Pharmacy Assistant Program Outline & Career Information
Students receive comprehensive training to assist Pharmacists with prescription requests, manage inventory, maintain patient data and profiles, and communicate effectively with patients, suppliers and health care personnel. Students will learn to exercise critical-thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and sound judgment.
Students are taught general concepts of pharmacology and the principles of drug action including pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicologic aspects and applications. Students also gain a working knowledge of the drugs used in the treatment of various diseases and disorders including drug classification, therapeutic effects, side/adverse effects, brand/generic names, dosage forms, routes of administration, commonly used dosage strengths and directions for use of these medications. Proper use of auxiliary labels is also covered.
- Theory Length – 32 weeks
- Internship Length – 8 weeks
- Total Length – 40 weeks
Introduction to Pharmacy Practice
This module introduces Students to the practice of Pharmacy within the Canadian Health Care System. Topics covered in this module will include health care and pharmacy team members and their roles, responsibilities and inter relationships; history of Pharmacy, professionalism, Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, Pharmacy professional associations and regulatory bodies, career opportunities and current trends.
Human Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology
This module will provide students with the basic knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of body systems and their associated disorders with emphasis on the anatomical areas most affected by drugs. Students will also be introduced to the study of normal body system structure and function, the recognition of various homeostatic imbalances, basic chemistry, common diseases and disorders, medical terminology and medical abbreviations.
Computer Applications / Keyboarding
This module will provide students with an overview of Microsoft Office and create skills that permit them to work with several MS modules as they relate specifically to project management. Students will develop skills in Microsoft Office, Excel, Power Point, MS Project and Outlook.
Interpersonal Skills / Communication
Teaches effective interpersonal communication skills for managing personal and work relationships, for gaining voluntary compliance and for managing conflicts within a multicultural society. This course also provides a solid review of English grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure and includes various exercises to improve written communication.
This module introduces students to the types of calculations used in pharmacy on a regular basis. Students will begin with a review of basic mathematical operations covering fractions, decimals, ratio, proportion and percentage then progress to performing the more complex calculations required for calculation of medicine dosages and solutions, prescription pricing and retail mathematics.
Pharmaceutical Law and Ethics
In this module students are introduced to a number of ethical issues including classic bioethics and contemporary healthcare ethics. Students will be challenged to reflect on their own values and beliefs and through discussion, to explore those held by others. Students will also be introduced to Federal and Provincial drug legislation as it relates to pharmacy practice including patient privacy requirements.
Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Fundamentals
In this modules students are introduced to the general concepts of pharmacology and the principles of drug action including pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicologic aspects and applications. Drug classifications as related to their action on the body and the therapeutic classifications as defined in the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary are studied, including the actions of each drug classification as well as some of the more common side effects, contraindications and drug interactions.
In this modules students develop skills in compounding a variety of non-sterile products including various mixtures, creams and ointments, solutions and suspensions. Students will become familiar with the types of equipment used in compounding products and how to properly use and care for it. Students will learn to calculate the appropriate amount of each ingredient, use the correct compounding techniques, apply corresponding quality assurance procedures and compound according to those laws, regulations and standards that govern the preparation of non-sterile products.
Sterile Products and Introduction to Institutional Practice
In this module students will focus on aseptic techniques and sterile product preparation as they apply to institutional care setting, including an introduction to the delivery of pharmacy services in a hospital setting. Topics covered will include microbiology and disease transmission, infection control and methods to prevent the spread of disease and provide personal protection, W.H.M.I.S and handling of bio-hazardous materials.
Introduction to Pharmacy Management Software
In this module Students will be introduced to pharmacy management software systems and the role of computers in pharmacy practice including the history of computers in pharmacy practice, current practice applications and future trends.
Retail Pharmacy Practice
In this module students will learn the skills necessary to practice effectively in a community pharmacy setting. Students will learn how to completely fill a prescription in a laboratory setting. Emphasis will be placed on correct dispensing techniques, including interpretation of the prescription, creating / updating patient profiles, calculations, measuring, labeling, packing and product presentation.
Employment and Career Management
Helps students prepare for employment, conduct a successful campaign to find employment, and be successful in their career as a Medical Office Assistant. Topics include preparation of a résumé, covering letter and thank-you letter to use in job search as well as the importance of lifelong learning.
Students are required to complete 200 hours of clinical work placement in a community pharmacy or similar organizational setting. Activities performed will vary depending on the Clinical Placement site, however, key responsibilities of each student will include being supervised by a Clinical Placement host at all times.