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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Pharmacy Technician

Work as part of a health care team to ensure consumers receive the best possible pharmaceutical care.

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe, competent, ethical care as a Pharmacy Technician.

Pharmacy Technicians work collaboratively with Pharmacists and other health care professionals, in both hospital and community pharmacy practice, to improve the health and quality of life for Nova Scotians.

Pharmacy Technicians are responsible for ensuring accuracy in product preparation and release. They also teach people how to use devices such as inhalers and blood glucose monitors.

This program focuses on community, hospital and long-term care pharmacy practice. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and entry-level practice competencies defined by National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA).

Clinical placement

  • You participate in clinical placements in public and/or private settings within the province.
  • You're not guaranteed placements of your choice.
  • Some evening, weekend and holiday shifts may be required.
  • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses offered throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • This program has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for a five-year term (2019-2024). CCAPP accreditation means that graduates of this program are eligible for direct admission into the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination, which is a requirement to becoming a Registered Pharmacy Technician through the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists.
  • You experience a variety of teaching methods, such as discussion groups, role-playing, videos and demonstrations.
  • You benefit from our expert faculty who bring years of experience to the classroom and have strong connections to the health care community. Both instructors are licensed pharmacists in Nova Scotia (Ginny Crawley, PhC, BscPharm and Bev Stotz, PhC, MAdEd, BscPharm).
  • You learn in a contemporary lab space, which reflects real-world lab environments available in community, hospital and long-term care practice. The lab features a separate aseptic room with laminar flow hoods for the preparation of sterile products and offers students access to up-to-date equipment.
  • You have access to the same computer programs used in pharmacies throughout the province, allowing you to become proficient in the technical and practical skills they need in the workplace.
  • You gain practical experience during community and hospital pharmacy practicums.
  • NSCC grads have excellent reputations in the industry.
  • Continue your studies at university. – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Other info

  • Many employers in this sector require one – or all – of the following as part of the hiring process: current official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and/or Child Abuse Register search. A conviction or finding may impact your ability to secure employment.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including:
    • Grade 12 Academic Biology, Chemistry and English
    • A minimum mark of 75% in Grade 12 Academic Math
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • As part of Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) accreditation standards, you must meet the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) language proficiency requirements for pharmacy technicians. As evidence of language proficiency, candidates must provide:
    • Graduation from a high school in Canada with three consecutive, first language English courses/credits; or
    • An undergraduate degree from a university in Canada, whose instruction was provided in English; or
    • Language proficiency test results that meet the NARPRA Language Proficiency Requirements for Licensure as a Pharmacy Technician in Canada
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to obtain a work placement. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Health and Human Services programs have additional requirements, including immunizations and completion of Standard First Aid, CPR Level C. You must submit proof that you've completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health and Human Services program requirements
  • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.
  • In accordance with CCAPP accreditation standards, graduates must complete the Pharmacy Technician program within 4 years.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ANAP 1033 - Anatomy and Physiology for Pharmacy Technicians
This course covers basic anatomy and physiology of the body. For each body system, the normal structure and function of the body will be identified. The pathophysiology of the various body systems will be covered.

PHRD 1000 - Pharmacy Fundamentals
This course covers basic pharmacy information including dosage form, routes of administration, medical terminology, prescription abbreviations, drug development and good manufacturing practices.

PHRD 1002 - Community Pharmacy Theory
This course provides the learner with an understanding of the interlocking roles, duties and responsibilities of the pharmacy staff in a community pharmacy. The learner will become familiar with all aspects of the community pharmacy.

PHRD 1003 - Compounding Lab
This course provides the learner with knowledge and skills needed to compound non-sterile products. Emphasis is placed on accuracy and the preparation of a pharmaceutically elegant product.

PHRD 1004 - Pharmaceutical Calculations I
This course covers the mathematical skills necessary in the practice of pharmacy with emphasis on accuracy. The learner is taught the mathematical knowledge and skills required to prepare a prescription for both hospital and community pharmacy practice. Careful attention is placed on accuracy that is essential when measuring, weighing, and calculating quantities of ingredients required for compounding both sterile and non-sterile products and dispensing pharmaceuticals. In addition, a review of the pharmaceutical short forms and symbols, metric and imperial measures and their conversion is provided.

PHRD 1005 - Communication for Pharmacy Technicians
This course provides students with an opportunity to evaluate and refine language and communication skills necessary for working as a pharmacy technician. Students will be introduced to a variety of interpersonal and oral presentation skills as well as specific, program-related writing assignments.

PHRD 1007 - Orientation to Pharmacy Practice
This course covers provincial and federal laws, regulations and standards of practice that govern the practice of pharmacy in Nova Scotia. Emphasis is placed on the interlocking roles of the regulated pharmacy technician and pharmacist.

