The Pharmacy Technician Program is a Level II (Complex Skills Certificate) program. This one-year certificate program is designed to prepare professional multi-skilled individuals for employment as an entry-level pharmacy technician in hospital, retail, community or other institutional pharmacies. Clinical duties are emphasized in the classroom and laboratory with directed practical experience in selected hospital, out patient, home infusion, long-term care and compounding pharmacies.
Pharmacy technicians are skilled health specialists who, under the direction and supervision of a pharmacist, assist in the varied activities of a pharmacy department. The pharmacy technician may be responsible for: A. Preparing and dispensing medications in accordance with standard procedures and laws under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. B. Transcribing and processing physician orders. C. Preparing intravenous admixtures, including chemotherapy medications. D. Maintaining patient profiles and medication records electronically. E. Preparing bulk formulations and compounding. F. Maintaining inventories of pharmaceutical supplies. G. Communicating effectively with patients and members of the health care team.
The Pharmacy Technician Program requires approximately 36 credits to earn a certificate. Students in the program will have the opportunity to practice their skills using pharmacy specific equipment and supplies. This program begins only once per year in the fall semester. Externships may be taken in the spring, summer, or fall semester. The externship rotations are arranged and supervised by the program’s technical coordinator. The program is affiliated with sixteen hospital pharmacies, twelve or more out patient (retail and community) pharmacies, and several home infusion and long term care pharmacies.
Pharmacy Technician vs. Pre-Pharmacy Programs
HFCC offers its students two distinct pharmacy options. One option is the is a one-year Pharmacy Technician Program. The technician curriculum is designed to prepare the students for employment assisting pharmacists after completion of the program. The courses in the Pharmacy Technician Program are designed to prepare the students for employment immediately and not designed for transfer nor intended for those students primarily interested in applying to pharmacy schools.
If a student’s primary intent is on becoming a pharmacist, then the second pharmacy option at HFCC which is the Associate in Science Pre-Pharmacy Program is the curriculum that should be followed. The Pre-Pharmacy Academic Transfer Program is designed for the transfer of course work for those students primarily interested in applying to pharmacy schools.
According to recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians in this region are expected to remain strong through this decade. The shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is expected to continue as the health services industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and an aging population. In addition, employment growth will be driven by the increase in the number of outpatient pharmacies, home infusion pharmacies, compounding pharmacies and other pharmacy related facilities that need skilled support personnel, particularly pharmacy technicians.
General information about career placement and job success is available through either the Health Careers Office or the College’s Placement Office. In addition, salary expectations are discussed during the PHT program pre-acceptance interview.
Exposure to infectious diseases and latex may be minimal to moderate depending on the setting in which you are working.
Those with latex sensitivity or allergies should consult with a physician prior to entering the program for guidance on the merits of continuing in a health care career. During the course of the program students learn infection control guidelines and procedures and strict adherence to these guidelines will reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases.
Upon completion of the accredited program, students will be eligible for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board examination (PTCB) to earn the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential. This program is one of six college-based programs in Michigan to maintain accreditation through ASHSP. Some local area hospital pharmacy employers require pharmacy technicians to be certified (CPhT). In addition, out-patient pharmacy employers prefer pharmacy technicians who are CPhTs or at least CPhT eligible. In the near future both in-patient and out-patient pharmacy technicians will need certification. The CPhT credential is a national certification recognized by employers across the country.
Any questions regarding the national certification exam, including qualifications and eligibility, should be directed to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) at (202) 429-7576.
The Pharmacy Technician Program is fully accredited through the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHSP), 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4820, (301) 657-3000
- A minimum high school academic grade point average of C+ (2.25). This requirement may also be satisfied by completion of at least 12 college credit hours with an academic grade point average of 2.25 (non-skill courses) for both transfer students and HFCC students.
- COMPASS Reading score of 84.
- Successful completion of MATH 101 or completion of a higher level Math course with a recent (within two years) COMPASS Algebra test score of 46 or above.
