Pharmacy Technician Technical Standards

All individuals, including persons with disabilities, who wish to participate in the pharmacy technician program, must be able to perform specific technical functions with or without reasonable accommodation.

The following information outlines the requirements, abilities, and behavioral characteristics necessary for admission, continued participation, and completion of the pharmacy technician program at Harford Community College (HCC). Students should consult with the non-credit allied health coordinator to discuss any individual situation that may prevent his or her ability to meet the admission criteria or the essential technical standards. Requests for reasonable accommodations will be considered. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to meet these essential qualifications for participation in the program.

In order to meet the requirements for admission, perform the skills/duties of a pharmacy technician, and assume the responsibilities of a direct care provider the student must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Review the program technical standards and ask questions if unfamiliar with the required activities or functions.
  • Decide if he or she has any limitations that may restrict or interfere with the satisfactory performance of any of the requirements.
  • Successfully complete prerequisite courses.
  • Indicate willingness to practice direct care skills in laboratory setting by role-playing both the pharmacy technician and the patient/client.
  • Recognize the potential for exposure to blood borne pathogens and other potentially hazardous materials.
  • Observe, receive, and otherwise obtain information from all relevant sources.
  • Process information by compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Handle and move objects using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, manipulating and moving materials/ things.
  • Provide information to supervisors, co-workers, subordinates, patients/clients, and other healthcare providers by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Document/record information by entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic form.
  • Identify information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Perform day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Any individual who is unable or unwilling to meet the following technical standards in the classroom, lab, and clinical area will be unable to participate in the program.

  • Visual—Able to observe, monitor, and/or assess client, and read fine print on monitors, devices, and gauges.
    1. Read written instructions, orders, and prescriptions.
    2. Read fine print, monitors and gauges.
    3. Acquire information from documents such as computer images, and other modes of delivery.
    4. Enter, transcribe, and record information in written or electronic form.
    5. See and discriminate between varieties of visual equipment alarms.
    6. Able to distinguish shades of color and viscosity.  
  • Hearing—Able to hear and understand faculty, staff, peers, patient/clients, families, and healthcare workers; interpret conversations; and assess/monitor clients.
    1. Communicate and interact with faculty, staff, peers, patients/clients, families, and healthcare workers from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
    2. Follow verbal instructions.
    3. Detect and discriminate between sounds of normal conversation.
    4. Hear sounds of a variety of equipment alarms.  
  • Smell—Able to tolerate unpleasant odors related to chemicals, medications, or biological materials, etc.  
  • Mobility—Possess the mobility and strength to stand, walk, bend, stoop, and life for long periods.
    1. Move quickly from place to place and perform duties in tight spaces.
    2. Lift and/or carry 40lbs. to waist level unassisted.
    3. Reach above shoulder height and below waist level to manipulate equipment.
    4. Stand for extended periods of time.  
  • Motor Skills (fine and gross)—Perform multiple motor tasks simultaneously. Possess fine and gross motor skills sufficient to handle equipment and provide safe and effective client care; keen sense of touch; awareness of self in relationship to surroundings, steady arm and hand movements while manipulating objects or assisting the pharmacist and/or clients.
    1. Perform CPR and other basic life support functions.
    2. Operate and manipulate equipment repetitively.
    3. Dispense exact amounts of fluid.
    4. Safely and effectively handle medications in all forms.
    5. Mix pharmaceutical preparations.
    6. Manipulate a syringe and needles to prepare medications.
    7. Receive and store supplies.
    8. Operate computers and cash registers.
    9. Weigh, measure, and count products.
    10. Supply and monitor robotic machines.
    11. Chart/write in medical records and record patient/client data manually and electronically.
  • Communication—Able to communicate in English, both orally and in writing, with faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare workers.
    1. Speak English in a clear and easily understood manner.
    2. Write in a manner that is legible.
    3. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
    4. Read and comprehend written material in English at a minimum of the 9th grade level.
    5. Observe non-verbal communication.  
  • Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities—Able to learn, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and use data/information.
    1. Interpret, problem solve, and demonstrate critical thinking.
    2. Convert numerical data from one measurement system to another.
    3. Respond to emergencies by processing information consistently, accurately, and quickly.
    4. Possess the ability to self-evaluate.  
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes—Possess the emotional health required to use intellectual abilities fully such as exercising good judgment, promptly completing all responsibilities associated with client care, and developing mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare workers.
    1. Tolerate physically taxing workloads and function effectively under stress.
    2. Maintain composure while continuing to function appropriately and professionally in myriad situations.
    3. Adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many clients.
    4. Demonstrate team playing, compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation during the education process.
    5. Recognize emergencies and be able to take the appropriate action.
    6. Accept constructive criticism and respond appropriately by modifying behavior.  
  • Ethical Standards—Demonstrate professional demeanor and behavior. Perform in an ethical manner in all dealings with faculty, staff, peers, clients, families, and healthcare workers regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other status protected by law.
  • Legal Standards—Submit to a criminal background check and/or drug testing as required by policies of the college, clinical facility, and/or regulatory agency. The student is responsible for any cost.