PHRD 1010 - Pharmacology I
This course covers medications that are used to treat, prevent or modify diseases and conditions. Focus is on the mechanism of actions, effects, side effects and contraindications. Brand and generic names of medications are emphasized as the profession requires pharmacy technicians to identify interchangeable products.

PHRD 1012 - Community Pharmacy Lab I
This course provides the learner with basic concepts involved in prescription processing in a community pharmacy. Learners will be provided with an opportunity to participate in simulated customer communication encountered in the workplace.

PHRD 1017 - Over-the-Counter Therapeutics
This course introduces medications and treatments that are available in a community pharmacy for patient self-selection. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, natural health products and other complementary treatments are covered.

PHRD 1022 - Computer Applications-Kroll
This course introduces the learner to basic prescription processing using Kroll.

PHRD 1044 - Pharmaceutical Calculations II
This course is a continuation of Pharmaceutical Calculations I. It covers the mathematical skills necessary in the practice of pharmacy with emphasis on accuracy. The learner is taught the mathematical knowledge and skills required to prepare a prescription for both hospital and community pharmacy practice. Careful attention is placed on accuracy that is essential when measuring, weighing, and calculating quantities of ingredients required for compounding both sterile and non-sterile products and dispensing pharmaceuticals. In addition, a review of the pharmaceutical short forms and symbols, metric and imperial measures and their conversion is provided.

PHRD 1050 - Community Practicum I
This four week practical experience in a community pharmacy setting provides the opportunity for the learner to apply knowledge and skills at a first year pharmacy technician student level.

PHRD 2000 - Communication and Intra/Inter-professional Practice
This course covers effective communication skills to ensure regulated pharmacy technicians are able to determine the needs of clients when providing information on medical devices. Learners will also participate in various inter-professional and intra-professional activities.

PHRD 2005 - Communications II for Pharmacy Technicians
This course further develops essential communication skills required in the Pharmacy industry. Learners will focus on applying effective interpersonal communication skills to a variety of situations that they may encounter in the workforce. Learners will also prepare workplace documentation required for employment in the pharmacy industry.

PHRD 2010 - Pharmacology II
This course covers medications that are used to treat, prevent or modify diseases and conditions. Focus is on the mechanism of actions, effects, side effects and contraindications. Brand and generic names of medications are emphasized as the profession requires pharmacy technicians to identify interchangeable products.

PHRD 2011 - Aseptic Techniques
This course provides the learner with theory and practical lab application in aseptic preparation of parenteral products. Calculations required in the preparation of sterile products are covered. Emphasis is placed on accuracy of dose measurement, calculations and sterile procedure.

PHRD 2012 - Community Pharmacy Lab II
This course is a continuation of Community Pharmacy Lab I and provides the learner with advanced concepts involved in prescription processing in a community pharmacy. Emphasis is placed on the scope of practice of a regulated pharmacy technician in Nova Scotia. Learners will be provided with an opportunity to participate in simulated customer communication encountered in the workplace.

PHRD 2020 - Hospital Pharmacy Theory and Lab
This course introduces hospital pharmacy practices with topics such as responsibilities of the pharmacy technician, inventory control, drug distribution and record keeping. The learner receives practical experience in preparation, measuring, labelling and packaging of hospital prescriptions.

PHRD 2025 - Practicum Preparation
This course provides the learner with an opportunity to consolidate their learning in a condensed practical setting. The learner will have the opportunity to provide patient education on devices and history taking. In addition, learners will prepare pharmaceutical products for both community and hospital settings. The course will run over a one week time frame prior to Community Practicum II and Hospital Practicum.

PHRD 2027 - Home Health Care
This course provides an introduction to home health care products and services available in a community pharmacy setting.

PHRD 2030 - Health Promotion and Research
This course provides the learner with the necessary skills to access, retrieve and apply relevant pharmacy information. The learner will be provided with an intra-professional opportunity to mentor a first year pharmacy technician student. In addition, the learner will collaborate with a community pharmacist to provide an educational health promotion activity.

PHRD 2035 - Professional Practice
The course will provide the learner with the ethical principles required for decision making in alignment with the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Code of Ethic and federal/provincial legislation.

PHRD 2040 - Long Term Care Theory and Lab
This course introduces pharmacy practice in a long term environment with topics such as responsibilities of the pharmacy technician, inventory control, drug distribution record keeping, and computer processing. The learner receives practical experience in preparation, measuring, labelling and packaging of long term care prescriptions.

PHRD 2050 - Community Practicum II
This four week practical experience in a community pharmacy setting provides the opportunity for the learner to apply knowledge and skills at a pharmacy technician level.

PHRD 3050 - Hospital Practicum
This four week practical experience in a hospital pharmacy setting provides the opportunity for the learner to apply knowledge and skills at a pharmacy technician level.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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