:

Healthcare

Pharmacy Assistant

Pharmacy assistants work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist assisting them with the tasks required to keep the pharmacy or related department running smoothly and efficiently.

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Type

Diploma

Duration

32 Weeks

Internship

6 Weeks

Program Outline

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About The Program

The 32-week Pharmacy Assistant diploma program will provide you with an understanding of pharmacy compounding, pharmacy laws and ethics, preparing and dispensing medications, billing and inventory and more. Throughout the program, you will learn in a classroom environment that simulates real-world pharmacy settings. Pursue a 6-week field placement for hands-on experience and for the chance to grow your professional network.

Career Opportunities

As a Pharmacy Assistant, you’ll work as part of a health care team to ensure that consumers receive the best possible pharmaceutical care. Graduates of the Eastern Pharmacy Assistant program may work for Pharmacists in retail pharmacies, home healthcare divisions/companies, insurance companies, institutional settings and pharmaceutical distribution wholesalers/manufacturers.

Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads

  • Costco Pharmacy 
  • Shoppers Drug Mart 
  • Pharmachoice 
  • Jean Coutu Pharmacy 
  • Walmart Pharmacy 
  • Medicine Shoppe

Salary

100 %

Employment Rate*

$ 19

Average Wage/hr**

$ 25

High Wage/hr**

*Employment Rate based on 2021 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field within 12 months.

Source: workingincanada.gc.ca

NOC Code: 3414 - **Wage data rounded down to the nearest dollar and based on Nova Scotia data. Average wage doesn't reflect the starting salary but represents the middle value between lowest to highest wages. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in Jan 2024.

Available Learning Options

At Eastern College, you can choose the learning option that meets your needs. This program is currently available in:

In-Class

Instructor-led classes held in-person at one or more of our 4 campuses.

Pharmacy Assistant

Duration: 32 Weeks

Internship: 6 Weeks

Program Outline NS

Remote

Instructor-led classes on a set schedule, held remotely live on video over the Internet.

Pharmacy Assistant

Duration: 32 Weeks

Internship: 6 Weeks

Program Outline NB

Program Details

The purpose of the program is to prepare students with the necessary skills and academic knowledge for entry-level positions in retail pharmacies, as well as pharmaceutical companies.

This program provides an overview of the theory, principles and practices of the Pharmacy Assistant. Areas of study include prescription intake, pharmacy software practice, proper extemporaneous compounding techniques, controlling inventory, keeping accurate and confidential records, third party billing, acting within relevant legislation, and effectively communicating verbally and in writing. Graduates will be prepared to work as members of an interdependent health-care team.

The Pharmacy Assistant diploma program at Eastern College combines instructor led training with a work placement designed to prepare students for a successful career in healthcare. As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll provides services and assistance to pharmacists by compounding, packaging and labeling pharmaceutical products and by maintaining prescription records and inventories of medications and pharmaceutical products.

Graduates typically find employment opportunities in retail pharmacies and other environments such as mail order pharmacies, and in areas such as patient education within pharmaceutical companies.

Students enrolled in the program will receive: 

