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Pharmacy Technician

Certificate
Pharmacy Technician

Program Overview

Note: The program is in the process of gaining approval to extend the program to two years, starting with the September 2017 intake. However, if approved, the application process will not change. It is expected that a decision regarding the increased length will be reached by April 30, 2017. Check back for updates at that time.

Demand for pharmacy technicians is growing. You’ll be part of a pharmacy team, filling prescriptions, assisting patients, maintaining records and more. Your focus will be the accurate delivery of medications to your patient. It’s a career that demands careful attention to detail, a high degree of integrity and lifelong learning. There’s zero-tolerance for math errors, so you’ll need to be good at basic math. You‘ll also need to be comfortable following strict procedures and a good communicator who’s comfortable talking with patients and other health professionals.

You’ll find a lot of career doors open to you. Most Saskatchewan Polytechnic grads work in hospitals, but there are also jobs in community pharmacies, drug manufacturing facilities and other businesses involved in medication distribution and support.

Pharmacy Technician is an intensive one-year certificate program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatoon campus . The program focuses on building your knowledge and skills in:

  • dispensing
  • hospital and community pharmacy practice
  • pharmaceutical calculations
  • pharmacy law
  • pharmaceutical products
  • sterile product preparation

You’ll spend the mornings in class and the afternoons in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s well-equipped labs. Experienced instructors provide group and individual instruction, giving you hands-on training and real-world skills.

Work Experience

Two month-long work experiences, one in a hospital and one in a community pharmacy, give you a chance to build your practical skills. It’s also an opportunity to experience, first-hand, the professional expectations placed on pharmacy technicians.

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of licensed pharmacists in rural and urban areas, in hospital and community settings. Look for job openings in regional health authorities, hospital pharmacies, community pharmacies and businesses involved in medication distribution or support.

Community pharmacies include pharmacies in grocery stores, department stores and brand name chains. You can also explore job opportunities in veterinary hospitals, home health care, pharmaceutical sales and distribution, quality assurance and companies that administer health plans.

Note

International applicants are not currently considered for admission to this program.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
Pharmacy AssistantOther Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services (3414)$29,200 - $56,200
Pharmacy TechnicianOther Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services (3414)$29,200 - $56,200

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

 

Sue Mack-Klinger, BSP, BSc
Pharmacy Technician Program Head / Instructor
306-659-4091
Sue.Mack-Klinger@saskpolytech.ca

Corri Lewis, BSP
Pharmacy Technician Program Instructor
306-659-4132
Corri.Lewis@saskpolytech.ca


Length: 40 weeks

Locations

  • Saskatoon

Admissions

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with a minimum of 70% in each of the following subjects: Foundations of Math 30 or Workplace and Apprenticeship Math 30 or Pre-Calculus 30*, Biology 30 and Chemistry 30
  • Minimum overall average of 65%
  • Effective for 2017/2018: Minimum keyboarding speed of 35 words per minute with 95% accuracy in a 5-minute test period. (Testing is available through Saskatchewan Polytechnic Testing Services).
  • Evidence of English language proficiency will be based on criteria determined by the National Association for Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (NAPRA) language proficiency requirements for licensure as a pharmacy technician in Canada.
    • Effective for 2017/2018: Evidence of English language proficiency will be based on submission of one of the following for evidence:
      • Language proficiency test results determined by the National Association for Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (NAPRA) language proficiency requirements for licensure as a pharmacy technician in Canada
      • Graduation from a high school in Canada or a Collège d-enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec with four consecutive, first language English or French** courses/credits
      • An undergraduate degree from a university in Canada, where instruction is in English or French**

*Previous Saskatchewan mathematics requirement also accepted: Minimum of 70% in Math A30

**The Pharmacy Technician program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic conducts classroom, lab and clinical/practicum lectures and experiences in English only

Note

  • Accepted applicants will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check including a Vulnerable Sector Search prior to entering the practicum component of the program. At the discretion of the practicum agency, you may be declined access to a clinical or work placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check. The cost of the Criminal Record Check is your responsibility.
  • It is strongly recommended that you obtain Standard First Aid and CPR Heartsaver "A" AED or equivalent as health care practitioners.

