Maintaining Certification: Continuing Education for Pharmacy Technicians

Definition of Pharmacy Technician Certification

A. What is a pharmacy technician certification?

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A pharmacy technician certification is a credential obtained by individuals who have completed the necessary training and met the requirements set by a recognized certifying body. It serves as evidence that a pharmacy technician possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to perform their duties effectively and safely.

B. Who grants a pharmacy technician certification?

Pharmacy technician certifications are granted by various recognized certifying bodies. These organizations ensure that pharmacy technicians meet specific educational, training, and competency standards before granting them certification. The most widely recognized certifying bodies for pharmacy technicians include:

1. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB): PTCB is a non-profit organization that offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. This certification is widely accepted across the United States and is often a requirement for employment in many healthcare settings.

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2. National Healthcareer Association (NHA): NHA offers the ExCPT (Examination for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians) certification. This certification is also recognized by many employers and regulatory bodies.

3. State Boards of Pharmacy: Some states have their own pharmacy technician certification programs regulated by their respective State Boards of Pharmacy. These certifications may be required in addition to or instead of national certifications.

It’s important to note that the requirements for pharmacy technician certification may vary depending on the certifying body and the state in which you plan to work. It is recommended to research and understand the specific requirements for your desired certification.

To maintain their certification, pharmacy technicians are often required to complete continuing education courses and renew their certification periodically. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and best practices in the field.

By obtaining a pharmacy technician certification, individuals demonstrate their commitment to their profession and enhance their career prospects. Certification can open doors to better job opportunities, higher salaries, and increased job security.

Remember, becoming a certified pharmacy technician is an important step towards a successful career in this field. It not only validates your skills and knowledge but also instills confidence in employers and patients alike.

Requirements for Maintaining Certification

As a pharmacy technician, obtaining and maintaining certification is crucial to demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and ensuring the highest level of patient care. In this article, we will delve into the requirements for maintaining your pharmacy technician certification.

Continuing Education Requirements

Continuing education (CE) plays a vital role in keeping pharmacy technicians up to date with the latest advancements in the field. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) requires certified pharmacy technicians to complete a certain number of CE hours to maintain their certification. Here are the key points to consider:

1. Number of CE Hours Required

To maintain your certification, you must complete a total of 20 hours of continuing education every two years. These hours must be obtained from programs or activities recognized by the PTCB. It’s important to note that at least one hour must be dedicated to pharmacy law.

2. Types of CE Activities Accepted

The PTCB accepts various types of CE activities as long as they are relevant to the pharmacy technician profession. Some accepted activities include:

– Attending educational seminars, workshops, or conferences related to pharmacy practice.
– Completing online courses or webinars offered by reputable organizations.
– Participating in pharmacy-related research projects or publishing articles in recognized journals.
– Taking part in patient safety initiatives or medication error prevention programs.
– Volunteering in healthcare events or community outreach programs.

It is advisable to choose CE activities that align with your professional goals and interests while also broadening your knowledge and skills.

Recertification Deadlines and Fees

To maintain your certification, you must recertify every two years. The deadline for recertification is the last day of your birth month. For example, if you were born in June, your recertification deadline will be June 30th.

The recertification fee is $40 for pharmacy technicians who are PTCB-certified. However, if you fail to recertify by the deadline, a late application fee of $25 will be added. It’s essential to keep track of your recertification deadline and submit your application on time to avoid any additional fees.

Obtaining Documentation of CE Activities Completed

It is vital to maintain proper documentation of the CE activities you have completed. The PTCB may request this documentation during the recertification process. Here are some tips for obtaining and organizing your CE activity documentation:

– Keep certificates, transcripts, or other proof of completion provided by CE program providers.
– Maintain a personal log or spreadsheet that includes the date, activity title, provider name, and number of CE hours earned for each completed activity.
– Store all documents in a safe and easily accessible location for future reference.

Remember, accurate documentation ensures a smooth recertification process and provides evidence of your commitment to professional development.

In conclusion, maintaining your pharmacy technician certification requires fulfilling continuing education requirements, meeting recertification deadlines, and organizing documentation of completed CE activities. By staying updated with the latest advancements in the field and demonstrating your dedication to professional growth, you can enhance your career prospects as a pharmacy technician.

For more information on pharmacy technician certification, you can visit the official website of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board: https://www.ptcb.org/.

III. Benefits of Maintaining Certification

A. Increased Job Opportunities

Obtaining and maintaining certification as a pharmacy technician offers numerous benefits, one of which is the increased job opportunities it provides. In today’s competitive job market, having certification demonstrates your commitment to excellence and sets you apart from other candidates. Here are some reasons why maintaining your certification can enhance your career prospects:

  • Industry Requirement: Many employers in the pharmacy industry now require certification as a prerequisite for hiring pharmacy technicians. By holding a valid certification, you meet this requirement and become eligible for a wider range of job opportunities.
  • Preferred Qualification: Even if certification is not mandatory for a particular position, it is often considered a preferred qualification. Employers tend to favor candidates with certification due to the knowledge and skills acquired during the certification process.
  • Advancement Opportunities: Holding a certification can open doors to advancement within your current organization. Employers are more likely to promote individuals who have invested in their professional development and demonstrated their commitment to the field.

