaining prescription records and inventories of medications and pharmaceutical products.

Graduates typically find employment opportunities in retail pharmacies and other environments such as mail order pharmacies, and in areas such as patient education within pharmaceutical companies.

Students enrolled in the program will receive: 

  • Classrooms that stimulate real-world pharmacy settings, including relevant equipment; 
  • Microsoft Office, Microsoft Imagine Standard, and Windows are included in the program fees. 
Course Listings: New Brunswick
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Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Anatomy, Physiology and Terminology
This course will introduce the foundations of the language of medicine and will develop medical vocabulary through the study of the structures and functions of the major body systems. Topics include medical terminology; general body organization; and the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, nervous (including special senses and psychiatric disorders), integumentary, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Compounding
This course is an introduction to drug preparation and dosage forms. Students will gain an understanding of ingredients used in preparing pharmaceutical products. Students will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in non-sterile compounding. This course involves the application of both pharmacy math and pharmaceutical abbreviations in the compounding and dispensing of medications.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Assistant Field Placement
The field placement component of the program is the practical application of a student’s knowledge and skills in an industry environment. The focus of the field placement is within a retail pharmacy to emphasize a customer-centered approach; therefore, the field placement is not within a hospital setting. The duration of the field placement is 6 weeks, during which the student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Mathematics
This course begins with a review of basic mathematics and its application to pharmacy calculations. Mathematics used in retail pharmacies, namely: business math; prescription pricing; and calculating medication dosages, are studied in this course. In order to prepare the student for a wide range of pharmacy settings, calculations used in specialized and institutional pharmacies are also discussed.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmaceutical Calculations
This module is designed to introduce the student to the type of calculations performed in both hospital and retail pharmacies on a daily basis, starting with the metric system and leading into more complex calculations and problem solving skills. The instructor will introduce topics and then provide the students time and assistance to complete exercises. Topics will include converting between Roman numerals and Arabic numbers, a review of basic math using fractions and decimals, the metric system of measurement, ratio, proportion and percent, calculating strength of medication using percent, units, parts per million and mEq (milliequivalent), translating Latin abbreviations for the administration of medication, calculating pediatric dosages and fractional dosages, performing calculations using formulas, preparing solutions, understanding parental medications and TPN (total parenteral nutrition) calculations, as well as the calculation of a prescription price.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacology
This course will introduce the basics of pharmacology and include a review of physiology and the basic mechanisms of action involved in diseases/disorders of body systems. Students will learn to distinguish between the trade names and generic names of drugs and identify classifications of drugs used in the treatment of diseases and disorders.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Law and Ethics
This course offers students the opportunity to learn about both Federal and Provincial legislation that governs pharmacy in Canada today. A solid understanding of jurisprudence (pharmacy law) is essential for Pharmacy Assistants to perform well in the field of pharmacy. The New Brunswick Pharmacy Act as it relates to pharmacy and third party billings will be discussed in detail. This course will also introduce students to ethical concerns that are becoming increasingly important in pharmacy and health care in general.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Software
This course provides instruction and hands on training with Kroll, one of the leading computerized dispensary systems in the pharmacy industry. Students will be required to: enter patient, prescription and doctor information; generate labels; and practice accurately and efficiently filling prescriptions by selecting the correct medication. Pharmacy reports will also be generated using Kroll in order to give students the pharmacy software experience necessary to enter the workplace with confidence.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Retail Pharmacy Practice
This course will introduce students to the roles and responsibilities of Pharmacist and Pharmacy Assistants. It will also teach students the procedures to prepare and dispense medications, which include prescription interpretation skills, billing and inventory as well as medication safety. This course also addresses professionalism, work ethics and communication in the workplace.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Computer Fundamentals
Through a combination of theory and hands-on-practice, this module examines the role and use of the computer in today’s workplace. Emphasis is placed on those computers outfitted with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Students will review basic computer concepts, Windows OS usage, and complete hands-on training exercises in business-standard software applications, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Keyboarding skills are also honed via daily keyboarding exercises and drills
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Student Success Strategies
In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
Admission Requirements
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High school graduation or equivalent. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant.

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Success Stories

“Every single staff that I have had contact witht is very kind, considerate, ready to help no matter what, and always supportive. If you are willing to work hard on your studies, they have your back 100% all the way. I can't wait to see what the rest of my course brings.”