Similar to how the icing enhances the beauty of a cake, certification is the defining factor in a professional course. It serves as the distinguishing element among peers in a specific field.
From engineering to medicine, to accounting, just name it, it is a proven fact that professional certification is the only qualification that enables a person to legally operate in their given professional field. A certification is a formal document that signifies an individual’s knowledge, professionalism, and proficiency in their respective profession or industry. It serves as a paper-based testament, whether with a time-limited or indefinite validity.
One professional course that uses certification as a yardstick for measuring competence is the pharmacy technician. As a pharmacy technician, you might have work experience or might have even undergone an education or training program. However, if you don’t have a standard certification, your career prospects will definitely be limited- that’s for sure.
In the United States of America, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification is a professional certificate that is nationally recognized as proof of not only a pharmacy technician’s knowledge but also his skills in a wide range of areas of pharmacy practice.
For a pharmacy technician to be certified by the PTCB, he has to take the PTCB test (PTCE) and obtain a passing score, which is determined by the PTCB. When applying for certification as a pharmacy technician, studying for the PTCE should not be your initial step. There are specific requirements that must be fulfilled beforehand. Remember we are on a journey to learn the detailed procedures for seeking PTCB certification; these procedures can be simply broken into three viz;
As the PTCB verifies the credibility of pharmacy technicians, its eligibility requirements are typically stringent. We are discussing their reputation, after all. Three key eligibility requirements to possess candidates are;
- High school diploma: All aspiring certification candidates must at least possess a high school diploma. Candidates without a high school diploma should have their equivalent.
- Education: All candidates are expected to have completed their education from an education or training program that is recognized by the PTCB. However, work experience as a pharmacy technician can serve as an equivalent, where necessary.
- Criminal Background: Since the PTCB is staking its reputation in certifying an individual to work anywhere within its jurisdiction, it expects its candidates to have a criminal-free background, or if not free, it expects the candidate to come clean with them, as a background check is usually carried out, and any candidate found guilty of withholding such information can be denied its certification.
After meeting the eligibility, a candidate can now apply for the certification via their official site. It is important to note that candidates have just 30 days from the day they submitted their application, to submit all the required supporting documents to PTCB; any candidate that fails to submit all required documents after 30 days will automatically receive a refund of the examination fees that were paid.
After the application has been submitted, PTCB takes time to review all documents, do a thorough criminal background check, and determine the candidate’s eligibility, based on their standards, they also hold the right to temporarily or permanently disqualify any candidate that is found guilty of unethical conduct.
With the application submitted, the candidate can now start preparing for the exam. The pharmacy technician certification exam can be a bit difficult, as it consists of 90 questions that cover the different domains of pharmacy, ranging from medications, federal requirements, order entry and processing, patient safety and quality assurance, pharmacology, pharmacy operations, just name it.
It is also a computer-based exam, although a paper option is available for physically challenged candidates, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). While the exam can be challenging, there are several strategies to ensure success, which we will explore.
There are many quotes on preparation, ranging from, “proper preparation prevents poor performance”, to “over-preparation never hurts”, several of them out there, all pointing to the fact that the place of preparation cannot really be over-emphasized.
One effective method of adequately preparing for the PTCE is by having prior knowledge of the syllabus. A thorough walk-through of PTCB practice questions and answers will serve as a correct pointer to what to expect from the exam. It also helps you prepare righty, and what better way to have this knowledge if not by PTCB practice test?
If you are looking for a guide on how to study for PTCB certification, it is recommended to start with a verified, free PTCB online course and practice with PTCB practice tests.
Several websites offer verified free PTCB practice tests for candidates to utilize. A good method of knowing a perfect pharmacy technician practice test is that it must consist of all the domains that are to be covered in the PTCB test. Once a pharmacy tech test has been ascertained to consist of all the domains of pharmacy, it can be considered perfect for preparation.
Another tip for pharmacy technicians is to engage in group quizzes. Threading a path with serious, like-minded people makes the path easier to thread, the same goes for studying.
Where possible, find a partner or partners that are also taking the PTCB certification, the group can then study the PTCB online course together, share ideas together, and do a PTCB practice quiz together.
The PTCB practice quiz can be conducted in various ways, either with an external supervisor or internally, based on the group’s preference. The goal is to take a certain PTCB practice quiz, within a certain time duration, so as to gain speed and accuracy.
One booster candidate should have confidence, what use a tense, pessimistic mindset to you? Lots of people have done it before and succeeded, so why not you? You have come this far by passing several tests, why not this one? Just see the test as another one of the tests you need to pass to move further in your career, and it would be so.
Lastly, keep your goal in mind. When something holds significance for you, you pursue it. This exam is important to the growth of your career, so you must do, whatever it takes. Below are a few listed reasons why you should take, and pass the PTCE, to get the PTCB certification. Write them out and read them daily for motivation.
- PTCB certification validates your knowledge and achievement in the pharmacy field.
- PTCB certification improves your employment opportunities and potentially increases your salary.
- PTCB certification distinguishes you from your colleagues and increases your career growth.