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22 Pharmacy Terms Every Technician Should Know

Careers as a Pharmacy Technician are on the rise, especially with the coronavirus and the recent distribution of Covid vaccines. Many pharmacies are looking for individuals who will be able to perform the necessary daily tasks such as dosage calculations and measurement conversions while understanding ethical practices and laws such as HIPPA.

Yet, in addition to these tasks, companies want technicians who will be able to assist in administering the Covid vaccine as demands for the vaccine increase.

Therefore, it is critical to have a strong working knowledge of all the ins and outs of the profession including terminology that you will encounter throughout your career.

Being able to recognize, understand, and apply these terms is necessary for avoiding catastrophic incidences such as cross contamination, miscalculations, and providing incorrect medical information to patients getting their prescriptions.

Pharmacy Technician Abbreviations and Meanings

Absorption Rate—this term indicates how long a prescription drug takes to enter a patient’s bloodstream after it has been received

AC—refers to taking a prescription before a meal

Ampule—is a sealed glass vial that contains an injection solution that is meant to be broken open in order to be administered

Aseptic Technique—an important sanitation technique that is followed to reduce the risk of contamination by various pathogens. Pharmacists use sterile environments to prepare and package prescriptions or equipment in order to prevent any kind of contamination.

Batch Preparation—ensuring pharmaceuticals have the necessary medication in stock but it is not meant to be distributed for immediate use

C—refers to taking a prescription with a meal

CAP—a prescription in capsule form

Compounding—creating a drug mixture that will meet the specific needs of a patient (this can be seen in a medication being developed in a liquid form when the standard protocol is for it to be distributed in tablet form)

Controlled Release—signifies a drug being released slowly over time after consumed

Controlled Substance—prescription drugs that are monitored and regulated by the US Drug Enforcement Agency

Co-pay—a specific amount of money that a patient is required to pay upon receiving a prescription or service. This is an out-of-pocket expense for the patient.

Deductible—a specific amount of money that a patient is required to pay for a service before their insurance provider starts covering the costs of prescriptions and medical services

Diluent—a term used to reference diluting the concentration of a solution. This term can also refer to changing a powder substance to a liquid form.

Electrolytes—Fluids that are essential to the proper function of the human body and can be administered in the case of dehydration. The solutions consist of potassium and sodium that are designed to assist in balancing out the potassium, sodium, and chloride levels in a patient.

IM—intramuscular, which is given through a muscle

IV—intravenous, which is given through a vein

PC—refers to taking a prescription after a meal

PRN—refers to taking as needed

Rx—this is the standard code for prescription (it is also the Latin word that means recipe and refers to “take thus”)

SQ—subcutaneous, which means an injection given in the subcutaneous region, also known as the cutis (directly under the skin’s dermis and epidermis layer). This type of injection is commonly used for insulin and morphine

STAT—refers to a prescription that should be given immediately

Start Your Education as a Pharmacy Technician

Looking to obtain your certificate as a pharmacy technician? Blackstone Career Institute’s online Pharmacy Technician Training offers the quality education needed to secure a rewarding job in this respected field. Our Pharmacy Technician training online education program includes a working knowledge of medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmacy calculations, pharmacology, body systems and disorders, ethics, and professionalism. Through Blackstone Career Institute’s renowned online certificate programs, you will obtain the training and skills needed to secure a competitive Pharmacy Technician salary in today’s competitive job force.

Receive Further Certification as a Pharmacy Technician

If you’ve already graduated from Blackstone’s Pharmacy Technician Training online course, you are qualified to sit for the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), and the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), which will further enhance your knowledge and application of this career specific information.