Pharmacy Technician Training

May 30, 2017 by Anonymous

In just four months, you could be working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) working in a retail or hospital pharmacy.

Northland Pioneer College’s Pharmacy Technician Training course, offered in Winslow, Snowflake and Whiteriver this fall, will prepare you for the national certification exam, required by most employers in this fast-paced healthcare field. CPhT training also provides a foundation for additional studies to become a registered pharmacist.

Person holding Pharmacy symbol

This intensive, eight-credit-hour course covers medical and pharmaceutical terminology, basic anatomy, pharmaceutical calculations, and prevention of medication errors. The ethics of pharmacy practice and the technician's role in this allied health profession are also covered. Students will also complete a 120-hour paid or unpaid externship, providing valuable job experience.

Need help paying
for this class?

NPC Friends & Family is offering seven grants district-wide specifically for PHT 102 students. You must submit your applications no later than Noon on Monday, July 10, 2017.

This is a competitive grant! Only seven grants are available district-wide, so present your case clearly and compellingly in your essay. This is a reimbursement grant! You will not be awarded directly. Rather, the $500 award will be credited to your NPC student account to pay for costs associated with tuition, books and course fees for PHT 102 – Fall 2017 ONLY. You will be notified of the status of your application by July 31, 2017.

Submit the following:

  • Your Degree Plan/Intent (contact an NPC Academic Adviser)
  • Your proof of registration in PHT 102 for Fall 2017
  • Completed NPC Friends & Family Scholarship Cover Letter
  • An essay explaining why the applicant would be the best candidate for the grant, describing the applicant's financial need.

For more information, visit the scholarship page, or contact NPC Friends & Family Executive Director Betsyann Wilson, (928) 536-6245 or email.

The Pharmacy Technician Training (PHT 102) class meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6 to 8:59 p.m., August 22 through December 7, on NPC's Winslow – Little Colorado Campus, 1400 E. Third St.;  the Snowflake campus, 1611 S. Main, in the Student Center, room 131; and the Whiteriver Center, 720 S. Chief.

Individuals interested in becoming pharmacy technicians can have no prior felony convictions or record of drug or substance abuse. Students must be 18 or older, have a GED or high school diploma, and have current health care provider CPR and First Aid certification. The CPR course is available through NPC (EMT 104) for $72. Proof of legal United States residency is required to obtain the trainee license. Before beginning the externship, students must obtain and acquire fingerprint clearance from the Arizona Department of Public Safety ($67) and a Pharmacy Technician Training License ($46) from the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

Tuition for the eight-credit PHT 102 course is $576, plus a $20 course fee, $45 media fee, and textbook (±$116). Order books by August 1 to insure delivery before the first class session. Students enrolling on or after August 21 will be charged a $25 late registration fee.

Nicholas Palm, instructor for the Winslow course, was a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) before completing his pharmacy doctorate. He is currently assigned to the Winslow Indian Health Care Center, after extensive Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) in his native Florida and in Winslow.

With over 10 years of retail and hospital pharmacy and high school science teaching experience, Dr. Palm has been involved in multiple research projects, including studies of promyelocytic leukemia (a cancer of the white blood cells), medications for headache prophylaxis (migraines), and sucralose-aspartame neuropathy (artificial sweetener-induced pain). He also investigated student perspectives of educational modalities used in the pharmacy training program.

“I've been a (pharmacy) tech since I was 18, and was certified over four years ago,” said Snowflake instructor Victoria Gray. “I trained at Fry's Pharmacy in Cottonwood, under one of the best pharmacists I have ever met.” Now a pharmacy tech at the Indian Health Service Hospital in Whiteriver, Gray loves gaining experience in a hospital and clinic setting.

Terry Burgess will be teaching the pharmacy technician course in Whiteriver. Students will be able to acquire their externship hours at that Whiteriver Service Unit. He graduated from the University of South Carolina, where he was a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship recipient awarded for evidence of academic excellence. His research presentations included pharmacological reduction of agitation in patients with Alzheimer disease dementia, anti-diabetic medication in end-stage renal disease and HIV management.

Most people are familiar with the retail pharmacy technician, but CPhT's are also employed in hospital or nursing home pharmacies, at research facilities and by insurance companies. Government agencies, such as branches of the armed services, federal drug agencies, and the National Institute of Health, offer positions for nationally registered technicians.

While retail will always pay less than a hospital, “most pharmacies will keep you around $11 per hour until you are certified. Pay is based on experience, recommendations, and your license,” Gray explained. “The nice thing about Show Low is how many pharmacies we have for such a small town. Pharmacies go through the hiring process very fast. If you want a job, you have to be very persistent and on the ball.”

Pharmacy technician students may qualify for free or reduced-cost training through Arizona @ Work, or through local Department of Economic Security offices, or the Navajo and Apache Counties Workforce Investment Board.

“It is important to check with these agencies BEFORE registering for the Pharmacy Technician course,” stressed Connie Warren, NPC's coordinator of Allied Health programs. “Once you register, it is harder for these agencies to assist with the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks.”

Registration for fall classes is currently underway during regular business hours. As part of the registration process, you will need to verify your U.S. residency status. Your local NPC campus or center will provide details about required documentation. For more information, see an NPC academic adviser.

For more information about NPC's Pharmacy Technician training program, contact an NPC academic adviser at the nearest NPC campus or center, or call the Nursing & Allied Health Division, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6136.

Northland Pioneer College serves the residents of Navajo and Apache counties through four regional campuses and five centers with a variety of educational options for academic, career and technical and personal enrichment. NPC supports each student's educational goals through affordable tuition, small class sizes and caring, professional instructors. For more information about NPC programs and services, call (800) 266-7845.

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