Healthcare

Pharmacy Technician

Pursue your career in the world of healthcare through an education in pharmacy.

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    Area of Interest is required
    In-Class: Instructor-led classes held in-person at one or more of our 4 campuses.
    Hybrid: Instructor-led classes on a set schedule held remotely on video over the Internet, with some courses delivered in-person at one of our 4 campuses.
    Remote: Instructor-led classes on a set schedule, held remotely live on video over the Internet.
    Online: Flexible schedule with a set weekly pace and the support of facilitators when you need it; delivered over the Internet.
    Preferred Method of Learning is required
    Campus is required
    Consent is required

    Type

    Diploma

    Duration

    54 Weeks

    Internship

    9 Weeks

    Program Outline

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    About The Program

    The Pharmacy Technician diploma program provides the opportunity for students to pursue a 9-week field placement for hands-on experience.

    Career Opportunities

    The Pharmacy Technician diploma program will qualify graduates to pursue positions in hospitals and retail pharmacies.

    Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads

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

    Salary

    86 %

    Employment Rate*

    $ 16

    Average Wage/hr**

    $ 25

    High Wage/hr**

    *Employment Rate based on 2019 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.

    Source: workingincanada.gc.ca

    NOC Code: 3219 - **Wage data rounded down to the nearest dollar and based on Nova Scotia data. Average wage doesn't reflect the starting salary but represents the middle value between lowest to highest wages. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in July 2021.

    Program Details

    Eastern College provides a comprehensive training program for Pharmacy Technicians in Nova Scotia. Graduates of the program will walk away with in-depth knowledge of the role and the skill set required to work within this dynamic profession with its expanding scope of practice.

    Pharmacy technicians function as valued members of the health care team. They develop professional relationships with patients and their caregivers, work collaboratively with other health care providers, prepare, dispense and compound medications, manage inventory, perform administrative tasks and assist in the provision of pharmaceutical care. They work primarily in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

    The pharmacy technician profession is regulated in some provinces, and our program adheres to standards set by Canadian Council for the Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs, helping to ensure that our graduates get the education necessary to meet the entry to practice competency requirements developed by regulators for pharmacy technicians across Canada.

    Students enrolled in this program will receive: 