- Typing proficiency of at least 25 words per minute. This requirement may be satisfied with successful completion (C or better) of a keyboarding course.
Students in the Pharmacy Technician program are expected to meet the same physical and mental requirements as an employed pharmacy technician. A representative Pharmacy Technician Job Profile is available upon request from the Health Careers Office or during the interview with the program’s Technical Coordinator.
The job profile lists the specific physical and mental requirements as well as the environmental conditions of the occupation. Each student must have a physical examination and vaccination record on file before admission to externship rotations. The Health Appraisal Form addresses the issue of normal color perception, eye-hand coordination, and any history of substance abuse.
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen
Consistent with Section 20173 of the Michigan Public Health Code and the requirements of our clinical affiliates, a Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen is required for all students in the PHT program prior to beginning clinical assignments. The cost for this test is in addition to the basic tuition and fee schedule. For questions regarding this policy, contact the Health Careers Office. Students who are not cleared for clinical through the Health Appraisal, Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen will not be able to complete the program.
Required core courses can be taken only after formal admission to the PHT program through the Health Careers Division.
All educational experiences are under the guidance of the PHT program. Student progress is evaluated in the classroom, laboratory and clinical setting throughout the program. Progression in the program is based upon the student meeting the following requirements:
- Adherence to the program requirements outlined in the PHT Student Handbook.
- Achievement of a minimum grade of C or better in all PHT and required courses.
- Maintenance of an overall cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or better.
The Program Application Process
Step 1 – Select your career program
- It is recommended that each applicant meet with a Health Careers Advisor (313) 845-9877 to discuss program options and then to create an academic plan to qualify for the selected program. It is suggested that you first select and apply to your program of choice before you begin any of the prerequisite course work.
Step 2 – Apply to the program
- First time applicants to HFCC will indicate the program selection on the application to the College. This process automatically applies you to your program of choice.
- Current HFCC students selecting to change their program of study to a health career program must complete a specific program application. Program applications are available in the Welcome Center. The Admissions office is located in the Welcome Center and the Health Careers Office is located in the Health Careers Education Center.
Step 3 – Deliver information and track application
- It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all transcripts, grades and/or necessary records are submitted to the Welcome Center.
- Program applicants transferring college credit from another institution must have an official transcript mailed to: Henry Ford Community College, Transfer Evaluation, 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128-2407.
- Applicants must also submit a student copy of all of their transcripts to the Health Careers Admissions assistant.
- It is strongly recommended that you personally track your specific program application through the Welcome Center, (313) 317-6525.
- Students are strongly encouraged to monitor their program admission status via the WebAdvisor Program Evaluation link.
- It is imperative that all student contact information such as phone numbers and addresses is kept current through the Registration office. If we are unable to contact you, we then will move to the next qualified applicant.
Step 4 – Qualifying and admission
- Students are qualified when all of the program’s admission criteria have been satisfied.
- Applicants are then admitted on a “first-qualified, first-accepted” basis for available positions. A student’s application date to the program either by indication on HFCC application or the separate program application then may be used to determine placement on the qualified list if necessary – the earlier the better.
Transfer of Pharmacy Technician courses from other institutions will be accepted only from programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and will be evaluated on an individual basis.
The Pharmacy Technician Program may be completed in one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). In either case, careful course sequencing is required and each student must satisfy the program’s admission criteria.
There are specific admission criteria which must be satisfied in order to be admitted into this program; however, students are permitted to take the required support courses prior to being formally accepted and admitted into the program. AH 100, HCS 131, and BBA 110 may be taken prior to formal acceptance into the program.
HFCC continuously attempts to improve each program, and as a result courses and requirements may be modified. Curriculum, course content and admission criteria are subject to change by action of the College faculty and administration.
Required Core Courses
MATH 101 is a prerequisite to obtain acceptance into the program.
Required Support Courses
Required Support Courses may be taken prior to acceptance into the Pharmacy Technician program.