Location
Start Dates

  • August 30 2018
Duration

4Terms

Course Delivery

  • In Class
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $9,107
International: CAD $26,663

Program Description

Prescription for Success. At Bow Valley College’s downtown Calgary campus, students study full-time and complete two months of practicum in hospital and community pharmacies to obtain a Pharmacy Technician Diploma. 

The program has Full Accreditation Status with the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), preparing graduates for the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada's national certification exam. Pharmacy technicians are regulated under the Health Professions Act and register with the Alberta College of Pharmacists

Registered Pharmacy Technicians have an expanded scope of practice that includes responsibilities such as performing final checks on prescriptions and receiving verbal orders from prescribers. Other tasks include compounding mixtures, dispensing medications, or preparing sterile products such as eye drop compounds or intravenous mixtures. Demand is increasing and pharmacy technicians can earn up to $37/hour. 

With over 350 lab hours in a state-of-the-art facility, this program integrates cutting-edge technology and emphasizes hands-on training to produce competitive dispensary-ready graduates. Students learn to prepare sterile products in authentic certified sterile production hoods and operate a PACMED® high-speed automated medication packager. 

All students registered in this career program are required to write the Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES) assessment in term one of their program. 

Students will be required to travel to various locations in order to complete their practicum placements. Every effort is made to accommodate students in placements within the timeframe of the program, however in rare instances there may be a delay in program completion until a placement can be arranged.

Program faculty and staff

Diane Valiquette, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Registered Pharmacist (Program Coordinator, Pharmacy Technician Programs)
Cheryl Callicutt, Registered Pharmacy Technician (Educational Assistant)
Loren Voice, Registered Pharmacy Technician (Instructor)
Marion Chorney, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Registered Pharmacist, Master of Continuing Education (Instructor)
Helen Ho, Bachelor of Arts (Administrative Assistant)

Facilities

The Pharmacy Technician Diploma program has a designated lab and classroom, which offers each student use of an individual laptop. The world-class lab simulates both community and hospital pharmacy practice with individual work areas equipped with computers, phones and dispensing supplies, compounding equipment, certified sterile production hoods, and a high-speed automated medication packager (PACMED®).

How to Apply
Prospective Student Centre

Room S1111, South Campus
345 - 6 Avenue SE
403-410-1402
Toll-free: 1-866-428-2669
info@bowvalleycollege.ca


Admission Requirements

Academic requirements
  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum 60% in English 30-1 or 70% in English 30-2 or equivalent
  • Minimum 60% in:
    • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or equivalent
    • Biology 30 or equivalent
    • Chemistry 30 or equivalent
Additional requirements

  • You must score at least 70% on math skills assessment (administered after application is reviewed).
  • You must be able to type at least 30 words per minute on keyboarding assessment (administered after application is reviewed).
  • Proficient manual dexterity is essential. Applicants should have basic computer skills and be detail-oriented with the ability to problem-solve and multi-task.
Pre-practicum requirements
  • Current Police Information Check (PIC) with a Vulnerable Sector Search (VSS) must be submitted prior to the practicum placements. The existence of a criminal record may postpone or prevent clinical, practicum, or field work placements, and subsequently, successful completion of the program.
  • Immunization requirements must be met prior to participating in practicum placements. Details will be provided after being accepted into the program. Up-to-date immunizations are valid for the duration of the program.
English language proficiency requirements

See English language proficiency requirements for details.


Transferability
Transfer agreements have been established with:
  • Thompson Rivers University Open Learning Division – Bachelor of Health Science (54 credits) and Bachelor of General Studies (60 credits)
  • University of Calgary – Graduates of Bow Valley College diploma programs will be awarded up to five full course junior open options
Some transfer credits to and from other institutions may be available on a case-by-case basis.
Prospective Student Centre

Room S1111, South Campus
345 - 6 Avenue SE
403-410-1402
Toll-free: 1-866-428-2669
info@bowvalleycollege.ca

Course Listing


Curriculum subject to change.

