Pharmacy Technician - Diploma
Pharmacy technicians work collaboratively with pharmacists and members of the health care team in the promotion of wellness, disease prevention, and the management of chronic diseases. Pharmacy technicians are responsible and accountable for ensuring accuracy in product preparation and release. Graduates have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to meet the entry-level competencies defined by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA).
The program has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs.
Graduates of the program are eligible for direct admission into the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada certification process and the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia registration process.
- Career ready in 15 months - condensed diploma
- Flexible learning with theory courses completed online (asynchronous)
- 8-week in-person lab in Castlegar, Duncan or Prince George, BC
- Small class sizes, instructor led and supported
- Fully accredited with CCAPP (Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs)
- IN-DEMAND! Nearly flawless employability rate for our grads!
The program is delivered using a blend of online theory courses, in-person lab classes and practicum hours in both hospital and community. The program is 15 months in length and consist of three theory semesters, one lab semester, and ten weeks of practicum. Students complete eight weeks of in-person labs with Selkirk College on Castlegar Campus, or as a transfer credit with Vancouver Island University on Cowichan campus, or College of New Caledonia on Prince George campus, where they apply theory learned in the online courses and prepare for practicum.
Please note in-person labs at the College of New Caledonia's Prince George Campus are full for 2023. For labs in Prince George, please wait and apply for our 2024 intake.
Consider the Pharmacy Technician Program if you:
- Are detailed-oriented and well organized
- Enjoy working in a fast-paced team environment
- Are self-motivated and committed to lifelong learning
- Have strong interpersonal communication and critical thinking skills
- Enjoy computer technology
- Are caring and empathetic
Graduates of the Pharmacy Technician Program will meet the competencies and educational outcomes as set out by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) and the Canadian Pharmacy Technician Educators Association (CPTEA):
- Practice within legal requirements, demonstrate professionalism and uphold professional standards of practice, codes of ethics and policies
- Participate in meeting the patient’s health goals and drug-related needs by establishing caring and professional relationships
- Contribute to a safe, effective and efficient product distribution and release in the practice setting
- Support health promotion activities for patients, communities and populations in collaboration with the pharmacist and other health professionals
- Make theory-based and evidence-informed decisions in practice, ensuring safe and effective product distribution
- Collaborate with members of the intra- and inter-professional health teams to support the delivery of comprehensive services and ensure continuity of care
- Communicate effectively with patients, the pharmacy team, other health professionals and the public, including the provision of patient education
- Contribute to quality control and support a culture of safety in practice
BC high school graduation or equivalent with 60% or higher in:
- Biology 12
- English Studies 12
- Chemistry 11
- Pre-Calculus 11 or Foundations of Math 12
English language proficiency: Applicants are required to submit documentation of one of the following as evidence of language proficiency:
- Graduation from a high school in Canada with three consecutive first language English courses/credits
- Language proficiency test results that meet the NAPRA Language Proficiency Requirements for licensure as a Pharmacy Technician in Canada
- An undergraduate degree from a university in Canada whose instruction was provided in English
- Criminal record check (CRC) from the BC Ministry of Justice
- College Readiness Tool (CRT) Assessment
- Applicant information questionnaire (found in application package)
- Current computer skills, including knowledge/skill in navigating the internet, word processing, file management and email. Applicants are encouraged to complete the Computer Skills Self-Assessment.
- Immunizations for health care workers as established by the BC Ministry of Health prior to starting practicum
- WHMIS, Basic First Aid and CPR (C) completed prior to starting lab courses
- Official transcripts from high school and all post-secondary institutions attended (mailed directly from the Ministry of Education and educational institutions)
- Official transcripts, equivalence reports and English proficiency test results for internationally educated applicants
Qualified applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Early application is recommended.
In order to progress from one semester to the next, students are required to achieve a minimum of 80% in all published prerequisite courses (e.g., PTEC 126 Pharmacology I and PTEC 216 Pharmacology II).
PTEC101 - Introduction To Program & Online Learning For Success
PTEC 101 Introduction to the Pharmacy Technician Program and Online Learning for Success. This course introduces students to the Pharmacy Technician Program structure and how to navigate the online learning management system (Moodle). An overview of the curriculum, teaching learning approaches and strategies for success are discussed. Students are introduced to the steps required to become a Registered Pharmacy Technician in Canada.
