Pharmacy Assistant

Patients rely on pharmaceutical guidance to correctly take their medications. As a Pharmacy Assistant you'll make a real difference in the day-to-day health of patients.
The Pharmacy Assistant diploma program at Vancouver Career College prepares students to work under the supervision of a pharmacist. Students learn about dispensing, pharmacology, transcribing prescriptions, medical terminology, and administrative skills such as billing. Students will then put these skills into practice as part of a supervised work placement in a pharmacy setting.
In addition to the Pharmacy Assistant Diploma, graduates of this program will also be certified in CPR and First Aid.

Admissions Requirements

Students must meet all of the pre-requisites listed below, meet their financial obligations with the college, and acknowledge their understanding of the college’s policies and procedures provided in the student handbook, prior to starting classes.

  • High school graduation or equivalent, or mature student status.
  • Pass college’s admissions test.
  • Criminal record check (in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act).

Job Opportunities

  • Drug Stores     
  • Department Store Pharmacies     
  • Grocery Store Pharmacies     
  • Health Clinics
"With the help of Vancouver Career College, I found a good job and a good career." - Vidhya K., Vancouver Career College Graduate

Program Courses

Code Course description
B1045 Bookkeeping Basics
Students are introduced to the fundamentals of double entry bookkeeping including debits and credits, assets, liabilities, equities, journalizing transactions, posting of accounts to ledgers and preparing a trial balance. Stock and inventory ontrol is also addressed in this module.
CES4 Career & Employment Strategies
This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course. It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer. Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identify employment opportunities. Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the workplace and to describe these skills to a prospective employer. Students are videotaped during a mock interview and participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.
FCMO Fundamentals of Computers
This course presents an introductory look at Windows 7 and its interface, tools and features. You will learn about the fundamentals of navigating and personalizing the interface, organizing files and folders, using media devices, and searching for information. This course relies heavily on practical hands-on activities that allow you to learn the concepts by practicing them on a regular basis.
HCCE Health Care Communication & Interpersonal Skills
In business, as in other interpersonal contact, the impression formed in the first 10 to 15 seconds is crucial to the success of the relationship. The importance of the customer, and of customer relations, to business success is examined through case studies and role-playing. Students will learn relevant theories of human behaviour and how they may be applied to improve customer relations in a medical office setting.
M4050 Hospital Pharmacy and Aseptic Techniques
Students will be introduced to the responsibilities of a pharmacy assistant working in a hospital. Procedures and structures specific to hospital pharmacies will be highlighted including methods of drug distribution, procedures surrounding medication administration, and areas that merit special control or methodology. The basic principles of aseptic technique will be explored through theory and practice. Students will learn about parenteral drug administration and precautions necessary for establishing and maintaining an aseptic environment. Students will also learn about TPN preparation, the principles of working with cytotoxic / hazardous drugs and CIVA programs. The importance of quality control checks is emphasized.
M3010 Medical Terminology
Medicine, like other professions, has its own language. Students will learn to work with the specialized terminology of medicine, including the pronunciation and spelling ofterms to describe medical circumstances and situations.
M4020 Perscription Transcription
Students will learn how to process prescriptions, byunderstanding how to enter patient information, prescriptionusage directions, drug information, doctor information, andother pertinent information relating to the drug in question.
M3070 Pharmacology
This subject provides basic drug information including the basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of psychoactive chemicals. Students will build knowledge relating drug treatments/usage to various body systems and associated states of disease.
M4025 Pharmacy Billing
Students will be provided an overview of several different pharmacy billing practices used in BC today, including MSA.
M4010 Pharmacy Math
Students will learn about ratios, fractions, and other math related topics and how they play a major part in calculating different prescription and medication dosages. Students also learn about math calculations routinely used in IV preparation, a requisite skill for employment in a hospital pharmacy.
M4030 Pharmacy Practice
Students cover several aspects of pharmacy law, drug laws and regulations, as well as policies and procedures set by The College of Pharmacists of BC. Students will study over 200 brand and generic drugs, complete dispensing and blister packing procedures, compounding labels and filling prescriptions using a pharmacy computer system. Students will be trained in how to use blood glucose testing machines.
M3110 Practicum
This module is for course credits but has no grade. Students will be placed in actual work places related to their field of study and will be expected to act as a regular employee in order to gain valuable real-world; experience that so many employers seek. Students have a practicum after the PAT portion to directly apply what they have learned. Students are encouraged to find their own work experience placement; however, once placed, continuation in that placement is mandatory.
SSS4 Student Success Strategies
Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice.
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