The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Curriculum is a formal academic training program that prepares individuals to become pharmacy technicians. These allied health professionals assist and support licensed pharmacists in preparing and dispensing medications and other health care products to patients. Under the direction of a pharmacist, the pharmacy technician performs pharmacy-related functions, in compliance with specific policies and procedures that provide optimal pharmaceutical care for their patients.
Pharmacy technicians are in high demand in health care and in the pharmaceutical industry. Job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are good, especially for those with previous experience, formal training, or certification, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Possible career opportunities for pharmacy technicians include a variety of practice environments including hospital, infusion, and long term care, and mail-order, chain and community pharmacy services. Pharmacy technicians work in computerized, clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves.
Pharmacy technicians often have varying work schedules that include nights, weekends, and holidays. In facilities that are open twenty-four hours a day, such as hospital and mail order pharmacies, technicians may be required to work nights. Many technicians work part time.
The South Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act (administered by the S.C. Board of Pharmacy) requires all pharmacy technicians desiring state certification to (1) pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE)- a national exam, (2) complete 1000 hours of practice (up to 400 clinical training hours in an educational program are recognized) under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, and (3) provide proof of completion of a formal academic pharmacy technician training program that is nationally accredited.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate program is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), 500 East-West Highway, Suite 900 Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone (866) 279-0681, www.ashp.org and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), 190 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 2850 Chicago, IL 60603-3499, Phone (312) 664-3574, Fax (866) 228-2631, www.acpe-accredit.org.
- Students must meet the general admission requirements and graduation requirements for all Health Sciences students listed at the beginning of the Health Sciences program section of this catalog.
- Students must be graduates of an accredited high school or possess a General Education Development (GED) certificate.
- The Central Carolina Technical College Registrar must have receipt of all official transcripts (including high school and all regionally accredited institutions for desired course transfer).
- Qualified Applicants must submit completed physical examination forms provided by the Health Sciences Division and proof of up-to-date vaccinations by the designated deadline.
- Student must maintain current documentation of tuberculin skin testing.
- Must maintain current BLS for Health Care Provider certification through the American Heart Association. Online certification/recertification will not be accepted.
- Students must submit information and fees for background checks and toxicology screenings by the designated deadline conducted through a facility selected by the College and SLED.
The Pharmacy Technician Certificate Program has limited enrollment. Students are admitted in the fall and in spring semester. Applicants will be accepted as they submit completed applications to the program manager until all seats are filled.
Note: Students who have one year of current work experience as a pharmacy technician in a dispensing pharmacy may be eligible to take the PHM courses in a hybrid format.
Registration and Certification
Pharmacy Technician students are required to be registered with the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (S.C. Board of Pharmacy) prior to beginning clinical rotations. This involves completing a registration application and paying a fee. The application includes the following two questions.
- During the past five years, have you been treated for any condition, be it physical, mental, or emotional that could impair your ability to serve as a pharmacy technician?
- During the past five years, have you been convicted of any criminal or civil charges (other than minor traffic ticket); is any legal action pending against you or are you currently on probation for any charges or legal action?
If the answer is yes to either of these questions, applicants are required to attach a full written explanation and the State Board of Pharmacy will review each situation separately to determine if applicants will be allowed in a clinical site.
The application for taking the national certification examination from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board also states that the eligibility requirements to sit for the exam includes the statement you must “have never been convicted of a felony.”
Therefore, students who have been convicted of a felony will not be eligible to take the national certification examination. Students who have been convicted of any criminal or civil charges (other than a minor traffic ticket), have any legal action pending against them, are currently on probation for any charges or legal action, or have been treated for any condition, be it physical, mental, or emotional that could impair their ability to serve as a pharmacy technician during the past five years may not be able to attend clinical rotations and cannot complete the program. Note: SC Code of Law prohibits pharmacies from employing anyone who has been convicted of a felony offense relating to a controlled substance.
Progression Standards – After Program Entry
Failure to meet progression standards results in suspension from the program.
- After admission, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 program GPA on program curriculum courses at Central Carolina Technical College in order to progress.
- Must earn a minimum of a “C” or higher in each required curriculum course for the program. Students may retake program curriculum courses completed with less than a “C” one time only.
- Must successfully complete all components of a course (theory, clinical, drug calculation proficiency) in order to pass the course. Students who fail to complete a component will receive a grade of “F” for the course regardless of the time in the semester and are not eligible to receive a “W” or “WA” through the withdrawal process.
- Students must complete all course requirements within two years of the starting date of the first pharmacy technician (PHM) course.
- Students are limited to two attempts at successful completion of any PHM course, a grade less than a “C” or a withdrawal “W”, “WA” or “WF” constitutes an attempt at a PHM course and will count as one attempt to complete the program.
- Students may apply for readmission to repeat a PHM course based on space availability, as long as the program is completed in 2 years. any student unable to complete the program in 2 years, may apply for readmission beginning with the first semester PHM courses.
This program is aligned with the following career cluster: Health Science.
Academic Program Manager, Pharmacy Technician
(803) 778-6621, ext. 221
PHM 152 and 173 have flexible schedules. Students may be required to attend classes between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Following is a list of courses required to complete this program. Since some courses are offered once a year, courses should be taken in the following sequence in order to complete the program in a timely manner:
FALL ADMISSION - FALL SEMESTER - FIRST YEAR
FALL ADMISSION - SPRING SEMESTER - FIRST YEAR
SPRING ADMISSION - SPRING SEMESTER - FIRST YEAR