    • Classrooms that simulate real-world pharmacy settings, including relevant equipment; 
    • First Aid with Heartstart; 
    • Full accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of pharmacy programs for a five year term – July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027 (Halifax).
    Course Listings: Nova Scotia
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    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. CPR and First Aid/WHMIS
    In this module, you will complete several certifications/trainings. The CPR component provides you with comprehensive CPR training. It includes the latest first aid and CPR guidelines and meets federal and provincial regulations for Standard First Aid and CPR. Topics include: preparing to respond; the EMS system; check, call, care; airway emergencies; breathing and circulation emergencies; first aid for respiratory and cardiac arrest; wound care; head and spine injuries; bone, muscle and joint injuries; sudden medical emergencies; environmental emergencies; and poisons. The WHMIS component teaches you the basic elements of WHMIS 2015 and the Global Harmonization System. This covers the safety measures and guidelines to be followed when exposed to or working with hazardous materials.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Anatomy and Physiology for Pharmacy Technician
    In this module, you will explore the structure and function of the human body to understand the effects of drugs. You will explore body systems, such as muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular, and nervous systems, one at a time and will learn how each system interacts with the other body systems. You will also define common medical terminology and explain common medical conditions that may affect the various body systems, including cancer and psychiatric disorders. You will describe different types of cancer treatment and therapeutic treatment options for psychiatric disorders. This module prepares you to understand how medications impact disease processes in the body. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Community Pharmacy for Pharmacy Technician
    Upon completion of the module, you will be proficient in all common aspects of community-based pharmacy operations. You will examine the general operations and specialized activities performed in a community pharmacy setting. You will practice the necessary techniques to prepare, dispense, calculate, compound, and label. You will explore record keeping functions, billing, inventory management, and third-party insurance claim processing. You will demonstrate the responsibilities of a pharmacy technician using the campus’ pharmacy computer program. You will apply skills of good customer service, telephone courtesies, professional relationships, confidentiality, security, and other aspects of professionalism throughout this module. You will also apply your knowledge of materials and equipment used daily in the pharmacy, along with dispensary hygiene and maintenance procedures. You will explore specialized areas of community pharmacy, such as nursing home services, specialty compounding services, and diagnostic tests provided in community-based pharmacies. You will examine specialized products, including ostomy, incontinence, orthopedic, and diabetic supplies. You will also examine specialized services, such as compliance packing, pharmacist prescribing, health days, vaccination campaigns, prescription delivery services, methadone service, home health care supplies and rentals. You will explore various OTC medications, including OTC narcotics and common herbal products. You will demonstrate your competence in filling and checking prescriptions and device demonstration/training. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Comprehensive Review for Pharmacy Technician
    In this module, you will review all aspects of the pharmacy technician program, including narcotic and controlled drug regulations, the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS), pharmaceutical dosage forms/routes of administration, pharmaceutical calculations, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, common drugs, hospital pharmacy procedures and techniques, community pharmacy procedures and the pharmacy computer system. You will also prepare for the provincial jurisprudence exam.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
    This module will introduce you to and provide practice in using the tools required for a successful job search. The concepts covered in this module will help you maintain a career-focused approach throughout your studies so that you are better prepared to conduct a job search after graduating. Specifically, you will learn how to identify your soft and hard skills and how to articulate your abilities in a clear and concise Elevator Pitch that will appeal to employers and resonate with industry contacts. You will learn about the job search resources available to you including using career websites, creating Linked In profiles, accessing the “hidden” job market, and networking. You will examine sample resumes and cover letters and begin the process of creating your own professional resumes and cover letters that align with current conventions for content, organization, and formatting. You will also learn about the role of references, thank you letters, workplace philosophies, and strategies for success including maintaining a professional image and using proper etiquette when communicating with potential employers and industry contacts. An introduction to Occupational Health and Safety is also provided with specific focus on employees’ rights and responsibilities, workplace health and safety policy and programs, hazard identification and control, and safety training options such as WHIMIS and First Aid.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
    This module builds on concepts and skills introduced in the Career Planning and Preparation Level 1 prerequisite module. In this subsequent module, you will update and refine your resume and Linked In Profile. You will continue writing cover letters and learn the value of customizing cover letters to specific job postings. You will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge as you conduct a job search and write a cover letter tailored to an ideal job post. Through research, you will create a list of top employers and target current industry opportunities. You will learn about current methods for applying to job postings using technology. You will also gain an understanding of the job interview process, typical interview questions and possible responses, and expectations of both the interviewer and interviewee. In addition, you will engage in practical application of the interview process through role-plays. Topics such as negotiating salary, self-management, and on-the-job success for placements and post-graduate employment will be also covered.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Preparation of Extemporaneous Mixtures for Pharmacy Technician
    Over the course of this module, you will compound a minimum of twenty products. You will explain the concept of pharmaceutical elegance with reference to a finished prescription product and describe the national and provincial guidelines for standards of compounding. By completing this module, you will develop the necessary competence to prepare common extemporaneous mixtures. You will apply skills of good organization, accuracy, cleanliness, quality control, and efficiency throughout the module. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Field Placement II - Pharmacy Technician
    On successful completion of the classroom hours of this program, you will be placed on field placement. You will explore the relevant technical and clerical aspects of the pharmacy including inventory maintenance, record keeping, and specialized pharmacy equipment. You will build on the skills learned in the classroom and demonstrate your ability to meet the NAPRA Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice over a period of 8 weeks consisting of 4 weeks (160 hours) in a community pharmacy and 4 weeks (160 hours) in a hospital pharmacy.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Hospital Pharmacy for Pharmacy Technician I
    In this module you will explore the health care system and the role of the hospital within it. You will examine the structure and organization of the hospital, focusing on the relationship of the pharmacy department with other departments and services. You will also explore the intricacies of the pharmacy department in detail, including the mission statement, the various roles of pharmacy personnel, confidentiality, and security. You will also explain the various methods of drug distribution, inventory control, and record keeping. You will describe medication reconciliation and methods used in obtaining a best possible medication history (BPMH). This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Hospital Pharmacy for Pharmacy Technician II
    In part 2 of the hospital module, you will focus on sterile techniques and proper methods of preparing IV products. You will apply calculations learned in previous modules. You will explore equipment and practice proper procedures. You will demonstrate competency in all aspects of preparation including proper gowning procedure and cleaning of hoods as well as preparing different types of sterile products. Attention to detail will be stressed in this module. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Introduction to Pharmacy for Pharmacy Technician
    In this course, you will examine the history of pharmacy and how it has evolved to the level of pharmaceutical care present today. You will explore in detail, the role of the Pharmacist and the Pharmacy Technician and their scope of practice. You will also examine the steps to complete the licensing process. You will practice common terminology and abbreviations used in a pharmacy as well as accessing and utilizing common pharmaceutical references, including the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS). You will also explore the federal and provincial laws, rules and regulations that govern the practice of pharmacy, such as the role of Health Canada, the Narcotic and Controlled drug laws, and the Food and Drug Act. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmaceutical Fundamentals
    In this module, you will develop a solid knowledge of the terminology used in pharmacy. You will explore the language and parts of a prescription in detail. You will explain common dosage forms and their administration, such as oral solid, oral liquid, topical, rectal/vaginal, parenteral, inhalation, ophthalmic, otic, and nasal and be able to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each. You will examine guidelines and procedures for maximizing drug stability, and the important role they play in maintaining it. You will also explore the clinical, scientific, economic, and educational aspects of pharmacy, along with application of the CPS and Provincial Drug Formulary. Accuracy and attention to detail will be stressed in this module. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmaceutical Calculations I
    In this course, you will begin with a review of basic mathematics and its application to pharmacy calculation, including Roman numerals and Arabic numbers, fractions, and ratios. You will complete different types of calculations that are performed in a pharmacy on a daily basis, such as calculating medication dosages and quantity of ingredients for compounding. You will perform calculations that are typical of those used in both hospital and community pharmacies. You will also explain apothecary and household measurements and convert between various units of measurement and systems of measurement. You will accurately interpret drug orders and properly read drug labels. By completing this module, you will be prepared for a wide range of pharmacy settings. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmaceutical Calculations II
    In this module you will review all calculations covered in the program. You will review and practice a range of calculations and prescription checking with an aim for 100% accuracy in all work. You will apply your skills of prescription checking and the different types of calculations used in pharmacy practice. On the last day of the module, you will write an “Entry to Practice” exam, which is marked under zero tolerance policy parameters, a requirement of any accredited Canadian Pharmacy Technician program.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technician
    In this module you will explore a range of drugs and diseases associated with each body system. You will build on your previous experience of pathological conditions and examine different medications for their treatment. You will explore the proper use of medications and how they work in the body. You will also list various drug categories and the proper use and common side effects of them. It is important to stress that pharmacology is a very large topic, and we will only scratch the surface in this module. This module is mapped to the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Professional Skills for Pharmacy Technician
    In this module you will acquire the professional skills necessary for success in today’s health care environment. You will examine the role, knowledge, and skills of your profession as well as those you will be working with during your career. You will get the opportunity to interview a health care professional in a current role to improve your intra and interprofessional collaboration skills. You will also explore key elements of professionalism and why it is important to all involved in the health care environment. You will identify the factors involved in developing a strong work ethic and how they relate to you. You will also explore the elements of self-care, such as managing change and time and stress management techniques. You will explore the elements of a successful practicum, including the benefits, preparation, and proper etiquette to ensure a successful field placement. By completing this module, you will develop your professional skills and improve your confidence to succeed in any health care setting.
    Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Student Success Strategies
    In this orientation module, you will focus on achieving success from day one. You will develop non-technical skills to enhance your personal, academic, and career success. You will explore learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. You will also enhance your 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. You will also explore techniques for managing change, stress, and conflict.
    Admission Requirements
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    • Grade 12 or equivalent, with academic level (grade 11 and/or 12) Math, English and/or French, Chemistry and Biology. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant.
    • A complete standardized health form and program of immunization will be required
    • A Clear Conduct Certificate
    • Language proficiency requirement as per the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA)

