Pharmacy Technology A.A.S.

Pharmacy technology
Program Code: A45580

Pharmacy Technology A.A.S.

The Pharmacy Technology Program prepares individuals to assist the pharmacist in duties that a technician can legally perform and to function within the boundaries prescribed by the pharmacist and the employment agency.

Students will prepare prescription medications, mix intravenous solutions and other specialized medications, update patient profiles, maintain inventories, package medications in unit-dose or med-card form, and gather data used by pharmacists to monitor drug therapy.

Employment opportunities include retail, hospitals, nursing homes, research laboratories, wholesale drug companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Graduates from the program may be eligible to take the National Certification Examination to become a certified pharmacy technician.

This program is accredited by:
ASHP-American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
4500 E W Hwy #900, Bethesda, MD 20814

Specific Requirements

  1. General college admission requirements.
  2. High school units:
    • High school-level chemistry or college-level Chemistry 092 recommended
    • Biology strongly recommended
  3. This program has a selective selection process. See the Selective Allied Health Program Criteria on the Selective and Limited Programs page of the A-B Tech website.
  4. Acceptable reports of medical examinations by the first day of PHM-132 or PHM-134.
  5. Satisfactory completion of required immunizations by the first day of PHM-132 or PHM-134.
  6. Criminal background checks, drug screens, and seasonal flu vaccines are required prior to admission to clinical sites.

Courses requiring a grade of “C” or better: ACA, BIO, and PHM

Courses in this program

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides an orientation to the campus resources and academic skills necessary to achieve educational objectives. Emphasis is placed on an exploration of facilities and services, study skills, library skills, self-assessment, wellness, goal-setting, and critical thinking. Upon completion, students should be able to manage their learning experiences to successfully meet educational goals.

This course introduces computer concepts, including fundamental functions and operations of the computer. Topics include the identification of hardware components, basic computer operations, security issues, and use of software applications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of computers and use the computer to solve problems. Microsoft Office will be used in this course; this includes Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.

This course introduces pharmacy practice and the technician's role in a variety of pharmacy settings. Topics include medical terminology and abbreviations, drug delivery systems, law and ethics, prescription and medication orders, and the health care system. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the role of pharmacy technicians, read and interpret drug orders, describe quality assurance, and utilize pharmacy references.

This course provides instruction in the technical procedures for preparing and dispensing drugs in the hospital and retail settings under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. Topics include drug packaging and labeling, out-patient dispensing, hospital dispensing procedures, controlled substance procedures, inventory control, and non-sterile compounding. Upon completion, students should be able to perform basic supervised dispensing techniques in a variety of pharmacy settings.

This course provides an introduction to the metric, avoirdupois, and apothecary systems of measurement and the calculations used in pharmacy practice. Topics include ratio and proportion, dosage determinations, percentage preparations, reducing and enlarging formulas, dilution and concentration, aliquots, specific gravity and density, and flow rates. Upon completion, students should be able to correctly perform calculations required to properly prepare a medication order. 

This course introduces the study of the properties, effects, and therapeutic value of the primary agents in the major drug categories. Topics include nutritional products, blood modifiers, hormones, diuretics, cardiovascular agents, respiratory drugs, and gastrointestinal agents. Upon completion, students should be able to place major drugs into correct therapeutic categories and identify indications, side effects, and trade and generic names.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course provides a basic survey of human biology. Emphasis is placed on the basic structure and function of body systems and the medical terminology used to describe normal and pathological states. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of normal anatomy and physiology and the appropriate use of medical terminology.

This course provides an introduction to intravenous admixture preparation and other sterile products, including total parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy. Topics include aseptic techniques; facilities, equipment, and supplies utilized in admixture preparation; incompatibility and stability; laminar flow hoods; immunizations and irrigation solutions; and quality assurance. Upon completion, students should be able to describe and demonstrate the steps involved in the preparation of intermittent and continuous infusions, total parenteral nutrition, and chemotherapy. 

This course provides a continuation of the study of the properties, effects, and therapeutic value of the primary agents in the major drug categories. Topics include autonomic and central nervous system agents, anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-infective drugs. Upon completion, students should be able to place major drugs into correct therapeutic categories and identify indications, side effects, and trade and generic names.

This course covers the major issues, trends, and concepts in contemporary pharmacy practice. Topics include professional ethics, continuing education, job placement, and the latest developments in pharmacy technician practice. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the topics discussed.

This course covers the operational procedures relating to a retail pharmacy. Emphasis is placed on general knowledge of over-the-counter products, prescription processing, business/inventory management, and specialty patient services. Upon completion, students should be able to provide technical assistance and support to the retail pharmacist.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the practices and principles of interpersonal communication in both dyadic and group settings. Emphasis is placed on the communication process, perception, listening, self-disclosure, speech apprehension, ethics, nonverbal communication, conflict, power, and dysfunctional communication relationships. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate interpersonal communication skills, apply basic principles of group discussion, and manage conflict in interpersonal communication situations.

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies English Composition.

This course provides an opportunity to work in pharmacy settings under a pharmacist’s supervision. Emphasis is placed on effective communication with personnel, developing proper employee attitude, and dispensing of medications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of pharmacy operations, utilize references, dispense medications, prepare patient charges, and efficiently operate computers.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course is designed to engage students in complex and realistic situations involving the mathematical phenomena of quantity, change and relationship, and uncertainty through a project and activity-based assessment. Emphasis is placed on authentic contexts which will introduce the concepts of numeracy, proportional reasoning, dimensional analysis, rates of growth, personal finance, consumer statistics, practical probabilities, and mathematics for citizenship.

This course provides an in-depth study of hospital pharmacy practice.  Topics include hospital organizational structure, committee functions, utilization of reference works, purchasing and inventory control, drug delivery systems, and intravenous admixture preparation.  Upon completion, students should be able to explain hospital organization/committee functions, interpret and enter patient orders, fill unit-dose cassettes, and prepare intravenous admixtures.

This course is a study of pharmaceutical dosage forms and considerations in their manufacture. Topics include bioavailability, routes of administration, tablets, capsules, solutions, syrups, suspensions, elixirs, aerosols, transdermals, topicals, ophthalmics, otics, and other dosage forms. Upon completion, students should be able to describe the characteristics of the major dosage forms and explain how these characteristics affect the action of the drug.

This course provides an opportunity to work in pharmacy settings under a pharmacist’s supervision. Emphasis is placed on effective communication with personnel, developing proper employee attitude, and dispensing of medications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of pharmacy operations, utilize references, dispense medications, prepare patient charges, and efficiently operate computers.

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology. This is a Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) course that satisfies Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the use of critical thinking skills in the context of human conflict. Emphasis is placed on evaluating information, problem-solving, approaching cross-cultural perspectives, and resolving controversies and dilemmas. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate orally and in writing the use of critical thinking skills in the analysis of appropriate texts. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA as a general education course in Humanities/Fine Arts.

This course provides an opportunity to work in pharmacy settings under a pharmacist’s supervision. Emphasis is placed on effective communication with personnel, developing proper employee attitude, and dispensing of medications. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of pharmacy operations, utilize references, dispense medications, prepare patient charges, and efficiently operate computers.

This course provides a general overview of all aspects of pharmacy technician practice. Emphasis is placed on pharmacy law, calculations, compounding, pharmacology, and pharmacy operations. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in the areas required for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination.

Total Credit Hours Required:
70

Curriculum is based on the 2021-22 catalog.