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Pharmacy Technician Program

Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program and AAS-T degree

Pharmacy is a highly trusted profession and a vital part of the healthcare system. A pharmacy professional can have a direct impact on people’s lives and health. Careers in pharmacy offer diverse opportunities and excellent earning potential.

Pharmacy technicians serve patients in a variety of pharmacy settings, including:

  • community/retail pharmacies       
  • long-term care facilities
  • medical clinics       
  • mail-order pharmacies
  • hospitals       
  • drug manufacturers
  • infusion centers       
  • insurance companies

Students in the Pharmacy Technician Certificate program at Edmonds College:

  • study the ways medications work in the body, and how they are applied in pharmaceutical care
  • learn to use evidence-based tools for researching drug information, and work in teams to present their findings
  • practice calculations, electronic health record management, and prescription filling processes, in order to be well-equipped to work in hospital, retail, or other pharmacy settings
  • learn techniques for sterile compounding, laws governing pharmacy practice, and terminology used in pharmacies and throughout healthcare

Graduates of the Pharmacy Technician Certificate at Edmonds leave our program with extensive classroom and skills lab training, as well as hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting. These students are prepared to excel on their certification exam and apply for their Pharmacy Technician license. There is tremendous demand for Pharmacy Technicians, and graduates are able to quickly find employment in this field!

Academic planning

The Pharmacy Technician courses are organized in 3 blocks as shown below. Students may begin with
either Block A or Block B–whichever is available upon completing prerequisites–but must complete
both Blocks A and B before continuing with Block C. Block A and Block B classes are offered in
alternating quarters during Fall, Winter, and Spring.

Block A

Course Number Course Title Credits
AHE 100 Career and College Success: Healthcare 3.0
AHE 115 AHE Healthcare Provider: CPR 1.0
AHE 170 Orientation to Pharmacy Practice 2.0
AHE 172 Pharmacy Terminology 3.0
AHE 173 Applied Pharmacology I 5.0
AHE 177 Over the Counter Drugs 2.0
SHS 170 HIV/AIDS for Health, HS and ACD Professionals 1.0

Block B

Course Number Course Title Credits
AHE 174 Applied Pharmacology II 5.0
AHE 175 Pharmaceutical Calculations 3.0
AHE 176 Prescription Processing 5.0

Block C

Course Number Course Title Credits
AHE 171 Pharmacy Law and Ethics 2.0
AHE 178 IV Preparations and Aseptic Technique 4.0
AHE 191 Pharmacy Clinical 8.0

 

Clinical Experiences/Externship Requirements

Participation in a clinical experience requires proof of vaccination for common infectious diseases including influenza and COVID-19. The Clinical Passport outlines the immunization requirements, please download a copy and keep it in a safe place. The CPNW-Clinical Passport Tutorial provides an overview of each section of the document and will take about 30 minutes to complete. If you have additional questions after completing the tutorial, please contact an Allied Health faculty advisor.

Background checks are also required to participate in clinical externships and need to be completed before registering for a clinical Externship class. A list of Disqualifying Crimes and Negative Actions is provided by the DSHS Secretary. If you have any concerns please contact an Allied Faculty advisor.

All immunization and criminal background checks for allied health programs go through our online data bank system CastleBranch. To place an order, enter package code EE78. The cost is $96.00.

Advising

For Pharmacy Technician program information and questions please contact our Pharmacy Technician program advisors:

Brent Leithauser | brent.leithauser@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1369

Krystal Nash | krystal.nash@edmonds.edu | 425.640.1242


AAS-T and BAS degrees

Students who seek to continue their studies beyond the Pharmacy Technician Certificate may apply that coursework toward one of our program’s AAS-T (Associate of Applied Science - Transfer) degrees:

 

Student comments:

  • “I am really interested in the dynamic working environment of retail pharmacy. I have seen the professionalism and kindness of the pharmacy staff at a pharmacy close to where I live. This makes me feel comfortable and excited to work in this environment. I believe that I will have a good career after getting my Pharmacy Technician certificate.”
  • “Thinking about myself doing the things technicians do makes me a little nervous and a bit excited. After I get my license, I would like to choose a retail pharmacy setting because that helps me more about interacting with customers. It is a good place to get the basic knowledge such as preparing and filling prescriptions, receiving and confirming prescriptions, and more for new students like me.”
  • “After receiving my Pharmacy Technician license, I would prefer to work in a community health center. I would like to fill prescriptions (dispensing) because I want to learn and know more about the different types of drugs, and know how to perform all the necessary steps before a drug gets to the patient’s hands.”
  • “After I receive my Pharmacy Technician license, I would prefer to be working in a hospital or medical center. My ideal choice for this would be with my HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) because I already have experience with them.”
  • “I’m interested in working at a compounding pharmacy, because I really enjoy chemistry and lab work.”

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Studies

“I see myself working as a Pharmacy Technician for a year to build my understanding and experience before going back to college for my Doctor of Pharmacy degree.”

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician can be a stepping stone along the path toward becoming a Pharmacist. For many students, starting off as a Pharmacy Technician helps them to become familiar with the workplace, interactions, and responsibilities within a pharmacy. Although completing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree takes a number of years, completing a Pharmacy Technician Certificate can allow a student to get a job in a pharmacy in about one year, and then gain valuable experience and earn money while continuing their studies.

Pharmacists commonly review and fill prescriptions, advise prescribers on therapy choices and dosing, and consult with patients on details and the appropriate use of their medications. Pharmacists are also increasingly involved in direct patient-care functions, such as review of diabetes management, administering vaccinations, and MTM (Medication Therapy Management), in which a patient's entire drug regimen is reviewed for optimizations.

 

Student comments:

  • “I am really interested in the dynamic working environment of retail pharmacy. I have seen the professionalism and kindness of the pharmacy staff at a pharmacy close to where I live. This makes me feel comfortable and excited to work in this environment. I believe that I will have a good career after getting my Pharmacy Technician certificate.”
  • “Thinking about myself doing the things technicians do makes me a little nervous and a bit excited. After I get my license, I would like to choose a retail pharmacy setting because that helps me more about interacting with customers. It is a good place to get the basic knowledge such as preparing and filling prescriptions, receiving and confirming prescriptions, and more for new students like me.”
  • “After receiving my Pharmacy Technician license, I would prefer to work in a community health center. I would like to fill prescriptions (dispensing) because I want to learn and know more about the different types of drugs, and know how to perform all the necessary steps before a drug gets to the patient’s hands.”
  • “After I receive my Pharmacy Technician license, I would prefer to be working in a hospital or medical center. My ideal choice for this would be with my HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) because I already have experience with them.”
  • “I’m interested in working at a compounding pharmacy, because I really enjoy chemistry and lab work.”