Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

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

Start Date:
2 Years
Full-time (In-class)
+Locations & Availability
September 2018 Ivany Campus • Dartmouth • Seats available New applications may be waitlisted until {0} 20{1}.

Program Overview

Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe, competent, ethical care within the Pharmacy Technician scope of practice. 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 and accountable for ensuring accuracy in product preparation and release. Some of the tasks performed by Pharmacy Technicians include: checking prescriptions for technical accuracy, taking verbal orders from prescribers and teaching clients how to use devices such as inhalers and blood glucose monitors.

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

i Student Highlights are comments provided by students about their experiences. Students also share information that they think will help future students learn more about the program. Highlights reflect individual experiences (which can vary by student).

Student Highlights

  1. 1
    Favourite"Compounding Lab always seemed so serious, but it was one of the best courses, and the messiest too!"
  2. 2
    Highlight"Being able to learn the skills I need in a hands-on approach in labs designed to look like actual pharmacy dispensaries."
  3. 3
    Why Take It"The world of pharmacy is fun and exciting and the instructors here at NSCC are absolutely amazing."

Admission Requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including:
    • Grade 12 Academic English, Chemistry and Biology
    • A minimum mark of 75% in Grade 12 Academic Mathematics.
  • Documented immunity (PDF 261KB), by a healthcare provider, to Hepatitis B is required to begin this program. Engaging early in the immunization process is recommended.
  • Language Proficiency Requirement – As part of Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) accreditation you must meet the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) language proficiency requirements for pharmacy technicians and is limited to candidates who provide documentation of one of the following as evidence of language proficiency:
    • Language proficiency test results that meet the NARPRA Language Proficiency Requirements for Licensure as a Pharmacy Technician in Canada; or
    • 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.
  • 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 or finding may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health & Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of first aid/CPR. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health & 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.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is a first step towards becoming a Registered Pharmacy Technician in Nova Scotia. 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 (2014-2019). 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. Teamwork is emphasized, along with good customer service. Strong interpersonal skills are essential and consistently promoted and assessed.
  • Benefit from our expert faculty, who bring years of experience to the classroom and have strong connections to the health care community. Both faculty members 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. The lab also provides students with access to up-to-date pharmacy computer systems and equipment.
  • NSCC grads have excellent reputations in the industry.
  • 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.
  • Gain practical experience during community and hospital pharmacy practicums.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Employment Opportunities

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.
  • Work Placements – you participate in work placements in public and/or private settings within the province. Students are not guaranteed placements of their choice and may be required to complete a placement in communities throughout the province. Some evening and/or weekend shifts may be required.
    • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • Important Abilities & Skills – Pharmacy technicians are required to stand for extended periods of time, lift inventory of approximately 20-30 lbs and work evenings and weekends.

Courses May Include

Course descriptions
Code Course
ANAP 1033   Anatomy and Physiology for Pharmacy Technicians
COMM 1227   Communications I
COMM 1228   Communications II
PHRD 1000   Pharmacy Fundamentals
PHRD 1002   Community Pharmacy Theory
PHRD 1003   Compounding Lab
PHRD 1004   Pharmaceutical Calculations I
PHRD 1007   Orientation to Pharmacy Practice
PHRD 1010   Pharmacology I
PHRD 1012   Community Pharmacy Lab I
PHRD 1017   Over-the-Counter Therapeutics
PHRD 1022   Computer Applications-Kroll
PHRD 1044   Pharmaceutical Calculations II
PHRD 1050   Community Practicum I
PHRD 2000   Communication and Intra/Inter-professional Practice
PHRD 2010   Pharmacology II
PHRD 2011   Aseptic Techniques
PHRD 2012   Community Pharmacy Lab II
PHRD 2020   Hospital Pharmacy Theory and Lab
PHRD 2025   Practicum Preparation
PHRD 2027   Home Health Care
PHRD 2030   Health Promotion and Research
PHRD 2035   Professional Practice
PHRD 2040   Long Term Care Theory and Lab
PHRD 2050   Community Practicum II
PHRD 3050   Hospital Practicum
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act

Additional Graduation Requirements

Immunization form Completion
Portfolio Development
Standard First Aid, CPR Level C

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3
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