Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Step 1 - Training

Step 1 - Training

3 Myths
#1 Myth:  You have to attend a formal institution's Pharmacy Technology Program to become a Pharmacy Tech.

Fact:  In most states, all that's required is for you to pass the PTCE (Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam).  You can sign up for it online at the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) website.

#2 Myth:  You can find everything you need to study for the PTCE online, for free.

Fact:  There are a bunch of websites that offer free study materials pertaining to the PTCE, but there are reasons that they are "Free".  They are riddled with errors, they are incomplete in scope, and they make money by putting ads all over their site.  Here's a screen-shot of all three of those things.

Darvocet was taken off the market in 2010 (3.5 years ago).
They admit you'll need to take some sort of course, and their info is incomplete.
There is an ad in the middle of their paragraph.

#3 Myth:  The externship element at a Pharmacy Technician School will help you get a job.

Fact: There is, at best, a remote chance that you'll be hired on at your externship site.  With only a certain number of positions available (maybe none), how would they hire you? or your classmate? or all of your other classmates?

Training Options

Textbooks - Amazon lists 102 "Pharmacy Technician Textbooks", most of which claim to be the end all be all in PT training.  I haven't seen all of them so I can't say that there isn't a good one in the bunch, but I can say there isn't one that I'd recommend.  That being said, you can pick one up for about $30.

Schools - If you do decide to attend any of these school PLEASE ask how long the instructor that teaches the program has been there.  I guarantee their response will be "less than a year but, [insert somewhat believable garbage here]".  Also before you decide to take all of those Title IV Federal Loans and refunds, ask how much you can expect to pay monthly after you graduate, more than 50% of Title IV loans are in default.  

There are 3 Tiers of Pharmacy Technician Schools.  I put them into tiers based on cost, you're just as likely to get a good education at one you'd attend for less as a bad education at one that you pay more.  The instructor makes all the difference. 
  • Tier 1 - These are local schools, probably at a professional center, that charge somewhere between $500 and $1000.  Usually a 2-4 week program.
  • Tier 2 - These are schools that are found locally, but owned nationally, that charge somewhere between $1500 and $3000.  Most of these schools accept Title IV Federal Loans.  Usually a 12-16 week program.
  • Tier 3 - These are schools that have national affiliation, and typically offer a wide variety of programs, maybe even a bachelor's degree in something unrelated to Pharmacy Technician Training.  All of these schools accept Title IV Federal Loans.  They charge between $10,000 and $26,000.  Usually a 12 to 24 month program.

It's not necessary to spend all of that money and time to go to school to become a Pharmacy Technician. RxTechExam.com has EVERYTHING you need to pass the National Examination.  It's definitely worth checking out.
Online Pharmacy Technician Training
The Definitive Guide to Pharmacy Technician Training.
Online. Self-Paced. Comprehensive.

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