PTEC102 - Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Terminology
PTEC 102 Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Terminology is an introduction to medical language, and the anatomy and physiology of the human body using a body system approach. Students will learn to describe normal functioning of body systems and begin to explore the pathophysiology of common diseases and medical conditions that will be covered in Pharmacology I and Pharmacology II.
PTEC103 - Introduction to Professional Practice
PTEC 103 Introduction to Professional Practice introduces students to the professional practice and scope of practice requirements for pharmacy technicians. Foundations for federal and provincial laws, regulations and standards that govern pharmacy practice in the Canadian health care system are examined. Foundations for ethical, professional practice are introduced and leveled in subsequent courses.
PTEC111 - Interpersonal Communications in Pharmacy
PTEC 111 Interpersonal Communications in Pharmacy focuses on self-awareness and effective interpersonal communication skills required of professionals working on the health care team and as an online learner. Students learn how to actively listen and respond, account for differences that may influence understanding and engagement in conversation, and use communication strategies to support personal wellness and professional boundaries.
PTEC117 - Fundamentals of Product Distribution
PTEC 117 Fundamentals of Product Distribution provides an introduction to pharmacy language, drug dosage forms, routes of administration, and techniques and procedures required to implement safe and efficient drug distribution. Students explore drug distribution systems and the path of a prescription / drug order for release of product. Students access resources to support evidence-informed decision-making. Factors that contribute to errors in product distribution are examined and actions to prevent occurrence are discussed.
PTEC122 - Pharmacy Calculations
PTEC 122 Pharmacy Calculations covers the mathematical skills required in the practice of pharmacy. Students examine measurement systems, decimals, fractions, and ratio and proportion concepts. The metric system, in keeping with health care standards in Canada, is a main focus of the course. The interpretation of numerals, symbols and Latin abbreviations used in the pharmacy is a focus within all course assignments and exams. Exploration of dilution and concentration, percentage strength, and compounding calculations prepare students for hands on lab classes in dispensing, compounding and sterile product preparation. Emphasis is placed on completing all calculations with 100% accuracy in preparation for application and testing in the lab classes and practicum.
PTEC123 - Professional Practice II
PTEC 123 Professional Practice II is designed to expand the student's understanding of and appreciation for the expectations of professional practice. Building on concepts introduced in PTEC 103, students discuss ethical and legal principles that guide professional practice and how to respond when unethical, illegal or unprofessional actions are observed. The student will examine federal and provincial legislation details that guide pharmacy operations and drug distribution. Basic principles will be applied to support optimal patient care and health promotion.
PTEC126 - Pharmacology I
PTEC 126 Pharmacology I is part one of a two-part course that covers the study of drugs and their properties, effects, and therapeutic value in the major drug categories. Upon completion, students will be able to place common drugs into correct therapeutic categories and identify indications, side effects, trade and generic names, major drug interactions and storage considerations. Students will learn the essentials of pharmacology and how it relates to dispensing and patient safety. Students will explore and practice assessing when a patient should be referred to a pharmacist, identify drug related problems and discuss appropriate monitoring parameters. Knowledge gained in this course will support the pharmacy technician within their scope of practice in a collaborative interprofessional health care team.
PTEC127 - Community Pharmacy Theory
PTEC 127 Community Practice Theory examines the role of the pharmacy technician in prescription processing, documentation and product distribution in community pharmacies. Students examine all technical aspects of receiving, verifying, and processing prescriptions to ensure accuracy, safety and compliance with legislation, regulatory requirements and best practices. The principles and processes of record keeping, inventory management, adjudication and billing are studied. Students are introduced to the principles of non-sterile compounding and examine the use of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, natural health products and complementary treatments. The pharmacy technician's collaborative role in health promotion and information sharing activities with patients is examined.
PTEC128 - Communications In Pharmacy II
PTEC 128 Interpersonal Communications in Pharmacy II explores more advanced communication skills required for obtaining comprehensive personal health information, conducting medication histories, and engaging in health teaching. The pharmacy technician's role in health promotion activities and public health initiatives are examined. Students discuss the competencies of intra and inter-professional collaborative practice in greater detail.
