Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam PTCE- Your Key to Success
Are you considering a career as a Pharmacy Technician? If so, you may already be aware that the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is an essential component of your journey. The PTCE is a nationally recognized exam that validates your knowledge and competence as a pharmacy technician. This blog will provide you with an in-depth look at the PTCE, including its format, topics, and importance.
Pharmacy Technician Exam Format
The PTCE is a computer-based exam consisting of 90 multiple-choice questions, 10 of which are unscored pretest questions. You have two hours to complete the exam. The exam is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of pharmacy-related topics, including medications, drug classifications, pharmacy laws and regulations, calculations, and pharmacy operations.
PTCE Exam Topics
The PTCE is divided into four content areas, each with a different percentage of questions. The following is a breakdown of the content areas and the number of questions in each:
- Medications (40%) The Medications content area is the largest and most important section of the PTCE. This section assesses your knowledge of various medications, including their generic and brand names, drug classifications, indications, adverse effects, and interactions. You should be familiar with the most commonly prescribed medications and their uses. You will also be tested on basic pharmacology, such as drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination.
- Federal Requirements (12.5%) The Federal Requirements content area covers federal laws and regulations related to pharmacy practice, including the Controlled Substances Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations, and the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. You should be familiar with the role of the DEA and other regulatory bodies in pharmacy practice.
- Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (26.25%) The Patient Safety and Quality Assurance content area assesses your knowledge of medication safety, adverse drug reactions, medication errors, and medication use systems. You should be familiar with common medication errors and how to prevent them. You should also understand the importance of quality assurance in pharmacy practice and how to identify and report medication errors.
- Order Entry and Processing (21.25%) The Order Entry and Processing content area covers the pharmacy operations related to order entry, prescription processing, and medication dispensing. You should be familiar with prescription requirements, prescription processing, medication storage, and drug utilization review (DUR). You should also understand the role of pharmacy technicians in medication dispensing and counseling.
The PTCE is a challenging but essential component of your journey to becoming a pharmacy technician. The exam assesses your knowledge and competency in pharmacy practice, including medications, federal requirements, patient safety and quality assurance, and order entry and processing. Passing the PTCE is an accomplishment that validates your skills and can lead to higher pay and more job opportunities. Therefore, it is critical to prepare for the PTCE adequately. With the right study materials and dedication, you can pass the PTCE on your first try and take the next step in your career as a pharmacy technician.