Pharmacy Technician

Program Outline

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 10 or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goals and Outcomes

Program Goals: To prepare students to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) or NHA ExCPT exam, and gain entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in areas of science relevant to the pharmacy technician’s role, including anatomy/physiology and pharmacology.
  • Compare and contrast the roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in ensuring pharmacy department compliance with professional standards and relevant legal, regulatory, formulary, contractual, and safety requirements.
  • Describe the steps, skills, and knowledge needed to prepare medications requiring compounding of sterile products, chemotherapy/ hazardous products, and nonsterile products.
  • Explain patient- and medication-safety practices in all aspects of the pharmacy technician’s roles.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quality assurance practices for pharmaceuticals, durable and nondurable medical equipment, devices, and supplies.
  • Apply the steps in the medication order entry and fill process and interpret medication orders.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of accepted procedures in purchasing pharmaceuticals, devices, and supplies.
  • Describe the steps needed to initiate, verify, and assist in the adjudication of billing for pharmacy services and goods, and collecting payment for these services.
  • Describe the use of current technology in the healthcare environment to ensure the safety and accuracy of medication dispensing.
  • Explain the skills and strategies needed for professional and appropriate personal behavior and interpersonal communication.

Starting Your Program
Starting Your Program is designed to help you become a successful Penn Foster student, including covering how to use all available tools and resources.


  • Identify all unit components and materials in your program
  • Identify ways to use Penn Foster’s helpful services and academic resources
  • Identify Penn Foster’s academic and behavioral policies
  • Choose effective study and time management skills

Pharmacy Technician Orientation
In this course, students will be introduced to the practice of pharmacy, including the history of pharmacy, technician roles in various practice settings, and pharmacy ethics and professionalism. In addition, students will explore advancing and emerging opportunities for technicians now and in the future.


  • Examine the role and responsibilities of the pharmacy technician profession over time

Career Readiness
In this course, you'll learn the personal qualities that employers look for in their employees, such as integrity and dependability. You'll review the baseline responsibilities common to most jobs and the importance of employee handbooks in a successful work environment. Strategies required to be productive and adapt to change are also covered. You'll examine the interpersonal skills needed to ensure positive interactions with diverse populations through various channels of communication and gain strategies for overcoming communication barriers. An understanding of the importance of teamwork, different roles of team members, characteristics of leadership, and strategies for overcoming conflict employed by successful teams are critical elements of interpersonal interactions.

You'll gain an understanding of critical workplace skills. These include time management, prioritization, the decision-making process, the problem-solving process, and open-mindedness, as well as learning how to interact with customers in a professional manner.


  • Define the personal qualities of integrity, dependability, and professionalism that are essential to effective work environments
  • Explain the interpersonal skills, including respect, communication, and teamwork, that are needed to succeed in a work environment
  • Describe workplace skills, tools, and technology that are necessary for working in a professional environment

Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems, Part 1
This course will familiarize you with various body systems including structure, function, diseases, disorders, and treatments. You’ll also explore drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, drug classifications, and commonly used medications for various organ system disorders.


  • Summarize the basic principles of pharmacology
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases, and treatments of the cardiovascular and hematologic systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases, and treatments of the respiratory and endocrine systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, diseases and treatments of the gastrointestinal, urinary, and reproductive systems

Pharmacology, Drug Class, and Body Systems, Part 2
This course is a continuation of Pharmacology, Drug Class and Body Systems, Part 1. You’ll continue to study various body systems, drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, drug classifications, and commonly used medications for various organ system disorders. You’ll also study basic medication calculations, storage, how to assist patients with administration, and proper documentation.


  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the sensory and nervous systems
  • Identify the anatomy, physiology, and diseases and treatments of the immune system
  • Explain how the Six Rights of Drug Administration dictate proper drug administration and storage

Pharmacy Practice Law and Regulations
In this course, you’ll learn how law affects healthcare practitioners, the origin of laws that affects medical professionals, and how to mitigate risk regarding malpractice, crimes, and torts. You’ll also learn about the legal basis for the confidentiality of healthcare information, and the laws regulating healthcare information collected and maintained by government agencies.


  • Interpret civil and criminal laws related to pharmacy practice
  • Assess ethical issues healthcare professionals face today
  • Apply confidentiality laws and regulations

Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians
This course introduces the pharmacy technician student to basic math, algebra, and pharmaceutical calculations used in pharmacy practice.


  • Categorize basic math skills needed for pharmacy technician practice
  • Perform calculations related to prescription orders
  • Perform special medical and business math calculations used in the pharmacy

Digital Textbook:Math Calculations for Pharmacy Technicians, Elsevier

Pharmacy Sterile and Nonsterile Compounding
This course introduces students to sterile and non-sterile compounding. A strong emphasis is placed on proper aseptic technique and compliance with USP 797 and 800. Compounding practices and equipment are also discussed.


  • Define sterile compounding, requirements and processes for IV medications, and the pharmacy technician’s role
  • Explain best practices for sterile compounding following USP guidelines
  • Explain best practices for compounding, including hazardous drugs following USP guidelines, quality management, and safety

Digital Textbooks:

  • Mosby's Sterile Processing for Pharmacy Technicians, Elsevier
  • Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Management and Operations
This course introduces the pharmacy technician student to pharmacy operations. Students will discuss the differences between pharmacy settings, examine the business applications of pharmacy, and review drug information resources, including how and when to use them. Students will also study how to handle medication safely, and the steps involved in error prevention.


  • Examine drug information references and their proper use
  • Differentiate the responsibilities of pharmacy technicians in various pharmacy settings
  • Describe the importance of reporting medication errors and the preventive measures taken to reduce them

Digital Textbook:Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement
In this course, you’ll explore the pharmacy reimbursement process. You’ll study third party healthcare plans, reimbursement systems, and claims processing to see how medical services are billed in healthcare institutions. You’ll also study various health insurance programs, how they’re funded, and which types of patients they cover.


  • Explain reimbursement methodologies related to pharmacy practice settings
  • Explain the elements of pharmacy billing and proper inventory management

Digital Textbook:Mosby's Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practice, Elsevier

Pharmacy Management Software
This course is designed to facilitate your mastery of computer and practical skills needed to perform various pharmacy technician-related responsibilities in community pharmacy practices. The course entails a series of lab activities that walk you through entering and filling prescription orders.


  • Use database software and pharmacy materials for simulated prescription processing
  • Model community pharmacy tasks and database processing for medical equipment, basic compounding, and IV orders

Pharmacy Technician Certification Review
This course is designed to strengthen your working knowledge of the concepts essential for pharmacy technician practice and serves as a review to prepare you to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.


  • Demonstrate preparedness for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam

Digital Textbook:Mosby's Review for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, Elsevier


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

You must have a High School Diploma or GED to enroll in this program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

State boards of pharmacy may impose a variety of different requirements for pharmacy technician training. You should contact the state board to obtain the requirements applicable to pharmacy technicians in your state.

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