Term 1

Required CoursesCredit

This first-year composition course provides students with a solid grounding in the processes that writers use to communicate clearly in the academic context. By reading and analyzing texts from a broad spectrum of purposes, cultures, historical periods, and disciplines, students develop strategies to communicate their own ideas and integrate them with those of others. Students learn to quote, paraphrase, and summarize the work of other authors, prepare documents according to APA format, and write research papers.

Course Delivery:
Real-time Online Blended Combined Online In Class

Learners will be introduced to basic pharmacy theory including drug development, pharmaceutical dosage forms, routes of administration, storage considerations, interpretation of prescription information, and dispensing procedures. Learners will also examine the role of the pharmacy technician in the health care setting.

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will examine federal and provincial legislation, drug schedules and practice standards related to pharmacy practice in Alberta. Learners will study the code of ethics and apply principles to pharmacy-specific situations.

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will be introduced to basic concepts of physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medical terminology, and specifically examine conditions and treatment related to the eye, ear, upper respiratory tract and immune system.

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will examine physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medical terminology related to the lower respiratory tract, urinary and cardiovascular systems.
Prerequisite: C in PHRM1201

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will perform calculations for both community and hospital pharmacy practice, including measurement conversions, prescription interpretation, prescription pricing and compounding calculations. Facilitated practice time is designed to enhance calculation skills with emphasis placed on accuracy.

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will apply dispensing policies and procedures while learning the basics of a pharmacy software system. Learners will enter and modify patient, physician, and drug information, interpret prescription information, apply basic third party billing principles, select appropriate products from the system database, and generate appropriate documentation.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1101
Pre- or Co-requisites: C in PHRM1102 and A- in PHRM1301

Course Delivery:
In Class

Term 2

Required CoursesCredit

Learners will examine physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medical terminology related to the gastrointestinal system and accessory organs.
Prerequisite: C in PHRM1202

Course Delivery:

Learners will examine physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medical terminology related to the integumentary, musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
Prerequisite: C in PHRM1203

Course Delivery:

Learners will perform calculations for both community and hospital pharmacy practice, including dosing, compounding and parenteral drug therapy calculations. Facilitated practice time is designed to enhance calculation skills with emphasis placed on accuracy.
Prerequisite: A- in PHRM1301

Course Delivery:

Learners will apply third party billing procedures and demonstrate use of health care products and devices used for drug administration, diagnosis and monitoring. Extensive use of role-plays will enhance development of effective communication skills.
Prerequisite: C in PHRM1101

Course Delivery:

Learners will examine institutional pharmacy practice, including the role of hospital pharmacy within the health care system, organization of the dispensary, drug distribution systems, medication safety and current technology. Learners will be introduced to principles of aseptic technique for sterile production and quality assurance.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1101 and C in PHRM1102
Pre- or Co-requisites: C in PHRM1203 and A- in PHRM1302

Course Delivery:

Learners will apply dispensing policies and procedures while integrating skills and knowledge, including prescription interpretation, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy calculations, reimbursement considerations, documentation, and independent double checks. Extensive use of role-plays will enhance development of effective communication skills.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1102 and A- in PHRM1401
Pre- or Co-requisites: C in PHRM1203 , A- in PHRM1302 and C in PHRM1402

Course Delivery:

Term 3

Required CoursesCredit

Learners will examine management of hospital and community pharmacy practice, including business principles and calculations, inventory management, customer service, and human resources.

Course Delivery:
Any-time Online

Learners will apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills to assisted living and community pharmacy practice in this comprehensive lab. Operation of a high-speed automated drug packager (PACMED�) will be integrated into the dispensing process and extensive use of role-plays will further develop communication skills.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1204, A- in PHRM1302, C in PHRM1402 and A- in PHRM2401

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will apply compounding policies and procedures while integrating knowledge and skills including pharmacy calculations, documentation, and independent double checks to prepare a variety of extemporaneous compounds using established formulations and appropriate techniques.
Prerequisites: A- in PHRM1302 and A- in PHRM2401

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will apply institutional dispensing policies and procedures while integrating skills and knowledge, including order interpretation, drug distribution systems, pharmacy calculations, documentation, and independent double checks. Operation of a high-speed automated drug packager (PACMED�) will be integrated into the dispensing process and extensive use of role-plays will further develop communication skills.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1204, A- in PHRM1302 and C in PHRM1501

