Pharmacy Technician Certification Program Overview
The Pharmacy Technician (PHM) Certificate Program has two ways to attend. There is an Earn While You Learn and a Non-Earn Academic-Industry Partnership program between the University of Providence (UP) and Providence Health (PH). These students are chosen by the coordinating PH Pharmacy and the University of Providence. Other students will be accepted by the University of Providence and will attend labs and internship in the coordinating pharmacies.
This accelerated 24-week program prepares students to deliver patient- centered care using safe, accountable, and ethical behaviors and skills within the Pharmacy Technician Scope of Practice. By continuing education in the Pharmacy Technician field and receiving all relevant technician credentials, students will be prepared to sit for their pharmacy technician certification exam. At the end of the program, students can sit for the Pharmacy Technician certification board anywhere in the United States where that will test their knowledge from the program. With a pass rate of 95% on the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, this accelerated program is both comprehensive, effective, and can be completed in one and a half semesters.
Skills You’ll Learn
As a Pharmacy Technician, duties include, but are not limited to:
- Compounding intravenous (IV) solutions
- Delivering medications to and from satellite pharmacies
- Restocking automated medication dispensing systems
- Mixing and dispensing orally administered medications
- Unit-dosing tablets from a bulk bottle
- Receiving and confirming prescription orders
- Preparing and filling prescriptions
- Practicing medication safety
- Interacting with customers and answering questions
- Managing inventory and performing organizational tasks
- Various specialized roles
Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the healthcare industry. As a pharmacy technician, you work closely with pharmacists in hospitals, drug and grocery stores as well as other medical settings to prepare and distribute medications to patients. In addition, a pharmacy technician utilizes technology to help maintain accurate patient records, prepare and package medications, and place orders. The only requirements to start the pharmacy technician program and continue education is a high school diploma.
Pharmacy Technicians are the liaisons between medical professionals, doctors, pharmacists, insurance companies and patients. Certified Pharmacy Technicians are crucial in the pharmacy setting because they have the knowledge needed to work with patients regarding their medications while also performing administrative tasks when needed. The job involves:
- Entering prescription orders into pharmacy computer systems
- Measuring, counting, and mixing medications
- Packaging and labeling prescriptions
- Performing medication inventories
- Verifying insurance information
- Providing customer service to patients
The Earn-While-You-Learn program offers students a different way to earn their pharmacy technician certification. Through the Earn-While-You-Learn program, students can graduate debt free, be employed under contract, and nationally certified as a pharmacy technician – all while getting paid.
The Earn-While-You-Learn program is a partnership between the University of Providence and participating hospital pharmacies through Benefis and Providence Health. Interested students apply for an open pharmacy technician position through the participating hospital’s job portal or website. If considered, an applicant would go through the hiring process at the participating hospital before applying to the university.
Program locations are not static and are subject to change depending on the hiring needs of the participating pharmacy locations. Students who cannot enroll in the Earn-While-You-Learn program are still eligible to attend the Pharmacy Technician Certification program as non-earn academic students.
All Earn-While-You-Learn students are required to sign an employment contract stating their commitment to work for the partnering pharmacy upon completion of the program for a determined time. All employment contracts, pay, tuition reimbursement and other associated contract stipulations are determined and negotiated through the student and the partnering pharmacy.
There is no previous healthcare experience required for enrollment. However, students must meet the following criteria to be considered for either the earn or non-earn positions:
- Be at least 18 years or older
- Have a high school diploma or a GED
- Pass a criminal background check
- Complete math placement exam and review math assignments successfully
Students must also meet the minimum criteria to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certificate program
- Complete college orientation/immersion
- Complete pharmacy technician program orientation/immersion successfully
- Complete each course in the Pharmacy Technician Program with at least 75%
- Complete Pharmacy Technician Certification National Examination (PTCE)
Earn to Learn Students have tuition paid for by their respective Pharmacy.
All students can apply for FAFSA monies.
Pharmacy Technician Exam-Prep Course
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam-Prep course is a single, 8-week course offered 100% online and asynchronous. Open to currently practicing technicians, our program combines a variety of learning modalities into a fast, affordable, and convenient course for working technicians. Learn through individual readings, online videos, and practice quizzes covering the top 200 medications, in-demand math skills, ethical dilemmas, and more. Walk through practice exam questions from a PTCB-certified practice test and collaborate with fellow students and instructors through online forums. Fill out our Exam-Prep course application
- Application: Complete the online application – Click here.
- Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit official transcript showing completion of a high school diploma or GED must be sent by the high school or agency to the university. Mail to University of Providence, 1301 20th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405
- Students must have graduated from high school.
Program Admission Requirements
There are two paths to enter the program:
- Earn while you learn program
- Non-Earn/Self pay program
Students must be interviewed and accepted by a Providence Pharmacy
Total cost for PH caregivers and their dependents: $306/credit, 20 credits= $6120.
General rate:$524/credit, 20 credits= $10,480
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam fee: $129
- Fees for lab materials: $412
- Scrubs – 2 sets: $80 (if applicable)
- Textbooks: $190
- Pharmacy Assistant/Tech-in-Training License: $35
- First semester: Four online courses over 16-weeks
- Second semester: Two online courses over 8-weeks, including 32 hours per week internship
- The program is taught by experienced licensed Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians who, in addition to teaching, work in roles in pharmacies, allowing each to bring a real-world perspective to the courses.
- Cohort model, all courses must be taken in order.
- Cohort start date: August and January of each year.
- Expected class size: 10 students.
- XPHM 100 Introduction to Pharmacy
- XPHM 110 Pharmacy Practice I
- XPHM 120 Pharmacy Practice II
- XPHM 130 Pharmacy Practice III
- XPHM 140 Pharmacy Tech Exam Prep
- XPHM 195 Pharmacy Internship
- Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT
- Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, WA
- Swedish Ballard in Seattle, WA
Students may be offered employment as a Pharmacy Technician within the PSJH system upon completing the program and passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. Students in Washington must obtain a Pharmacy Assistant License with the Pharmacy Tech in Training form attached to application.Students in Montana must obtain tech in training license prior to entering the clinical internship.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is this an accredited program?
A: This pharmacy tech program is approved by Montana and Washington State Boards and will be working on accreditation by ASHP in the coming semesters.
Q: How much will I make with a certificate in Pharmacy Tech?
A: Depending on certifications, Pharmacy Technicians can make anywhere between $15-$25 per hour.
Q: What’s the difference between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist?
A: While pharmacists and pharm techs both work in a pharmacy setting, their jobs require different tasks and skill levels. Pharmacists have extensive knowledge of medications and are in charge of ensuring patients get the right medicines while pharmacy technicians have a basic knowledge of medications, help fill, compound, stock and deliver individual prescriptions.
Q: What is The Earn-While-You-Learn program?
The Earn-While-You-Learn program offers students a different way to earn their pharmacy technician certification. Earn-While-You-Learn students receive the same certificate and courses as non-earn students. Through the Earn-While-You-Learn program, students receive tuition benefits, a steady income, and post-certification employment through one of our partnering pharmacies.
Q: Where is the Earn-While-You-Learn program offered?
Since pharmacies fill the earn-while-you-learn position through openings within their own companies, individual pharmacy locations are static and subject to change depending on the company’s employment needs. Current Earn-While-You-Learn locations include:
- Benefis of Great Falls MT
- St Peters of Olympia, WA
- St Patrick’s of Missoula MT
- St Marys of Walla Walla WA
Q: Am I required to sign an employment contract?
Yes. All students must sign an employment contract stating their commitment to work for the partnering pharmacy upon completion of the program for a determined time.
Q: Do I apply at the University of Providence in Addition to the partnering pharmacy?
Yes. Earn-While-You-Learn students need to apply through both the partnering pharmacy and the university.
Q: Does the program cover 100% tuition?
Yes. Earn-While-You-Learn students receive 100% tuition coverage as part of the program. Details regarding program costs and tuition coverages should be discussed with the partnering pharmacy.
Q: Do I need prior experience?
No. There is no prior healthcare experience required. Eligible students must meet the minimum criteria before enrollment to be considered for the Earn-While-You-Learn program.
- Be at least 18 years or older
- Have a high school diploma or a GED
- Pass a Criminal Background check
- Complete Math placement exam and review math assignments successfully
Q: If I cannot enroll as an Earn-While-You-Learn student, can I still apply as a non-earn student?
Yes. If you cannot enroll due to capacity limitations, you can still apply as a non-earn student, providing the same course and internship experience as the Earn-While-You-Learn student.
Q: Will the University help me with contract negotiations?
No. All employment contracts, pay, tuition reimbursement and other associated contract stipulations are determined and negotiated through the student and the partnering pharmacy. The University of Providence is not involved in any negotiation processes between the pharmacy and the student.
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Pharmacy Technician Program Manager