This was originally published on PharmacyTimes.com and appears in full below.
In recognition of the rising professional status of pharmacy technicians, Penn Foster Career School (PFCS) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has announced the creation of the school’s Pharmacy Technician Advisory Council.
The purpose of the PFCS Advisory Council is to utilize the insights and experiences of industry experts in the design of the school’s pharmacy technician training program, especially as organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board make efforts to standardize technician educational requirements.
"The Council will work to provide guidance on program objectives and requirements for both ASHP accreditation, as well as alignment with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam." said Kristy Malacos, MS, CPhT, a pharmacy administrator at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton, Ohio, and one of the individuals chosen for the Advisory Council, in an interview with Pharmacy Times. "My role will be to utilize my experience from both academia and industry to offer insight and guidance on education standards and employment needs to develop criteria for curriculum and educational goals and objectives."
Malacos previously explained that standardized educational requirements are essential to the elevation of the technician profession.
“As patient-centered care becomes the focus and standard of health care, pharmacy technicians have experienced dramatic increases in their roles and responsibilities,” she wrote. “…Although the pharmacy technician profession continues to grow, a lack of standardization has prevented the full expansion of technician roles.”
Also named to the PFCS Pharmacy Technician Advisory Council are Julie Beccarelli, CPhT, a telepharmacy support specialist manager for PipelineRx; Christine Cline-Dahlman, BFA, CPhT, an education program coordinator for the Institute for Wellness and Education; Pam Piotrowski, RPh, MBA, the senior director of Quality Improvement, Health and Wellness, and program director of technician training, for Walmart; Michael E. Romesburg, the lead manager of CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives Department; and Susan Sincavage, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, CDE, CPT, a clinical pharmacist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs and Walgreens, as well as the owner of Be Well, Live Well LLC.
The establishment of the Advisory Council is reflective of the evolving responsibilities of and growing demand for pharmacy technicians. There are currently an estimated 350,000 technicians in the United States, with this figure predicted to increase by about 9% by 2024, according to a PFCS press release.
“From day one, our Pharmacy Technician Career Diploma program has been designed to help students pursue a career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician,” said PFCS chief outcomes officer Dara Warn in a press release. “In creating this inaugural Advisory Council, we are demonstrating our continuing commitment to hands-on training and relevant coursework, as we will now be able to tap into some of the best minds in the pharmacy sector to advise us on how to make our program even better and further align our program with employers’ hiring needs.”
PFCS’ pharmacy technician program is currently an 11-unit online course intended to prepare students to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, the cost of which is included in tuition. The program also provides its students with hands-on experience through externships with local CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.
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