By maintaining your certification, you can significantly increase your chances of securing employment in the pharmacy technician field. Employers value certified professionals who have proven their competence and dedication.

B. Access to Higher-Level Job Responsibilities and Titles

Besides expanding your job opportunities, maintaining certification also grants you access to higher-level job responsibilities and titles within the pharmacy technician career path. Here’s how certification can help you climb the ladder:

  • Expanded Scope of Practice: Certification often allows pharmacy technicians to take on additional responsibilities beyond the basic tasks. With advanced certifications, such as specialized compounding or sterile product preparation, you can handle more complex pharmaceutical tasks and contribute to patient care in a more significant way.
  • Supervisory and Leadership Roles: Holding a certification can make you eligible for supervisory or leadership positions within the pharmacy setting. Employers are more likely to trust individuals with certification to oversee and guide other technicians.
  • Specializations and Advanced Roles: Some certifications offer specialized training in areas like oncology, nuclear pharmacy, or medication therapy management. These advanced certifications can open doors to specialized roles that come with higher pay and increased job satisfaction.

Maintaining your certification not only allows you to perform a broader range of pharmacy technician duties but also positions you for career growth. By acquiring additional certifications and skills, you can access higher-level job responsibilities and titles that offer greater challenges and rewards.

It is important to note that certification requirements may vary by state or country. Always ensure that you are aware of the specific certifications needed in your region to maximize your career opportunities.

For more information on pharmacy technician certification and its benefits, you can visit the following authoritative websites:

Remember, maintaining your certification is a valuable investment in your career as a pharmacy technician. It not only increases your job prospects but also enables you to access higher-level job responsibilities and titles within the field.

Additional Resources for Pharmacy Technicians Pursuing Certification or Maintaining Certification

A. Professional Organizations for Pharmacy Technicians

Professional organizations play a crucial role in the development and advancement of pharmacy technicians. They provide valuable resources, networking opportunities, and support for individuals pursuing certification or maintaining their current certification. Here are some noteworthy professional organizations for pharmacy technicians:

1. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB): PTCB is a leading organization that offers national certification for pharmacy technicians. Their website provides comprehensive information on the certification process, exam preparation materials, continuing education resources, and a directory of certified pharmacy technicians.

2. National Healthcareer Association (NHA): NHA offers the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification, which is recognized by employers nationwide. Their website features exam preparation materials, study guides, and practice tests to help individuals succeed in their certification journey.

3. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP): ASHP is a professional organization that provides educational resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy for pharmacy technicians. They offer specialized certifications such as the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) and the Advanced Pharmacy Technician (CPhT-Adv).

4. National Association of Pharmacy Technicians (NAPT): NAPT focuses on advocating for the profession of pharmacy technicians. They provide resources on legislative updates, career development, and continuing education opportunities.

B. Online Courses and Training Programs

Online courses and training programs are excellent options for pharmacy technicians seeking to expand their knowledge, enhance their skills, or fulfill continuing education requirements. Here are some reputable online platforms offering pharmacy technician courses:

1. Pharmacy Technician Guide: Pharmacy Technician Guide offers a wide range of online courses for pharmacy technicians. Their courses cover various topics such as pharmaceutical calculations, medication safety, compounding, and pharmacology. The platform provides self-paced learning, interactive modules, and practice quizzes.

2. Pharmacy Tech Lessons: Pharmacy Tech Lessons offers comprehensive online training programs for pharmacy technicians. Their courses focus on core competencies, pharmacy law and ethics, drug interactions, and medication therapy management. The platform includes video lectures, quizzes, and case studies to enhance learning.

3. PharmacyTechs.org: PharmacyTechs.org provides online courses designed to prepare pharmacy technicians for certification exams such as the PTCB and NHA exams. Their courses cover key topics in pharmacy practice, pharmacology, drug classification, and pharmacy calculations.

4. Kaplan: Kaplan is a well-known educational institution that offers online pharmacy technician training programs. Their courses provide comprehensive instruction on pharmacy operations, medication dispensing, inventory management, and customer service skills.

Remember, before enrolling in any online course or training program, it is essential to verify its accreditation and ensure it meets the requirements of the certification you are pursuing.

By utilizing the resources provided by professional organizations and online courses, pharmacy technicians can enhance their knowledge, skills, and career opportunities in the ever-evolving field of pharmacy. Stay updated with the latest industry trends and advancements to excel in your profession.