     

     

    Accreditation
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    The Pharmacy Technician program of Eastern College has been awarded Accreditation Status by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027.

    At our Halifax campus, our courses are taught by licensed practitioner Karen Barberie, BSc. Pharm (Instructor/Program Coordinator, Halifax).

    Provincial Regulatory Bodies:

    nbpharmacists.ca
    nspharmacists.ca
    napra.ca
    pebc.ca
    capt.ca


    OUR MISSION

    To prepare graduates to meet the current and future needs of the health care system as pharmacy technicians

    OUR VISION

    By developing pharmacy technician students that have the skills, passion, and drive for patient centered care, who collaborate as a member of the health care team, and who continually grow and adapt, we will have the best, most sought after graduates in Atlantic Canada.

    OUR VALUES:

    Our values are to practice in all of our relationships the following:
    Integrity: We strive to be honest, trustworthy, and fair in all matters.
    Dedication: We hold ourselves accountable to always maintain and improve the quality of the education we provide.
    Readiness: We strive to be honest, trustworthy, and fair in all matters.
    Respect: We embrace diversity and show equitable treatment of others.

    OUR GOAL

    To prepare students for eventual employment as Pharmacy Technicians so they meet the national standards in: legal, ethical and professional responsibilities; professional collaboration and teamwork; drug distribution – prescription and patient information, product preparation, product release, system and inventory controls; communication and education; management knowledge and skills as determined by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). Meeting these standards is accomplished by delivering a curriculum based on the Canadian Pharmacy Technician Educators Association (CPTEA) learning outcomes. Eastern College is committed to supplying the pharmacy community with graduates who recognize the need for collaboration, safety, and accuracy in patient care.

    PROGRAMS:

    The Structured Practice Experience (SPE) Program is only administered by Eastern College in Halifax. Please click here to learn more.

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