 

 

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 90 Arithmetic
  • 70 Elementary Algebra
  • 85 Reading
  • 85 Sentence
  • 4 WritePlacer

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

$6,900

Courses

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Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COMM 291
Interpersonal Communications
2
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You will develop employability skills through the study of interpersonal communications theory and applications in the workplace. Learning outcomes include the importance of self-awareness and self-esteem, perception problems, verbal and nonverbal messages, listening skills, creating positive communication climates and resolving interpersonal conflict.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Equivalent Course(s): BCOM 103, COMM 112, COMM 135, COMM 155, COMM 160, COMM 381, HUMR 182, HUMR 186, JOBS 190, NEPS 114, NURS 114, NURS 163
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning, Televised/SCN, Work Based Delivery
MTER 180
Medical Terminology
1
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You will learn to use the prefixes, suffixes and combining forms from which medical terms are derived. You will also learn to use medical abbreviations.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 10.0
Equivalent Course(s): MED 161
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory, Online, Print Distance Group, Print Distance Individual, Prior Learning
PHAR 182
Pharmacy Practice
3
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You will become familiar with the role of the pharmacy, pharmacist and pharmacy technician in the health care delivery system. You will learn about laws, ethics and responsibilities which govern pharmacy practice. You will learn about the resources employed in pharmacy practice. You will learn how drug nomenclature, classification and pharmacology are used to ensure appropriate delivery of drug product to the patient.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 183
Dispensing 1
4
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You will be introduced to prescription dispensing. You will receive, process, and prepare prescriptions in a manner that ensures patient safety through accuracy and quality of the product. You will perform calculations, pricing and record keeping functions used in community pharmacies. You will apply laboratory and classroom learning from other courses to manage common aspects of dispensing. You will participate in an intraprofessional activity with pharmacy students at the University of Saskatchewan.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 182(concurrent), PHAR 184(concurrent), PHAR 185(concurrent), PHAR 186(concurrent), PHAR 187(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lab/Practical
PHAR 184
Pharmacy Laws and Agreements
3
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You will be introduced to how pharmacy technicians act within established legislation, guidelines, policies and procedures to support safe and effective patient care in the sale and distribution of drugs. You will manage the financial elements associated with the processing of prescriptions. You will study the applicable federal and provincial legislation, policies, bylaws and standards. You will examine third-party plan coverage and payment requirements for prescription and non-prescription products (including formularies, benefit lists, interchangeable products, co-payment and deductible limits, prescription quantity limits and billing/adjudication issues). You will learn how to identify prescriptions with unusual distribution patterns and the procedure to deal with them.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 185
Pharmaceutical Calculations
3
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You will perform accurate calculations essential to safe pharmaceutical practice. You will master accurate computation in dispensing, pricing, systems of measure, compounding mixtures, dilutions, and preparing parenteral products as they apply in pharmacy.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 186
Pharmaceutical Products 1
3
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You will be introduced to pharmacology, the study of medications. Your studies will focus on major classes of prescription medications used in the field of pharmacy (anti-infective, nervous system, respiratory and gastrointestinal). You will become familiar with their classifications, generic names and use. You will study pertinent anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and terminology required to practice as a pharmacy technician. You will recognize the trade names and corresponding generic names of 200 of the most prescribed medications in these classes.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): MTER 180(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 187
Pharmacy Computer Skills
3
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You will use community pharmacy specific software to perform dispensary functions and understand the role of the computer in pharmacy practice. You will use software to document and manage the data required in pharmacy dispensing. You will generate reports to retrieve information required in pharmacy practice.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 182(concurrent), PHAR 184(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab

Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COM 104
Teamwork and Collaboration
2
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You will develop collaborative and teamwork skills and apply them to pharmacy technician practice, including effective research skills, professional documentation and a collaborative approach to decision-making in a health team.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 188
Non-prescription and Minor Ailment Products
3
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You will study non-prescription products available in Canada. You will recognize the names, classifications, and uses of commonly used non-prescription drugs. You will explain the scope of practice for pharmacy technicians in using information regarding non-prescription products. You will review the conditions and medications for minor ailment prescribing by pharmacists in Saskatchewan.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): MTER 180, PHAR 182
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 189
Dispensing 2
4
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You will build on the skills and knowledge you developed in Dispensing 1 (PHAR 183). You will learn how to use the computer for filling advanced prescriptions, including compound prescriptions. You will be introduced to the principles of compounding and will prepare a variety of pharmaceuticals. You will be introduced to routine pharmacy technician tasks in the dispensary and participate in an interprofessional activity.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 183, PHAR 185
Potential Learning Method(s): Lab/Practical
PHAR 190
Hospital Pharmacy
3
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You will explore the practice of pharmacy as it specifically applies to the institutional setting. You will develop an awareness of the guidelines under which hospital pharmacies operate. You will use hospital pharmacy software. You will be introduced to good manufacturing practices (GMP) employed in pharmacy practice.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 185
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
PHAR 191
Aseptic Techniques
4
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You will learn how aseptic technique in product preparation is a critical component of safe pharmaceutical care. You will learn the principles involved in preparing pharmaceuticals and antineoplastics under aseptic conditions. You will receive group and individualized instruction in the preparation of sterile products under aseptic conditions. You will practice special techniques involved in preparing antineoplastic drugs.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 65.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 185, PHAR 189(concurrent), PHAR 190(concurrent), SFTY 179(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Lab
PHAR 192
Community Pharmacy
2
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You will develop the skills needed to become an effective and knowledgeable member of the pharmaceutical team in retail pharmacy. You will learn the basics of merchandising and operating community retail pharmacies. You will learn how pharmacy location, pharmacy layout, merchandising, purchasing, inventory management, pricing, and advertising/promotion contribute to pharmacy operations. You will perform calculations for retail pricing and basic accounting.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
PHAR 193
Pharmaceutical Products 2
3
Show course details
Your studies will focus on major classes of prescription medications used in the field of pharmacy (endocrine, cardiovascular, skeletal-muscular, integumentary, genitourinary, eye and ear). You will become familiar with their classifications, generic names and use. You will study pertinent anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and terminology required to practice as a pharmacy technician. You will recognize the brand and corresponding generic names of 200 of the most prescribed medications in these classes.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PHAR 186
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
SEM 181
Professional Trends and Issues Seminar
1
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You will be introduced to the role of professional associations and service providers. You will hear guest speakers from professional associations, employing agencies, service providers and current practitioners who will discuss their roles and the impact they have on pharmacy technicians and pharmacy practice.
Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 15.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory
SFTY 179
Workplace Legislation & Safety
2
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You will be introduced to workplace and safety legislation that affects the pharmacy technician. The course content includes an introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), hand hygiene, needle safety, OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) requirements and labour standards. You will study the importance of quality assurance in the workplace to ensure safe outcomes for your patients. Upon completion of this course you will receive WHMIS certification.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 25.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Lecture/Theory

Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
PRAC 484
Community Practicum
9
Show course details
You will practice as a pharmacy technician student under the guidance of a preceptor in a community pharmacy. You will apply your knowledge of community pharmacy dispensing to actual practice. You will practice with the computer software systems and resources found in the community pharmacy to deliver professional pharmacy service. You will perform dispensary and front store functions required for pharmacy service. You will maintain patient confidentiality. Placements will be in locations across the province.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 140.0
Prerequisites(s): COMM 291, COM 104, PHAR 184, PHAR 187, PHAR 188, PHAR 189, PHAR 190, PHAR 191, PHAR 192, PHAR 193, SEM 181, SFTY 179
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum
PRAC 485
Hospital Practicum
9
Show course details
You will practice in a hospital pharmacy under the supervision of preceptor(s). You will prepare, manufacture and repackage medications. You will demonstrate aseptic technique to prepare sterile drug products. You will perform drug distribution and inventory functions required of a hospital setting. You will maintain patient confidentiality and demonstrate professional behaviour. Placements will be in locations across the province.
Credit Units: 9
Course Hours: 140.0
Prerequisites(s): COMM 291, COM 104, PHAR 184, PHAR 187, PHAR 188, PHAR 189, PHAR 190, PHAR 191, PHAR 192, PHAR 193, SEM 181, SFTY 179
Potential Learning Method(s): Clinical/Practicum

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

Accreditation

Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), valid for 5 years until June 30, 2017.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Pharmacy Technician program is fully accredited by the Canadian Council of Accreditation of Pharmacy program. This qualifies you to write the national Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) qualifying exam.  With a PEBC Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Qualification, you can seek licensure in provinces that regulate pharmacy technicians. You’ll earn a higher wage and be able to apply for more jobs as a licensed pharmacy technician.

Our Vision

Be the leading educator of pharmacy technicians in Saskatchewan and integral in achieving optimal drug therapy outcomes for all.

Our Mission

Prepare our students to competently practise pharmacy and meet the needs of our stakeholders (patients and their families, regulatory authorities, industry and government).

Additional Information

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