  • Classrooms that stimulate real-world pharmacy settings, including relevant equipment; 
  • Microsoft Office, Microsoft Imagine Standard, and Windows are included in the program fees. 
Course Listings: New Brunswick
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This course reviews and introduces basic and intermediate math concepts including the relationships between the following operations: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and decimals, percentages, and fractions. You will complete a variety of textbook readings, LinkedIn Learning and Khan Academy videos, worksheets, word problems, as well as two in-class assignments and two tests to ensure you are able to apply these math concepts to complete a variety of common business math operations. The first week focuses on a brief review of basic operations, fractions, and decimals while learning to decipher and complete word problems. The second week then looks at percentages, ratios, equations, and graphs to provide a robust review of key operations, word problems, and common business math requirements. This includes calculating costs, interest, budgets, and measurements, with a focus on transportation, nutrition, and costing. Throughout the course, you will complete work with and without a calculator to ensure you have mastered concepts and can complete operations efficiently and accurately in a work environment.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
This module will introduce you to and provide practice in using the tools required for a successful job search. The concepts covered in this module will help you maintain a career-focused approach throughout your studies so that you are better prepared to conduct a job search after graduating. Specifically, you will learn how to identify your soft and hard skills and how to articulate your abilities in a clear and concise Elevator Pitch that will appeal to employers and resonate with industry contacts. You will learn about the job search resources available to you including using career websites, creating Linked In profiles, accessing the “hidden” job market, and networking. You will examine sample resumes and cover letters and begin the process of creating your own professional resumes and cover letters that align with current conventions for content, organization, and formatting. You will also learn about the role of references, thank you letters, workplace philosophies, and strategies for success including maintaining a professional image and using proper etiquette when communicating with potential employers and industry contacts. An introduction to Occupational Health and Safety is also provided with specific focus on employees’ rights and responsibilities, workplace health and safety policy and programs, hazard identification and control, and safety training options such as WHIMIS and First Aid.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
This module builds on concepts and skills introduced in the Career Planning and Preparation Level 1 prerequisite module. In this subsequent module, you will update and refine your resume and Linked In Profile. You will continue writing cover letters and learn the value of customizing cover letters to specific job postings. You will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge as you conduct a job search and write a cover letter tailored to an ideal job post. Through research, you will create a list of top employers and target current industry opportunities. You will learn about current methods for applying to job postings using technology. You will also gain an understanding of the job interview process, typical interview questions and possible responses, and expectations of both the interviewer and interviewee. In addition, you will engage in practical application of the interview process through role-plays. Topics such as negotiating salary, self-management, and on-the-job success for placements and post-graduate employment will be also covered.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Digital Literacy for Professionals
This course has four units that introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. The first unit introduces you to using devices and handling information with topics on operating systems (Windows, MAC, and Linux), computer organization (folder management and naming conventions), cloud storage (including Microsoft OneDrive), types of web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari), and fundamental troubleshooting. In the second unit, you will become familiar with creating and editing information through learning about file formats (pdf, mp4, docx), productivity (including iWork and Microsoft Office Suite) and creativity (Adobe, Canva, iMovie) platforms, and basic introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The third unit on communicating and collaborating will introduce you to web conferencing applications (Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams), mail applications (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail,), project management tools (Trello, Asana), and time management tools (including Todoist, Outlook Calendar, and iCal), and building rapport virtually. In the final unit, you will gain an understanding on netiquette, cybersecurity, and digital wellness. After completing this course, you will have enhanced digital literacy skills as a professional in the working and learning environment.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Finance
This course will introduce students to financial decision making for students with no previous exposure to finance principles. Topics covered will enable students to master the language and concepts to succeed in an accounting or business environment with an emphasis on budgeting and obtaining business financing.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Intermediate & Management Accounting
This course focuses on internal business processes and examines the different methods of depreciation, accounting for fixed asset disposal, revision of depreciation, management responsibility, and cost accounting. Topics covered include bank reconciliations, cash flow and control, long term notes, monitoring of accounts receivable, accounting for cost of goods sold, financial analysis, and techniques for inventory control.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Internal Control
In this course, students will consolidate and enhance their previous accounting training and apply it to real-world scenarios. The students will review and further develop understanding in GAAP and GAAS. Students will gain a better understanding of auditing, audit preparation, and the concept of audit trails. This will be accomplished through the detailed creation and filing of source documents. Students will complete source documents, input data, create financial statements, and electronically file all materials in the cloud environment using a state-of-the-art cloud-based training package.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. QuickBooks
