Pharmacy assistants play an integral role on the pharmacy healthcare team in both clinical and retail settings. They may serve as liaisons between licensed pharmacists and patients/consumers. Pharmacy assistants support pharmacists in providing effective, appropriate, and safe pharmacy services.
Pharmacy Assisting Program of Study
Pharmacy assisting programs of study prepare individuals to assist with dispensation of medications and related support to patients/consumers under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Additionally, they may help to manage pharmacy clinical and business operations.
Program components may include administrative responsibilities and pharmacy business operations, principles of pharmacology and pharmaceuticals, standards and regulations, prescription interpretation and preparation, infection control, medical terminology, patient communication, and CPR. The didactic learning combined with supervised clinical experience (see below) comprises a program of study.
Programs should consider technical assessment and certification opportunities available through National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technician (ExCPT) and/or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Health sciences education prepares secondary and adult students for employment in the health care industry and for postsecondary education. The three integral components of all health sciences programs of study are a health science education core curriculum, content specific curriculum, and supervised clinical experience.
Health Sciences Core Curriculum
A health sciences education core curriculum serves as the foundation to prepare students for individual health sciences careers and must include Health Science Learning Standards.
The National Consortium for Health Science Education (NCHSE) Health Science Standards are acceptable learning standards on which to develop the Health Sciences Core as part of a Health Sciences program of study.
Supervised Clinical Experience
- Affiliation agreement(s) must be established (a written contract with partnering healthcare facilities).
- Students may enter a clinical setting only after receiving prior program instruction, demonstrating related skill and knowledge, all under supervision by the school’s program instructor.
- 108 hours (1 unit) of clinical experience must be conducted in a work setting as defined by the program of study.
- Scopes of practice under various state licensures must be considered when developing hands on activities in implementation of health sciences programs.