After a patient has seen a doctor, and after their medical problem has been diagnosed, then that same patient frequently receives some type of prescription. At that point, he or she can expect to have contact with a pharmacy technician.
The person who aspires to become a pharmacy technician should welcome the chance to work with a licensed pharmacist on a regular basis. They must feel ready to search out the medication needed by any one patient. They must be willing to carry out routine duties, such as counting pills and labeling bottles.
In order to become a pharmacy technician, a student must sign up for the correct group of courses. Such courses can be part of a special program. They can lead to either a two year or four year degree. The men and women who work toward passing the exam given by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board have completed a variety of different programs.
Some of them hold an AA in healthcare administration. Some of them have earned an AS in allied health sciences. A few of them have remained in college long enough to acquire a BS in health services management or health care management. Others have received an AS in health information technology or an AS in medical assisting.
With any of those degrees in hand, a man or woman qualifies to take the PTCB exam, which is given three times a year. Those who pass that test become certified pharmacy technicians. Still, once someone has managed to become a pharmacy technician, they must keep up with the latest advances in that field in order to become re-certified. The re-certification process takes place every two years.
That re-certification process addresses the changing nature of the work performed by the pharmacist.
It does not deal with the material that a student should have learned about how to interact with patients. It does not seek to alter the information the student should have learned about medical history. However, it does call attention to expected changes in two other areas.
One of those is the pharmacy setting. The technician who works with a pharmacist must have a basic understanding of that setting. As advances in medicine change the nature of what the pharmacist must do, that setting could also change.
The most significant area in which a technician should expect changes is that of biopharmaceutics. The development of proteomics promises to bring great changes to that area of the pharmaceutical field. That is the science of analyzing and predicting the proteins that will be produced by genes. It relies greatly on bioinformatics, an area that is tied closely to the subject of biopharmaceutics.
In short, anyone who plans to work closely with a pharmacist now and in the future should anticipate major changes. He or she should feel ready to learn about the fields of proteomics and genomics. The ongoing advances in those fields are guaranteed to alter the scope of knowledge that must be acquired by a trained pharmacy technician.
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