This course will introduce the accounting cycle in QuickBooks and further the student’s knowledge of accounting procedures in payroll, collections, payables, cash management, and bank reconciliations. Topics covered include inventory management and adjustment procedures with an overall emphasis on accurate documentation and procedures in QuickBooks.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Computerized Accounting with Sage 300
In this course, students will learn to set up banking and taxes service modules in Sage 300. Students will also learn to set up vendor and customer records and process transactions in the accounts payable and accounts receivable modules of Sage 300.
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Accounting procedures in a small business style computerized environment will be examined using the general, payables, receivables, payroll, and inventory modules of Sage 50. Students practice complete setup procedures including general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and inventory to record a wide variety of business transactions using Sage 50. Period end procedures, financial statement design, graphing and reports, and multi-currency situations are also explored.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Database Management
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Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Presentations
This software lab module will use a simulation-based program called MindTap that consists of online trainings and assessments in Microsoft PowerPoint. You will learn a comprehensive set of skills centered on creating a presentation (create title slide, slide with lists, format text, duplicate, rearrange, and delete slides, change a theme, and so on). You will learn how to effectively add media and special effects (apply theme used in another presentation, insert shapes and pictures, rotate objects, create a table, and more). You will apply advanced formatting and animation to objects (including inserting SmartArt graphic, audio clips, and WordArt style). You will be able to distribute presentations and integration PowerPoint with other Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel. You will learn how to customize presentations and become familiar with the PowerPoint environment, (how to work in a Slide Master View, work with comments, save a custom theme, and so on).
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Word Processing
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Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Software Lab - Spreadsheets
"This software lab module will use a simulation-based program called MindTap that consists of online trainings and assessments in Microsoft Excel. You will learn the fundamentals of excel, such as opening and closing a workbook, entering formulas, modifying worksheet views, and so on. You will acquire skill in formatting workbook text and data (change fonts, font style, and font colour, format dates and times, merge, use the AVERAGE function, and more). This course will also introduce you to the skill of performing calculations with formula and functions, including sub-topics such as extend data and formulas with AutoFill, calculate statistics, and so forth. You will also be able to analyze and chart financial data using available excel charts, such as pie chart, line char, chart legends, data bar, and so on. This course will conclude with you learning how to generate reports from multiple worksheets and workbooks (such as copy worksheets between workbooks, organize worksheets in a worksheet group, hyperlink to a document, create a workbook template, and more).
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Student Success Strategies
In this orientation module, you will focus on achieving success from day one. You will develop non-technical skills to enhance your personal, academic, and career success. You will explore learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. You will also enhance your practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note- and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving skills, setting SMART goals, and maintaining a positive attitude. You will also explore techniques for managing change, stress, and conflict.
Course Listings: Nova Scotia
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Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. CPR and First Aid/WHMIS
In this module, you will complete several certifications/trainings. The CPR component provides you with comprehensive CPR training. It includes the latest first aid and CPR guidelines and meets federal and provincial regulations for Standard First Aid and CPR. Topics include: preparing to respond; the EMS system; check, call, care; airway emergencies; breathing and circulation emergencies; first aid for respiratory and cardiac arrest; wound care; head and spine injuries; bone, muscle and joint injuries; sudden medical emergencies; environmental emergencies; and poisons. The WHMIS component teaches you the basic elements of WHMIS 2015 and the Global Harmonization System. This covers the safety measures and guidelines to be followed when exposed to or working with hazardous materials.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Anatomy, Physiology and Terminology
This course will introduce the foundations of the language of medicine and will develop medical vocabulary through the study of the structures and functions of the major body systems. Topics include medical terminology; general body organization; and the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, nervous (including special senses and psychiatric disorders), integumentary, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Compounding
This course is an introduction to drug preparation and dosage forms. Students will gain an understanding of ingredients used in preparing pharmaceutical products. Students will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in non-sterile compounding. This course involves the application of both pharmacy math and pharmaceutical abbreviations in the compounding and dispensing of medications.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level I
This module will introduce you to and provide practice in using the tools required for a successful job search. The concepts covered in this module will help you maintain a career-focused approach throughout your studies so that you are better prepared to conduct a job search after graduating. Specifically, you will learn how to identify your soft and hard skills and how to articulate your abilities in a clear and concise Elevator Pitch that will appeal to employers and resonate with industry contacts. You will learn about the job search resources available to you including using career websites, creating Linked In profiles, accessing the “hidden” job market, and networking. You will examine sample resumes and cover letters and begin the process of creating your own professional resumes and cover letters that align with current conventions for content, organization, and formatting. You will also learn about the role of references, thank you letters, workplace philosophies, and strategies for success including maintaining a professional image and using proper etiquette when communicating with potential employers and industry contacts. An introduction to Occupational Health and Safety is also provided with specific focus on employees’ rights and responsibilities, workplace health and safety policy and programs, hazard identification and control, and safety training options such as WHIMIS and First Aid.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Career Planning & Preparation - Level II
