When you finish your pharmacy technician course, you would still need to go through one more step before you can work as one. You need to become a certified pharmacy technician, often abbreviated as CPhT. The PTCB exam is given three times every year for those who want to aspire to be full pledged pharmacy techs. Only a few states in America require pharmacy techs to get certified but it pays to undergo the exam in case you get a job elsewhere that will require you to be a certified pharmacy technician. You will realize that many employers prefer certified pharmacy technicians over non certified ones because they possess official recognition that they are qualified to do the job.
The purpose of the exam is to make sure that anyone who will be pursuing a career in pharmacy technology will have the basic knowledge required in this field. The exam will also make sure that you have the foundation as well as the proper training in order to meet the daily requirements of the job. The exam tackles the core knowledge and skills that are expected from a good pharmacy technician. The certification exam also is a regulatory procedure by the government to make sure that the health professionals who give health care to the patients all around the country are all qualified to do so. It ensures the safety of the citizens of the country.
There are a few requirements before taking the certification exam for pharmacy techs. First, you must possess a high school diploma, GED or its equivalent if you are from another country, and you must be clear of any drug related cases in the FBI, or its foreign equivalent. Furthermore, you must no be under any form of limitation from any State Board of Pharmacy.
If you have satisfied the prerequisites above, then you are eligible to take the exam. You need to pass the PTCB exam to be able to be awarded the pharmacy technician certification status. It is best that you review your past courses in your pharmacy technician programs and concentrate on getting the basics and foundation memorized by heart. This is a very important exam that can be the start of your career.
Certifications are renewed every two years. For each recertification that a pharmacy technician undergoes, there is a required 20 hours of further education within the two year period prior to the certification exam day. This means that the candidate must be able to take refresher courses from the desired college, organization, associations or pharmacy technician programs, with at least one hour pertaining to pharmacy law. Ten of the 20 hour requirement can also be earned under direct supervision of a pharmacist. The continuing education requirement is a great opportunity for the candidate to refresh his memory about the core knowledge and skills needed by a pharmacy technician and it is also a chance to be updated with the developments in the field.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam will be taken using a computer and not a paper and pen, as it was previously administered a few decades ago. It has 90 multiple choice questions that cover the basics in pharmacy technology such as assisting pharmacists in providing service to various patients,
maintenance of medication and systems that concern inventory control, and role and participation in the administration and management of good pharmacy practice. These are the topics that the Board feels are essential to having a well rounded pharmacy technician who is fit to serve the vast group of patients all over the United States of America.