Pharmacy Tech Training Partnerships To Alleviate Pharmacy Labor Shortages

Published on July 6, 2023

There is a large shortage of pharmacy techs. According to a 2022 survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association,more than 75% of pharmacies are having a hard time finding pharmacy technicians: the critical workers who work under the supervision of a pharmacist and who do everything from filling prescriptions to answering the phone. The shortage of technicians is so bad that nearly nine out of 10 hospitals and pharmacy administrators are forced to tap their pharmacists to fill in for technicians.

The pharmacy technician profession has grown by 7% since 2017 and is projected to grow by another 7% over the next 10 years. Today, more than 450,000 people work as pharmacy techs, and there have been 12,000 job postings, on average, per month for the past two years. All of this is to say, our nation really needs more pharmacy techs!

So the question is, how can we get more people to pursue this super in-demand occupation?

First, to get more candidates, hospitals and pharmacies may be forced to increase compensation. Simple supply and demand tells us that as pharmacies pay more, they will see more candidates.

But wages alone won’t solve all of our problems here. Why? You can’t pay people who simply aren’t there. Even as salaries rise, we will continue to face a dearth of pharmacy techs because of the intense labor shortage, which is driven by low birth rates, low labor force participation rates amongst working-age people, and wave upon wave of retirements as baby boomers leave the labor market. This triple whammy is hitting the healthcare sector hard, so we need to turn our attention to another key issue if we want to address the lack of pharmacy techs.

The real solution rests in our ability to educate and train a new generation of talent. This is where MedCerts’ RX-3000 Program can really help. With this new program, pharmacies, hospitals, and postsecondary healthcare programs are able to create new talent in a very time-sensitive, cost-effective way.

How Can MedCerts’ RX-3000 Pharmacy Tech Professional Program Help?

Like all of MedCerts’ programs and certificates, the pharmacy tech professional program is affordable, online, and accessible 24-7. A student can sign up for the class themselves, or via one of our many college and healthcare partnerships.

About MedCerts’ Partnerships

  1. Higher Ed - Colleges that want to add or improve pharmacy tech training in their allied health program offerings can easily incorporate MedCerts’ interactive and up-to-date curriculum. In these cases, MedCerts’ content can be added to and even white-labeled in the college’s existing LMS. MedCerts splits the fees associated with the program with the college. This helps schools boost enrollment and create additional revenue streams without having to add faculty or facilities. An increasing number of colleges and universities are using MedCerts’ program inside of their existing health science programs.

  2. Healthcare providers - If you are a healthcare provider, MedCerts can take a similar approach. Providers can enroll new students into a MedCerts program directly, or MedCerts can partner to provide education and training inside any of your existing programs. Either way, students receive the background, education, and training they need to get started.

  3. The workforce investment system - Workforce agencies can also use MedCerts’ programs. MedCerts offers financial aid options through grant-funded programs like MyCAA, WIOA, and Department of Defense Credentialing Assistance or COOL funding for the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard. Those eligible include military spouses; active duty army, reserves, and National Guard members; active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard, and US Space Force; active duty Coast Guard and SELRES members (enlisted and officers); or workforce-funded qualifying job seekers.

How Does the Pharmacy Tech Professional Program Work?

During the course, students experience everything they will encounter in a real pharmacy setting. The 25-week certification is composed of three online courses:

  1. Professionalism in Allied Health

  2. Introduction to Human Anatomy and Medical Terminology

  3. Pharmacy Technician Principles and Practices

Additionally, each student takes part in a 160-hour externship at a pharmacy, so that they can further their skills and apply what they have learned in a real-world environment.

The combination of online courses and the externship prepares students to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE), administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). Students earn national recognition as a CPhT (Certified Pharmacy Technician).

The curriculum includes:

  • High-quality video-based training

  • The eBook “The Pharmacy Technician” and the RX-3000 Student Workbook and Simulation Manual

  • Simulation kits that allow students to simulate filling a prescription order, compounding sterile and non-sterile medications, utilizing aseptic technique, and making suspensions, ointments and creams

  • Competency knowledge assessments

  • Practice exam that prepares the students for the PTCB certification exam

In addition to the coursework, MedCerts provides dedicated student success advisors, education consultants, a voucher for PTCB practice exam upon completion of the course, and access to career services for employment placement.

Students gain the following skills and competencies:

  • Familiarity with pharmacy laws, HIPAA/HITECH, CMS, and other healthcare regulations

  • Ability to process medication orders and to prepare, store, and distribute medications

  • Patient-safety and medication-safety practices

  • How to identify, handle, and safely dispose of hazardous materials

  • Proper preparation of medications requiring sterile, non-sterile, and chemotherapy compounding

  • Pharmacology, medication therapy management, and inventory management

  • Traditional soft skills expected in allied healthcare professionals

The curriculum is regularly updated to ensure that it features cutting-edge material in the ever-fluctuating world of healthcare.

The program has been a great success so far. Students that take the certificate program on their own are highly sought after.

Dr. Sherrie Moore, the program director, says, “My favorite part is seeing students achieve a lot of personal growth and development. The pharmacy technician position is a great entry-level spot for anyone who is interested in entering the world of health care. Pharmacy technicians often go on to become supervisors or pharmacy technician leads and pursue an array of other in-demand pursuits.”

If you would like to talk to MedCerts more about this program and how it can be incorporated into your allied health offerings or if you would like to learn more about how to engage our students, please contact us.

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Written by
MedCerts Team
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Published on July 6, 2023


Our employer-sponsored train-and-hire model is not offered to partners and potential students/employees in Pennsylvania.