This module builds on concepts and skills introduced in the Career Planning and Preparation Level 1 prerequisite module. In this subsequent module, you will update and refine your resume and Linked In Profile. You will continue writing cover letters and learn the value of customizing cover letters to specific job postings. You will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge as you conduct a job search and write a cover letter tailored to an ideal job post. Through research, you will create a list of top employers and target current industry opportunities. You will learn about current methods for applying to job postings using technology. You will also gain an understanding of the job interview process, typical interview questions and possible responses, and expectations of both the interviewer and interviewee. In addition, you will engage in practical application of the interview process through role-plays. Topics such as negotiating salary, self-management, and on-the-job success for placements and post-graduate employment will be also covered.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Digital Literacy for Professionals
This course has four units that introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. The first unit introduces you to using devices and handling information with topics on operating systems (Windows, MAC, and Linux), computer organization (folder management and naming conventions), cloud storage (including Microsoft OneDrive), types of web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari), and fundamental troubleshooting. In the second unit, you will become familiar with creating and editing information through learning about file formats (pdf, mp4, docx), productivity (including iWork and Microsoft Office Suite) and creativity (Adobe, Canva, iMovie) platforms, and basic introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The third unit on communicating and collaborating will introduce you to web conferencing applications (Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams), mail applications (including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail,), project management tools (Trello, Asana), and time management tools (including Todoist, Outlook Calendar, and iCal), and building rapport virtually. In the final unit, you will gain an understanding on netiquette, cybersecurity, and digital wellness. After completing this course, you will have enhanced digital literacy skills as a professional in the working and learning environment.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Assistant Field Placement
The field placement component of the program is the practical application of a student’s knowledge and skills in an industry environment. The focus of the field placement is within a retail pharmacy to emphasize a customer-centered approach; therefore, the field placement is not within a hospital setting. The duration of the field placement is 6 weeks, during which the student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 200 hours of work experience.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Mathematics
This course begins with a review of basic mathematics and its application to pharmacy calculations. Mathematics used in retail pharmacies, namely: business math; prescription pricing; and calculating medication dosages, are studied in this course. In order to prepare the student for a wide range of pharmacy settings, calculations used in specialized and institutional pharmacies are also discussed.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacology
This course will introduce the basics of pharmacology and include a review of physiology and the basic mechanisms of action involved in diseases/disorders of body systems. Students will learn to distinguish between the trade names and generic names of drugs and identify classifications of drugs used in the treatment of diseases and disorders.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Law and Ethics
This course offers students the opportunity to learn about both Federal and Provincial legislation that governs pharmacy in Canada today. A solid understanding of jurisprudence (pharmacy law) is essential for Pharmacy Assistants to perform well in the field of pharmacy. The provincial act as it relates to pharmacy and third party billings will be discussed in detail. This course will also introduce students to ethical concerns that are becoming increasingly important in pharmacy and health care in general.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Pharmacy Software
This course provides instruction and hands on training with Kroll, one of the leading computerized dispensary systems in the pharmacy industry. Students will be required to: enter patient, prescription and doctor information; generate labels; and practice accurately and efficiently filling prescriptions by selecting the correct medication. Pharmacy reports will also be generated using Kroll in order to give students the pharmacy software experience necessary to enter the workplace with confidence.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Retail Pharmacy Practice
This course will introduce students to the roles and responsibilities of Pharmacist and Pharmacy Assistants. It will also teach students the procedures to prepare and dispense medications, which include prescription interpretation skills, billing and inventory as well as medication safety. This course also addresses professionalism, work ethics and communication in the workplace.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. Student Success Strategies
In this orientation module, you will focus on achieving success from day one. You will develop non-technical skills to enhance your personal, academic, and career success. You will explore learning styles, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. You will also enhance your practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note- and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving skills, setting SMART goals, and maintaining a positive attitude. You will also explore techniques for managing change, stress, and conflict.
Admission Requirements
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  • Student has Grade 12 or equivalent or meets criteria for Mature Student Status.
  • Mature students must be 19 years of age, pass a qualifying test, and provide a Letter of Intent OR resume that supports their skills and aptitudes to be successful in the program.
  • The approved qualifying test for this program is the Wonderlic test. A passing score for this program is 14.

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