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The Pharmacy Technology program prepares the student to become a pharmacy technician. These allied health professionals are employed in a variety of pharmacy practice settings. Supervised by a registered pharmacist, they perform a variety of technical duties related to preparing and dispensing drugs in accordance with standard procedures and laws.
Pharmacy technicians are trained to interpret physicians' medication orders, fill orders to be checked by pharmacists, and deliver the orders. They prepare admixtures of intravenous solutions, replenish drugs, maintain patient profile records, prepare bulk formulations, assist with over-the-counter drugs and health aids, and perform clerical duties, including processing insurance forms required by third-party payers. Pharmacy technicians are vital assets to pharmacists because their training allows them to perform technical pharmaceutical procedures, thus enabling pharmacists to devote additional time to their professional tasks.
At Durham Technical Community College, the Pharmacy Technology student receives training in medication dispensing procedures. Additional study includes pharmacology, pharmaceutical math, microcomputers, and pathophysiology. The student practices procedural skills in a simulated pharmacy technology laboratory. Clinical practice takes place at Duke University Medical Center, Durham Regional Hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Rex Healthcare, Person Memorial Hospital, Lincoln Community Health Center, and selected retail pharmacies.
Many area hospitals are rapidly expanding their pharmacy services to meet the increasing need for higher quality patient care and to conform to governmental regulations. Such expansion has created a greater need for technical support personnel to carry out routine functions in dispensing drugs. Pharmacy Technology graduates are prepared to meet this need, and job opportunities for these graduates remain excellent. In addition to employment in hospitals, graduates may also be employed by nursing homes, retail drug stores, drug manufacturers, research laboratories, wholesale drug companies, and home health care agencies.
While a student may enroll in this diploma program any semester, the three-semester day sequence of courses shown in the plan of study is based on a full-time student enrolling in the summer semester.
The Pharmacy Technology program is accredited for pharmacy technician training by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.