Pharmacy Technician Study Guide

Dec 30, 2019

Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE) Content Outline

Effective January 1, 2020

1. Medications 40%
 
1.1 Generic names, brand names, and classifications of medications
 
1.2 Therapeutic equivalence
 
1.3 Common and life-threatening drug interactions and contraindications (e.g., drug-disease, drug-drug, drug-dietary supplement, drug-laboratory, drug-nutrient)
 
1.4* Strengths/dose, dosage forms, routes of administration, special handling and administration instructions, and duration of drug therapy
 
1.5 Common and severe medication side effects, adverse effects, and allergies
 
1.6 Indications of medications and dietary supplements
 
1.7* Drug stability (e.g., oral suspensions, insulin, reconstitutables, injectables, vaccinations)
 
1.8 Narrow therapeutic index (NTI) medications
 
1.9 Physical and chemical incompatibilities related to non-sterile compounding and reconstitution
 
1.10 Proper storage...
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PTCB Exam Updates

Dec 23, 2019

Exam (PTCE) Updates


Beginning January 1, 2020, PTCE content will be organized into four knowledge areas rather than the current nine, and will focus only on essential knowledge that applies across practice settings.

Consistent with industry best practices and accreditation standards, PTCB periodically conducts a Job Task Analysis study approximately every 5 years as the foundation for its national certification program.

“The data from PTCB’s study in 2016 informed the updates to be made in 2020, and reflect technician responsibilities in current pharmacy practice,” said Levi Boren, PhD, PTCB Senior Director of Certification Programs. PTCB also received more than 500 individual comments during a 90-day comment period on implementation of the education/training eligibility pathway.


More information is available on PTCB’s website, including the listing of PTCB-recognized education/training programs and updated PTCE content outline.

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PTCB Certification Eligibility Requirements To Change in 2020

Dec 23, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC -- Starting in 2020, PTCB, the nation’s leading certifying organization for pharmacy technicians, will change its eligibility requirements for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program and update its Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). PTCB will offer two eligibility pathways for technicians submitting certification applications beginning January 1, 2020. One will be completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program, and the other will be equivalent work experience. 


Announced in January 2018, these changes are based on data PTCB collected via Job Task Analysis survey responses from more than 40,000 pharmacy technicians and comments from the pharmacy community, including technician employers and educators, state and national pharmacy associations, and state boards of pharmacy. 

“PTCB relies on data and pharmacy stakeholder conversations in all we do with the goal of advancing medication safety,” said...

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What is the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)? PTCE vs PTCB

Oct 08, 2019

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. PTCE was developed to determine whether individuals have demonstrated the knowledge necessary to practice as pharmacy technicians.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE test centers nationwide. PTCE was developed to determine whether individuals have demonstrated the knowledge necessary to practice as pharmacy technicians.

The PTCE is a two-hour, multiple-choice, exam that contains 90 questions (80 scored questions and 10 unscored questions). Each question is shown with four possible answers, only one of which is the correct or best answer. Unscored questions are not identified and are randomly distributed throughout the exam. A candidate’s exam score is based on the responses to the 80 scored questions. One hour and 50 minutes are allotted for answering the exam...

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How Long Does it Takes to Become a Pharmacy Technician?

Oct 08, 2019

Pharmacists work in a wide range of settings, from supermarkets to hospitals to military units in the field. Wherever pharmacists practice, Pharmacy Technicians work alongside them.

Technicians perform duties that don't require a pharmacist's expertise, including receiving/verifying prescriptions and preparing medications.

The fastest path to becoming a Pharmacy Technician is bypassing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam 

Students have the choice to attend a Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)-approved education program to complete mandatory pre-testing education.  

PTCB Approved Programs

There are various types of PTCB approved programs:

  • On-campus programs (takes about 9 months to 1 year) 
  • Fast Track Technical Colleges (these are pretty expensive) 
  • Online Career Schools (by far the quickest option. Some of these programs offer small payment plans, but slow you down from getting a job until you pay them off so be careful when...
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PTCB Reimbursement Under GI Bill

Jun 03, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has announced that the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is available for reimbursement by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A passing score on the PTCE is required to earn PTCB’s Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Certification. Veterans, active duty service members, caregivers/family members, dependents/survivors, and national guard/reservists are able to take advantage of this opportunity. In accordance with the GI Bill, these groups may be eligible to receive reimbursement for the cost of the exam. 

“PTCB is pleased that greater numbers of eligible candidates, including service members, veterans, and their family members, are now able to be reimbursed for the PTCE testing fee. The GI Bill opens doors to new career opportunities for aspiring pharmacy technicians and supports our mission to advance medication safety by encouraging certification,” said...

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Video: Exclusive Interview with SSgt Mary Johnson, USAF, PTCB CPhT of the Year

Jun 03, 2019

In an exclusive TV interview during the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting, PTCB CPhT of the Year SSgt Mary Johnson, USAF, talks about how and why she launched a major policy initiative to implement standardized opioid prescription guidelines in Air Force pharmacies in Europe. SSgt Johnson is the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of Pharmacy Services at Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base in Germany.


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What Is a Pharmacy Technician?

Jun 02, 2019

Were you aware that pharmacies often employ both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, a job term that is sometimes shortened to pharm techs?

Though some of their everyday tasks are similar, there are very important distinctions between these two positions and their roles in a pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians assist the pharmacists, often with the actual filling of the prescriptions, while pharmacists frequently focus on clerical work, tasks requiring advanced pharmacological knowledge, and patient advisory.

Becoming a Pharm Tech
The requirements to be a pharmacy technician are less stringent than those of a pharmacist. Pharmacy technician positions frequently only require a high school diploma and pharmacy technician certification as the formal education and background requirements, although you may consider attending a postsecondary educational program for pharmacy technicians to enhance your skills and ensure you will be a more competitive applicant.

Pharm Tech Certification 
...

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