Online Pharmacy Tech Classes and Courses Overview

Pharmacy technicians prepare prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist in retail, mail-order, hospital and residential care settings. Online classes for pharmacy technicians, available through several U.S. schools, may be offered individually or as part of online certificate or Associate of Applied Science programs.

Online Courses for Pharmacy Techs

Listed below are the descriptions of some of the most common types of online pharmacy tech classes and courses.

  • Pharmacy Practices Course: This course familiarizes participants with the equipment, inventory techniques, record keeping procedures, safety practices and operational guidelines relevant to the pharmacy environment. Additional topics include health insurance, over-the-counter medications, quality control practices and customer service skills.
  • Basic Pharmacology Course: In pharmacology, students learn how drugs interact with bodily systems and how they combat illness and disease. Topics include therapeutic action, classification, dosage, toxicity and compounding. Teachers explain how drugs are administered and what potential side effects or drug interactions can appear.
  • Medical Terminology Course: This class introduces students to the vocabulary and terminology of modern medicine. Terms covered include generic and branded drug names, anatomy and types of illnesses. Abbreviations and symbols commonly used in the health field are also discussed.
  • Pharmacy Mathematics Course: The metric units of measurement commonly used in pharmacology are covered in this course. Students learn how to calculate dosages, ratios, percentages and proportions, as well as reduce and enlarge formulas and prepare dilutions and concentrations. The class also explains how to translate between different units of measurement.
  • Pharmacy Law Course: In this course students learn about laws governing the field of pharmacy on both the state and federal levels. Emphasis is placed on the difference between the responsibilities of licensed pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Study also covers the Controlled Substances Act, regulations for storage and dispensation of medications, safety practices and ethical constraints.
  • Structure and Function of the Human Body Course: Students in this course are introduced to the basic structure and functions of the human body, including the nervous and respiratory systems. In addition, they are educated about human cells, the digestive and urinary systems as well as many other aspects of the human body.
  • History of Pharmacy Course: The course explores the development and origins of pharmacies and pharmacy professionals. Topics such as the roles of pharmacy technicians and how legislation has affected the pharmacy industry are covered.
  • Infection Control Course: Students in this class learn procedures to help reduce the risk of infections among patients and health care providers. Methods for providing a sterile environment and intravenous products are discussed.

Program Information

Students in pharmacy tech certificate, diploma and associate degree programs study pharmacy operations and procedures as well as pharmacology. Although many online pharmacy tech courses can be taken fully online, some schools may also offer internship opportunities, which must be completed in person at local clinics or pharmacies. Since requirements for pharmacy technicians vary in terms of initial education, registration, certification, training and continuing education, it is important to check with the pharmacy board of the state in which you will be working. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which governs state pharmacy boards, provides a list of all state boards on its website (www.nabp.net).

Online classes for aspiring pharmacy technicians are readily available, generally at the certificate and associate degree levels. Those enrolled will study topics such as pharmacy law, medical terminology and pharmacology.


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