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Pharmacy Assistant

Program Duration: 34 weeks

Working alongside pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants serve a vital role in ensuring pharmacies large and small run smoothly.

If you are dedicated to customer service, have a keen eye for small details, and are a standout communicator, the Pharmacy Assistant diploma program at CDI College is a great fit for you.

Pharmacy Assistants

In the course of a day, pharmacy assistants handle many different tasks, including clerical work, ringing up sales, filling prescription orders, and updating drug and doctor information in pharmacy computer systems.

A major part of the Pharmacy Assistant program at CDI College is gaining an understanding for what goes into the medications we use every day.

As part of the program, you will receive hands-on training in compounding, pharmaceutical calculations, and the fundamentals of pharmacology.

Job-Ready Pharmacy Training

Gaining a broad knowledge of anatomy, microbiology, physiology and the aforementioned pharmacology are key components of your pharmacy assistant courses, which can be taken at our Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer campuses.

A solid background in both the hands-on skills and theoretical knowledge serves you well as you test your abilities on the job in a practicum placement in a community pharmacy at the end of the Pharmacy Assistant program.

Getting on-the-job training at CDI College before you graduate is the best way to ensure you’ll make a seamless transition from student to pharmacy assistant.

Program Courses

SSS4 - Student Success Strategies
This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
ITC4 - Introduction to Computers
This course is a broad-based introduction to using a personal computer. It teaches the fundamentals of an operating system and the most popular application software including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. You will also learn about the Internet, Web browsers, electronic mail and antivirus software. The course is based on the Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft office 2013 and a variety of popular software programs for the Internet-related and security-related applications
PHA100 - Anatomy and Physiology
This component of the program is designed to introduce students to the structures and functions of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the various effects of the disease states of the body and the manner in which pharmaceutical products affect them.
PHA110 - Introduction to Pharmacy

Introduction to Pharmacy is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the pharmacy profession.  This subject will introduce the student to the important role that they will play as a Pharmacy Assistant.  The student will review pharmacy history to see how pharmacies in general and their role as an assistant have changed throughout the centuries.  The profession of pharmacy as it is today will be examined from the context of the role of the pharmacy personnel, the structure of the various types of pharmacies that are in our society, and the laws, regulations and record-keeping requirements governing the practice of pharmacy in the province. 

PHA120 - Fundamentals of Pharmacology

In this course, students learn various mechanisms of drug action and will gain an understanding of pharmacokinetic processes that affect drug/body interaction, the procedure for administration of pharmacologic agents, and will be able to identify major drugs by drug class.  Students will learn about drug indications, therapeutic uses, side effects, administration routes, and common dosages.  Students will be exposed to the work and language of the Pharmacy Assistant and the context in which the Assistant’s work is performed.  Current pharmaceutical care delivery systems and drug distribution systems are introduced.

PHA103 - Pharmaceutical Calculations
This course is designed to provide students with the mathematical skills needed in the preparation of parenteral products as well as community and hospital compounding. This course will allow the students to become familiar with the multiple ways of expressing strengths, systems of weights, and measurements currently used in pharmacy practice.
PHA104O - Community Pharmacy
This course introduces students to computerized and manual dispensing procedures, community pharmacy business practices: dispensary and storefront inventory maintenance, insurance plan processing, patient profiles and filing, billing and claim reconciliation, and the roll of the pharmacy assistant with respect to the pharmacy technician and pharmacist. Pharmacy equipment and dispensing techniques will be demonstrated, explained, and practiced in the lab.
PHA105O - Compounding
This course introduces students to pharmaceutical preparation and documentation. Students will learn how to perform a variety of commercial compounding and mixing techniques. The student will become proficient at accurate ingredient measuring and weighing as well as equipment cleansing and maintenance.
PHA106 - Pharmacy Software Applications
This course reviews working with the Windows operating system to manage files and folders and customize the desktop, creating documents, and using the Internet for communication and research. Students are then introduced to the use of pharmacy software in dispensing medications and will become familiar with the various software screen shots. Students will be able to enter the required information for patient profiles and look up particular patient profiles. Students will also be able to create or update new drug files and doctor information, as well as the third party billing information. Adjudicating a prescription on-line will also be covered.
PHA109 - Institutional Pharmacy
This course is designed to prepare students to work in an institutional environment. Students will learn the various types of drug distribution systems in hospitals and institutional settings. Students will become familiar with the process for receiving medications and record keeping, as well as drug delivery systems that may be used in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
CES4 - Career & Employment Strategies

This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview: how people find jobs; employer expectations; presenting an enthusiastic attitude; focusing on the right job; transferable skills; the job interview; effective resume preparation; cover and thank you letters; effective telemarketing; tapping the hidden job market; handling objections; job search management; self-confidence and self-esteem building; mock interviews (video-taped); and individual counselling and coaching.

AB-PHA199 - Practicum

Practicum (on-the-job) experience in the community setting is an essential component of the Pharmacy Assistant training service. It provides the physical and human resources by which the trainee may build on their knowledge and skills in the pharmaceutical setting. Practical experience helps develop the student’s understanding of employer expectations, permits involvement in the educational process for both pharmacists and pharmacy employees, and fosters a cooperative effort between college and professional pharmacists.

Start Training to Become a Pharmacy Assistant!

Register today at CDI College to start training for the career you want as a pharmacy assistant.

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