Becoming a Pharmacy Tech in West Virginia
Being a pharmacy technician is a great way to help people monitor and improve their health without committing to a long-term, expensive education like a Doctor of Pharmacology or Doctor of Medicine. A short educational program, a caring and compassionate attitude, and a commitment to helping others can make you a great pharmacy tech, but there are a few requirements you must get out of the way first. In West Virginia, here are some of the details about becoming a pharm tech.
In order to register as a pharmacy technician, which entitles you to work in a pharmacy, you must first pass the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). This is for new graduates as well as people who completed their education in the past. Pharmacy technicians who have taken the MPJE and practiced as a pharmacy tech in another state or country may waive in without taking the exam again, but they must register in West Virginia and pay a fee. If you are nationally licensed, you must work for 20 hours under a West Virginia Pharmacist In Charge before you can register in West Virginia.
Prior Education or Training
Pharmacy techs must complete 2,080 hours of training in a pharmacy under its training program over the course of two years. Then, you may take the Pharmacy Technician exam and pass it before you can register as a West Virginia pharmacy tech.
Certification Requirements and Steps
In order to become certified as a Pharmacy Tech in West Virginia, you must first either be nationally registered and complete the 20 hours of work under a Pharmacist in Charge in a pharmacy before registering in West Virginia, which also requires a small fee. If you have not been registered as a Pharm Tech in another jurisdiction, you must complete the 2,080 hours of training at a pharmacy under its training program, then take the MPJE and register with the state, which also requires a small fee.
Continuing education is not required to become or remain a pharmacy technician in West Virginia; however, it is always a good idea to stay on top of educational requirements, new laws, and new technology when performing your pharmaceutical job. Whether you take formal education courses or simply refresher courses online, it’s a good idea to continue learning so you can continue your knowledge and proficiency at your job.
The average salary for Pharmacy Techs in West Virginia is $27,000. This includes a range of about $14,000 per year on the lower end and $34,000 for techs who are more skilled, experienced, or have highly specialized skills.
The pharmacy technician wears a lot of hats behind the counter of a pharmacy. She may greet customers in person or over the phone, help hospitals and clinics organize the medication of a particular patient, and check for drug interactions. In general, she assists the pharmacist with any non-medical duties needed. She also maintains the cleanliness standards of her particular pharmacy and ensures safety controls are in place, to prevent theft, loss, or accidental inclusion of unprescribed medication to patients. She may also handle the financial side of the pharmacy, ringing up and accepting payment for the prescription, as well as dealing with insurance companies.
Legally Permitted Duties
There are certain tasks that a pharmacy tech is legally not permitted to perform; those are certain duties performed by the pharmacist herself. However, a pharmacy technician may count pills, take drug information from patients and prescribing doctors, compound medications (taking smaller amounts of bulk medications and packing them into individual doses), mix medications, autoclave equipment (using specific pressure and steam elements), and package and label medications. While the technician may not be able to perform extensive tasks like the pharmacist, she still has quite the workload and is legally able to perform a number of prescription-related duties.
Being a pharmacy technician can be very rewarding. In addition to having predictable yet flexible hours, a rewarding career that allows you to help people, and a steady and solid income, a pharmacy technician gets to challenge herself to use her education on a daily basis.