Course Delivery:
In Class

Learners will prepare intravenous admixtures, pre-filled syringes, ophthalmic preparations, chemotherapy and total parenteral nutrition in certified laminar airflow workbenches. Knowledge and skills including pharmacy calculations, documentation, and independent double checks will be integrated to prepare a variety of products using appropriate aseptic techniques while adhering to USP <797> standards.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1204, A- in PHRM1302 and C in PHRM1501

Course Delivery:
In Class

Term 4

Required CoursesCredit

Learners will examine physiology, pathology, pharmacology and medical terminology in specialized areas, including: oncology, HIV, travel medicine, nutrition, gynecology and reproductive health.
Prerequisite: C in PHRM1201

Course Delivery:

Learners will prepare to obtain employment and entry into professional practice. Comprehensive written and practical exams will evaluate knowledge, skills, and abilities in the role of the pharmacy technician. Learners will develop a professional portfolio to assess learning needs, and design and implement a learning plan to evaluate opportunities for professional development and life-long learning. Learners will be introduced to the principals of interprofessional collaboration within a diverse healthcare team. Extensive use of case studies will enhance development of effective collaboration and communication skills.
Prerequisites: C in PHRM1103, C in PHRM1204, A- in PHRM2402, A- in PHRM2403, A- PHRM2501 and A- in PHRM2502

Course Delivery:

Learners will apply knowledge and skills during four consecutive weeks in a community pharmacy while gaining experience in all aspects of the pharmacy technician's role. Learners will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate professional national competencies required at entry to practice.
Prerequisites: None; Co-requisites: PHRM1205 Specialized Pharmacotherapy, PHRM2997 Entry to Pharmacy Practice

Course Delivery:

Learners will apply knowledge and skills during four consecutive weeks in an institutional pharmacy while gaining experience in all aspects of the pharmacy technician's role. Learners will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate professional national competencies required at entry to practice.
Co-requisites: PHRM1205 and PHRM2997

Course Delivery:

Program FAQs

The program is 60 weeks in length, including two 4-week practicum placements (one month in community pharmacy and one month in hospital pharmacy). The initial eight months of study will be followed by a four-month break, where students have the option of obtaining employment in the field of pharmacy to gain experience and prepare financially for the final 8 months of the program. 

The overall program is 90 per cent in class and 10 per cent online. The hours range from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The Pharmacy Technician Diploma program is in class with an emphasis on hands-on lab training with some online courses. 

Learners can expect to commit approximately 30 hours per week in class, plus 10 to 20 hours per week of studying and homework. 

You may submit a request but we cannot guarantee placement at any particular site.  

The practicum schedule is predetermined; learners are expected to be flexible and treat the placement like a job. 

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals start at approximately $28 per hour, and with experience, can earn up to $37 per hour. Community pharmacy technicians usually earn approximately $20 to $30 per hour. 

On July 1, 2011, pharmacy technicians became regulated under the Health Professions Act and now register with the Alberta College of Pharmacists, carrying their own malpractice insurance. Under the new expanded scope of practice, registered pharmacy technicians perform the final check on prescriptions, receive verbal orders from prescribers, prepare compound mixtures, and assist with prescription transfers.

Our Pharmacy Technician Diploma program prepares graduates for the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada's national certification exam. Only graduates of programs accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs are eligible to proceed through the registration process to become pharmacy technicians. Graduates of non-accredited programs become pharmacy assistants. Pharmacy assistants do not carry a license or their own insurance and do not have the same responsibilities or income potential. 

Employers have stated that Bow Valley College graduates are well prepared for the job and therefore actively seek out our graduates. 

The program places emphasis on hands-on training and experience in a simulated environment using technology, supplies, and equipment, as used in the workplace.

The Pharmacy Technician Diploma Math Skills Assessment is designed to assess basic math skills including, but not limited to: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and conversion of fractions, percentages, decimals, ratios, problem solving, linear equations, and other related calculations. 

For information on general application and admissions processes, visit the General FAQ page or contact the Student Advising Centre (formerly the Prospective Student Centre).

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