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NEW YORK This is the second new pharmacy technician certification program to be announced in a week (the other being Rasmussen College) and marks the continued evolution of the pharmacy technician — whose job really no longer entails just ringing out a prescription-drug purchase and making sure patients sign the prescription-drug logbook.
Rather, today’s technician is more and more being asked to perform more intense pharmacy-related tasks that don’t require a doctorate to do — handling insurance billing, for example, or prepping sterile IVs and compounding. Such being the case, more and more states are seeking to certify their pharmacy technicians, and that’s creating demand for accredited curriculum to help educate those seeking certification.
And some of that education goes well beyond what you might expect to learn actually working behind the pharmacy counter. It also goes beyond what you might learn taking typical business courses at a local community college such as customer service or retail management training. Some of the curriculum at these institutions include basic anatomy classes as well as a basic education around pharmaceuticals and the disease-states that many of their customers are treating with those pharmaceuticals.
That, more than ever, is setting the stage in establishing a baseline education to help pharmacy technicians do more of what they’re already doing today — and that’s make over-the-counter medicine recommendations to their customers. With more programs such as this, as well as more states initiating pharmacy technician requirements, educating the pharmacy technician around OTC therapies may become as important as educating pharmacists and nurse practitioners, especially given the fact that pharmacy technicians are likely to be interacting more often with that customer with a question.