Pharmacy Technology Program Description

The Pharmacy Technology curriculum is composed of classroom, laboratory and clinical components. Classroom instruction is coordinated with laboratory activities and clinical experiences and provides a broad knowledge of the following.

  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Pharmacology
  • Medication uses and indications
  • Medication therapies for prevention and treatment
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Drug mechanisms of action
  • Drug interactions and side-effects
  • Pharmaceutical calculations
  • Sterile intravenous admixture compounding
  • Non-sterile medication compounding
  • Medication dosage forms and administration
  • Clinical pharmacy services
  • Pharmacy law, regulations and standards
  • Professional ethics
  • Health care systems and pharmacy practice
  • Pharmacy law, regulations and standards
  • Professional ethics
  • Health care systems and pharmacy practice
  • Pharmacy organization and management
  • Prescription and medication order processing
  • Control substance procedures and management
  • Quality assurance and improvement
  • Health care team communications and collaboration
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Pharmacy purchasing and inventory management
  • Financial management and cost control
  • Leadership and personnel management
  • Pharmacy automation and robotics 

Through simulated pharmacy laboratory activities and clinical experiences, students develop and enhance skills, including the following:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Interpersonal
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Computer
  • Sterile product compounding
  • Non-sterile medication compounding
  • Mathematical
  • Collaborative
  • Technical

Pharmacy practice laboratory activities focus on prescription and medication order processing, preparation, packaging and labeling and the use of automated medication dispensing equipment in community pharmacies and in hospital pharmacies.

Community pharmacy laboratory activities involve non-sterile product compounding, packaging and labeling, and the medication products include syrups, lotions, gels, creams, ointments, pastes, suppositories, metered nasal sprays, lozenges, lollipops and capsules for humans and animals.

Sterile products laboratory activities cover the USP Chapter 797 guidelines and the compounding, packaging and labeling of sterile medication products, including IV admixtures, ophthalmics, total parenteral nutrition and chemotherapy.

Hospital pharmacy laboratory activities provide an in-depth study of hospital pharmacy practice and medication therapy management.

The purpose of clinical experience is to allow students to work in pharmacy settings under the supervision of licensed pharmacists and alongside certified pharmacy technicians. Clinical experience takes place in hospitals and medical centers, in community and outpatient pharmacies and in specialty pharmacies. Students also research and observe compounding, long-term care, home infusion, nuclear and central community pharmacies.

Pharmacy technicians are in high demand in the health care and pharmaceutical care industries. Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2020 due to increasing needs for pharmaceutical care services and products. With a larger and older population, advances in science and increases in medication availability and usage, the demand for pharmacy technicians in all practice settings will increase, and their roles will expand. As health care becomes more technically complex, the need for educated, skilled and competent support personnel will become more important.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job opportunities are expected to be good for both full-time and part-time employment, especially for those with formal training and certification. Federal and state laws and regulations and professional standards govern the use of technicians in pharmacies and the requirements for certification and training. More states and employers are requiring certification and training in an effort to decrease medication errors and improve the quality of services provided. Most hospitals and community pharmacies in the Wake Tech area require certification for employment.