PTEC213 - Transition to Professional Practice
PTEC 213 Transition to Professional Practice is designed to support students in preparing for preceptorship, licensure exams upon graduation, and entry to practice. Students build on their knowledge of regulatory requirements, jurisprudence, and ethical and professional practice.
PTEC216 - Pharmacology II
PTEC 216 Pharmacology II is part two of a two-part course that covers the study of drugs and their properties, effects, and therapeutic value in the major drug categories. Upon completion, students will be able to place common drugs into correct therapeutic categories and identify indications, side effects, trade and generic names, major drug interactions and storage considerations. Students will learn the essentials of pharmacology and how it relates to dispensing and patient safety. Students will explore and practice assessing when a patient should be referred to a pharmacist, identify drug related problems and discuss appropriate monitoring parameters. Knowledge gained in this course will support the pharmacy technician within their scope of practice in a collaborative interprofessional health care team.
PTEC217 - Institutional Pharmacy Practice
PTEC 217 Institutional Pharmacy Practice builds on the fundamentals of product distribution previously learned and examines the role of Pharmacy Technicians employed in institutional settings. Students examine hospital drug distribution systems and processes, medication safety, principles of infection control and sterile product preparation, and quality assurance / risk management practices.
PTEC220 - Technology for Product Distribution
PTEC 220 Technology for Product Distribution introduces students to the management of database information and technology used in the pharmacy to dispense medications. Students apply concepts learned in previous theory courses to pharmacy case study scenarios using pharmacy dispensing software. Accuracy and completeness of database information and appropriate use of technology systems to support safe product distribution are emphasized. Concepts explored in this course provide a foundation for subsequent lab courses in the program.
PTEC221 - Prescription Dispensing
PTEC 221 Prescription Dispensing is a experiential lab course in which students apply the knowledge and skills acquired from previous theory courses to process and dispense prescriptions safely, efficiently and effectively in community practice settings. Students practice the technical aspects of processing prescriptions including interpreting prescriptions, performing calculations, documentation, and verification. Principles of inventory management and best practices in pharmacy record keeping are integrated into the learning activities. Students apply and demonstrate effective interpersonal communication and health teaching skills associated with the dispensing process.
PTEC223 - Institutional Dispensing and Sterile Product Preparation
PTEC 223 Institutional Dispensing and Sterile Product Preparation is a experiential lab course in which students learn the aseptic skills required to prepare a variety of parenteral products. Students apply the knowledge and skills acquired from previous theory courses to process and dispense prescriptions safely, efficiently and effectively in hospital practice settings. Students practice the technical aspects of processing prescriptions including interpreting prescriptions, performing calculations, documentation, and verification. Principles of inventory management and best practices in pharmacy record keeping are integrated into the learning activities. Safety, dosage calculations, incompatibilities, sterile procedure, and quality assurance controls are emphasized.
PTEC224 - Non-Sterile Compounding
PTEC 224 Non-Sterile Compounding is a experiential lab course in which students learn the skills and best practices for compounding non-sterile products including ingredient calculations, measurements, and preparation techniques for creams, ointments, solutions, and suspensions. Students use compounding formulas and drug stability and drug compatibility reference materials in the preparation of products with an emphasis on accuracy and safety. Maintenance of compounding equipment and workspace utilization are integrated into the learning activities.
PTEC230 - Community Practicum
PTEC 230 Community Practicum provides students with the opportunity to consolidate and apply the knowledge, skills and values attained from theory and lab courses. Students gain experience in all aspects of the pharmacy technician role in the community setting and are evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate professional competencies required for entry to practice.
PTEC231 - Institutional Practicum
PTEC 231 Institutional Practicum provides students with the opportunity to consolidate and apply the knowledge, skills and values attained from theory and lab courses. Students gain experience in all aspects of the pharmacy technician role in the institutional practice and are evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate professional competencies required for entry to practice.
Tuition & Fees
All amounts are estimates and are subject to change. Tuition amounts are based on a full-time course load. Please note that many programs have additional costs beyond those listed here. For more information, please visit Tuition & Fees.
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