Retail Pharmacy Assistant Program Curriculum
The Retail Pharmacy Assistant program was developed by professionals to make sure you learn practical skills for a real-world career. Our focus is to prepare you to graduate ready to get a great job in a growing field.
Lesson Group 1: Orientation: Ashworth College Career ProgramLearning at Ashworth
The goals and values of Ashworth College; time management; creating a realistic weekly and monthly study schedule; the nature and purpose of assessments; how to study effectively to prepare for and take an online examination; developing the skill sets necessary for success in the twenty-first century.
Introduction to the basic operations of allied health careers and the legal and ethical issues you may encounter while working in the many different venues available for these fields.
Lesson Group 2: Introduction to PharmacyHistory of Pharmacy
The origins of pharmacy and the development of the pharmacy profession up to the twentieth century; the evolution of both the pharmacist and the pharmacy technician; the history of legislation that affects the practice of pharmacy; roles and duties of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
The benefits of familiarization with medical terminology; common medical terms and symbols used in pharmaceutical documentation and prescription orders.
The evolution of pharmaceutical practice into a professional career; major professional pharmaceutical societies; the need for pharmacy regulation and standard practice; regulation of controlled substances.
Lesson Group 3: Drug Classification and Pharmaceutical CalculationsTrade Names and Generic Names
The difference between trade and generic names of prescription drugs; process for creation of drug names; FDA evaluation of trade names; top 200 generic and trade names.
Oral/enteral administration, including pills, tablets, capsules, softgels, and liquids; inhalational administration, including aerosols; parenteral administration, including subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous routes; syringes and needles; large- and small-volume parenteral solutions; topical administration, including patches, creams, foams, gels, lotions, and ointments; and administration by insertion, including suppositories.
World Health Organization (WHO) and chemical name drug classifications; United States Adopted Name (USAN) Council stems for generic terms.
Roman numerals; Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales and conversions; household measures; the metric system; household and metric conversions.
Numbers as both symbols and measurements; explanations of and worked examples for ratios and proportions; relationship among and conversions for decimals, fractions, and percents.
Lesson Group 4: PharmacologyAntibiotics, Antifungals, and Antivirals
Examples of antibiotics, antifungals, and antiviral drugs encountered in the pharmacy, their mechanisms of action, and their respective names, classes, and categories.
A description of drugs that affect the central nervous system, including general and local anesthetics, opiates, antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, hypnotics, and antiepileptics.
A description of the drugs that affect the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, including corticosteroids, beta-agonists, cholinergic antagonists, methylxanthines, leukotriene modifiers, antacids, H2 antagonists, and proton-pump inhibitors.
A description of the drugs that affect the renal, urinary, and cardiovascular systems, including antibiotics, alpha-blockers, antispasmodics, diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, antiarrhythmic drugs, and lipid-lowering drugs.
A description of the nature, uses, and side effects of medicinal drugs in the classes of muscle relaxants, nonnarcotic analgesics, hormones, and topicals.
Chemotherapeutic and biologic drugs as well as substances such as vitamins, herbs, and antidotes.
Lesson Group 5: Community and Hospital Pharmacy PracticeCommunity Pharmacy Operations
Retail versus institutional pharmacy operations; pharmacy as both a business and a profession; typical business day operations.
Reviewing prescriptions for completeness; processing new prescriptions and refills; pharmacist reviews; maintaining electronic records of patient medications.
Prescription insurance plans; receiving insurance information; processing third-party insurance claims; resolving unpaid drug claims.
The importance of inventory control for pharmaceutical businesses; purchasing and short lists; receiving incoming merchandise; returning expired or overstocked merchandise.
Common hospital pharmacy settings; types of patients; role of the pharmacist and pharmacy technician; equipment, technology, and best practices in the hospital pharmacy setting.
Protecting patients and healthcare providers from infectious diseases; techniques used to prepare sterile intravenous products.
Privacy versus security; protected health information in the pharmacy setting; the HIPAA Privacy Rule; OSHA standards; universal precautions; CDC hygiene guidelines; using personal protective equipment; certification preparation; career options; writing resumes and cover letters; preparing for interviews.
Students learn the fundamentals of pharmaceutical dispensing, including dosage forms, routes of administration, measurements and calculations, infection control, medication safety, prescription reading, and pharmacology. Program graduates can apply their skills toward improved career opportunities and professional advancement. A student of the Retail Pharmacy Assistant program must attain the age of 18 years and have a High School diploma or its equivalent prior to enrollment.
The Retail Pharmacy Assistant training and education program at PCDI has an ASHP/ACPE candidate status. Candidate status is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.
After completing the Retail Pharmacy Assistant program, students will be able to:
- Outline the typical responsibilities of a pharmacy assistant and describe the personal and professional ethics required for success in this profession.
- Describe the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacy assistant and the pharmacist, explain the differences between these two roles, and outline the regulations imposed on both by state and federal law.
- Explain how to follow all standard techniques and procedures related to pharmacy operations, including aseptic operations, medication transcriptions, metric/apothecary conversions, drug dispensation, recordkeeping, and patient profiling.
- List and explain all major classifications of drugs and understand their indications, therapeutic effects, side effects, dosing recommendations, routes of administration, and mechanisms of action.
The Retail Pharmacy Assistant program will teach you to assist the pharmacist in a busy pharmacy. Call 1-800-535-1613 or enroll online today.