Degree: Career Studies Certificate
Program Code: 221-190-08
Program Length: 1 year - 2 Semesters
Minimum Credits: 26
Note: If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, please the Science Website for Pre-Medical Specialization information.
Russell Hall Room 112
Department Mission Statement:
The mission of the SWCC pharmacy technician program is to prepare students to assist and support licensed pharmacists in providing health care and medications to patients. Students will obtain a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be skilled in the techniques required to order, stock, package, prepare, and dispense medications under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Upon completion of the curriculum, students will be eligible to take the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.
Program Purpose Statement:
This program is designed to prepare students to assist and support licensed pharmacists in providing health care and medications to patients. Students will obtain a broad knowledge of pharmacy practice and be skilled in the techniques required to order, stock, package, prepare, and dispense medications under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Upon completion of the curriculum, students will be eligible to take the National Pharmacy Technician Examination.
Pharmacy Technicians are individuals who help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals, measuring amounts of medication for prescriptions, packaging and labeling prescriptions, accepting payment, and providing information to patients. They work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.
Pharmacy technicians work in hospitals, retail, home health care, nursing home, clinic, nuclear medicine, and mail order prescription pharmacies, Pharmacy technicians have been employed with medical insurance, medical computer software, drug manufacturing, drug wholesale, and food processing companies, and as instructors in pharmacy technician training programs. Currently, hospital, home health care, and retail pharmacies hire the majority of technicians. Salary may vary according to location and site, but the current average salary for Pharmacy Technicians in Southwest Virginia is $13-15 per hour.
At a minimum, applicants must:
- Have proof of completing high school (i.e. diploma) or equivalent (certificate);
- Demonstrate English Language and Math proficiency;
- (Multiple Measures) Students who have graduated or completed their GED within the last 5 years may enroll directly in gateway/college-level mathematics and English classes depending upon high school GPA and courses taken in high school.
- (Informed Self-Placement) Adults who have graduated or gotten their GED more than 5 years ago may use this method. This requires meeting with a Student Success Advisor to cover examples of material in each course to inform your decision.
- Alternate tests: Submit official SAT or ACT scores to Admissions. The following scores indicate that you are eligible to register for college-level coursework.
- SAT scores equal to or higher than: 480/Reading & Writing; 530/Math
- ACT scores equal to or higher than: 18/Reading & Writing; 22+/Math
- GED scores equal to or higher than: 165/English; 155/Math
- Transfer Students: Transfer students must provide evidence of English and math class completion with a “C” or better by submitting an official transcript from another college or university to the admissions office.
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening:
Students must complete a background check and drug screening through a vendor selected by the Program Coordinator. Students will be provided the required forms and information to complete the criminal background check and drug screening. Fees for the criminal background check and drug screening must be paid to the selected vendor. Both the criminal background check and drug screening must be completed by the deadline established by the Program Coordinator.
Illicit drug use, criminal background checks, and immunization status may prevent future employment as a pharmacy technician. Internship sites, employers, and State Boards of Pharmacy have regulations about drug use, criminal backgrounds, and immunization status.
Criminal Background Check:
The background check will search for misdemeanor and felony convictions of any type. However, only “barrier” crimes will result in failure of the background check.
“Barrier” crimes are those crimes which would bar a student from attending on or more of SWCC’s clinical sites for this program or which would prevent the student from obtaining a relevant certification or licensure. Students who are found, at any time after admission, to be convicted of a “barrier” crime may be dismissed from the program.The barrier crimes for this program are consistent with the guidelines on employment barrier crimes issued by the Virginia Department of Health Office of Licensure and Certification.
The program’s barrier crimes are subject to change at any time. Changes to barrier crimes which were made after the date of publication are not reflected in this document.
The drug screen tests for amphetamine (methamphetamine), barbiturates, benzodiazepine, cocaine, marijuana, methadone, methaqualone, opiates (codeine&morphine), phencyclidine, and propoxyphene. Any of these drugs found in the student’s drug screen will result in the student failing the drug screen. In cases of failure, the student will be contacted for further evaluation. Students may be granted an exception for a valid prescription. Students who fail the drug screen and do not receive an exception will be dismissed from the program.
Licensure and Certification:
There are two methods for obtaining registration as a pharmacy technician. Either of the following methods is acceptable. In order to be eligible for either method, the candidate must be 18 years of age or older.
- A pharmacy technician who has previously practiced in another United States jurisdiction may be eligible to obtain registration as a pharmacy technician upon documentation of previous practice and have passed a national certification examination administered by PTCB or NHA. Information regarding obtaining certification from PTCB may be accessed at www.ptcb.org. Information regarding obtaining certification from NHA may be accessed at www.nhanow.com. The Virginia Board of Pharmacy’s online application may be accessed at www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/apply/
- An individual must satisfactorily complete a Virginia Board of Pharmacy approved training process, pass a Board of Pharmacy approved examination, and then submit the online Application for Registration as a Pharmacy Technician to the Board for review. There are many Board approved pharmacy technician training programs from which to choose. Additionally, there are currently two Board approved examinations. An individual may take and pass either the PTCE or ExCPT Exams. Information for the ExCPT exam may be accessed at www.nhanow.com and for the PTCE at www.ptcb.org.
Applicants can visit the following website to learn more regarding the requirements to become a registered Pharmacy Technician in the Commonwealth of Virginia:http://www.dhp.virginia.gov/Pharmacy/pharmacy_faq.htm#TechRegistration
For the state of Virginia, legal restrictions have not been outlined. The candidate will be required to complete a Commonwealth of Virginia background check before proceeding from didactic and simulation courses into the internship phase of the program. The SWCC Pharmacy Tech program webpage clearly informs program applicants that they must submit and pass a background check as a requirement of the program. To become nationally certified an individual would need to register for the Exam for Certified Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) through NHA (https://www.nhanow.com/get-certified). For national certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, full disclosure of all criminal and State Board of Pharmacy registration or licensure actions is required.
Upon admission and during the course of the program, the College and the clinical affiliate will observe and evaluate the progress of the student. If the student does not exhibit professional behavior, the student will be asked to withdraw from the program. Students are required to have a background check from the Department of State Police by the completion of the first semester.
Academic Program Requirements:
Students who receive a final grade lower than “C” in any course will not receive a certificate until a grade of “C” or better is obtained.
The total financial obligation of each student includes:
Pharmacy Tech Career Ready Bundle
(Certification Practice Test and Certification Exam/PharmaSeer/PharmaSeer Math/Personability)
|Background Check & Drug Screening
|Program Uniform Set
|State Registration fee
*Students should note that the above costs are approximate and are subject to change.
Students should contact the Financial Iad Office (276.964.7724 or email@example.com) or review the Financial Aid website (Click Here).
Pursuant to the United States Department of Education (US DOE) regulation 34 CFR 668.43(a)(5)(v), the Southwest Virginia Community College Career Studies Certificate in Pharmacy Technician program provides the following information for all prospective and current students.
Please visit the following website to determine reciprocity for your home state: https://sw.edu/health-technology/wp-content/uploads/Licensure-Reciprocity.pdf
PTCE Pass Rate
Program Accreditation Information:
The Pharmacy Technician- Career Studies Certificate Program at SWCC is recognized as an ASHP/ACPE candidate status pharmacy technician training and education program.
Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education
4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900,
Bethesda, MD 20814
College Accreditation Information:
Southwest Virginia Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Southwest Virginia Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org)