There are many important associations involving Pharmacy Technicians. To pick only three seemed very difficult. Realizing that Technicians have a large role in the pharmacy industry, their job is progressing into more the just “helpers”. Associations provided individual foundations for these paraprofessionals to excel in their profession. Pharmacy Technicians have advanced from clerks to working with the pharmacist directly.
Starting at the beginning, the first association to be founded for Pharmacy Technicians is the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT). This foundation was established in 1979. They are a non-profit organization that is still run by volunteer technicians to this day. This establishment sends out quarterly newsletters to all their members. They offer continuing education (CE) opportunities to their members to stay up to date with the forever advancing pharmacy practice. They offer a subscription to the The Journal of Pharmacy Technology, which is published by Harvey Whitney Books Company. Members of this association are from all types of the community, ranging from hospitals to educators. This organization was formed to improve the services of delivery of pharmaceutical services through exchange and development.
National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) is the largest organizations founded especially for pharmacy technicians and is a non-profit organization. It was founded in 1999 by Mike Johnston. Mike realized that he wanted to develop a review seminar, it was held in Houston Texas. At this seminar he noticed that the other attendees also had some of the same concerns and that no one had given them a voice to speak about their issues. This foundation was organized to help technicians advance to their full potential in their profession. The NPTA started offering CE courses in 2005. They publish Todays Technician Magazine. This magazine is distributed six times a year and includes a minimum of two hours of CE each edition. The NPTA is a member of the Committee of European Pharmacy Technicians, making them a multi- continental association.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) was founded in 1995. It is an association that offers the certification test to become a licensed pharmacy technician. The PTCB is accredited the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the Institute for Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS). The test given by the PTCB is strictly maintained by the NCCA. The PTCB maintains a national accredited status of certification and recertification programs for Pharmacy Technicians. Not all states require certification from this test but most likely they will in the future. In 2005 National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) sent a letter to all states suggesting that all states require this certification. This organization does not require classes or courses to attend but they are highly recommended.
In conclusion, two of my choices were chosen just for Pharmacy technicians to advance in their field, while the third is the board that gives the test to become a licensed technician. Out of these three choices the most important, I believe, is the PTCB, without this association technicians may not have the right amount of education to be in this profession. Joining an association such as the NPTA gives you the option to have your issues heard and dealt with, most likely resolving any problems. The AAPT offers all their members CE courses to keep your certification up to date. Joining an association is not a necessity but doing so will definitely make belonging in this paraprofessional world easier.