Traveling With Grandma

I forgot about my asthma completely when I took off from the center of gentle weather, San Diego, for the woods of North Carolina, and then Washington D.C. San Diego is really a Mecca for retired folks, so why would I chose travel to the frigid temperatures of the East? The answer is the usual, I wanted to see my grandkids and their birthdays fell during the winter.

A couple of errors in judgement later, I ended up in the Emergency Room in Alexandria, Virginia. Indeed, the old folksong “Carry me Back to old Virginie” must have been written especially for me, especially the “carry part”. We were forewarned that the weather would be about thirty degrees, but my son paid no heed as his blood is thickened from being in North Carolina. And I, of course, needed to make good use of my time while here for only four weeks, two weekends of which were birthdays for my grandkids.

I bundled up well, and actually felt invigorated the first day of the trip. I bought a darling hat and scarf and covered my neck, which seems to have chronic sore throats. The only other thing I could have done was to be assertive and insist we go another weekend. I don’t think my son had another weekend to go, being the man in a hurry that he has become. Sometimes impatience is a sign of intelligence, so I’m hoping it is in his case.

That night I bundled up in my cozy room, which had two queen beds, one not used, and propped myself up on pillow to enjoy some television. Sleeping was not an option, as my throat hurt. During the night, I had some wheezing, but no more than normally. As I awoke from a restless and incomplete sleep I wheezed like I had never done before. And most noticeably, my voice, the one I use for reading Shakespeare, had left me. I hurried to the room next door, where my son, wife and their two children were housed, and surprised them with a morning demand, “I need to go to the doctor”. To get into action, I descended to the lobby and demanded of the desk clerk “Is there a doctor nearby”? I was deliberately trying not to dramatize, but this is difficult for me as I am a theater person and sometimes actress.

Apparently I made quite an impression on him, as I whispered my question because I couldn’t talk, and he replied “Should I call an ambulance, or a taxi?” Now my son had driven us in his van, but I still thought of taking the taxi for expediency’s sake. But reconsidering, because of the cost, I answered “I need to eat something” as the smells of breakfast came wafting past me. While I gobbled down soft foods, oatmeal and yogurt, I thought of my mother’s comment to me long ago: ” You always make sure you eat, under any circumstances.”

By the time I got to my son’s room, he was dressed and ready to take me. We downgraded our demands by trying a pharmacy, but they were closed. This made me happy because I needed more treatment. My son used his gps and found a hospital emergency room and I have insurance cards. We traveled through the gently rolling hills of Virginia while I sat wishing I didn’t have to ask him for this odious chore. He seemed quite willing and concerned. I had forgotten that he was no longer that reluctant teen but is now forty years old.

The emergency room was the usual, a not long wait because they thought I couldn’t breath properly. The politeness of these Southerners struck me as a contrast to the hurried and often rude attitudes of the emergency workers in San Diego. Most of them wanted to converse in their southern drawl, which I find quite similar to mine when I played Amanda in Tennessee William’s play, “The Glass Menagerie”. I didn’t want the nebulizer, or breathing treatment, but the doctor didn’t know what else to do except give me motrin for my throat. I pulled it out a little early and the nurses didn’t seem to mind that much.

When we left and were down the road a ways, I glibly pulled out a pink sheet from my release instructions which reminded me to leave by way of the Check Out Desk, which I hadn’t down., A quick cell phone call assured me that the nightmare of insurance costs would not ensue, and I had given them all the cards they needed. Such relief could only come from one who has known poverty. But that’s another story: I was spending money this time.

My son hurried to the elevator to get back to his room while I decided to take a quick drink of free orange juice. Finally, I hopped on the elevator and pushed the button to get off. As I departed the elevator confines I saw a hotel worker I had seen when I was on my way to the doctor. He had been surprisingly concerned about my condition and now looked surprised again as I showed up on his floor. He mumbled something about my son looking for me. I hurried down the hall to my room and fumbled to place the door card in. Nothing happened. I tried three more times, when I caught a glimpse of the room number. I was on the wrong floor and now the mysterious comment by the hotel worker made sense. I had a much-needed laugh and thanked God no one was in the room I had wrongly tried to enter.

Thirty degrees isn’t much below fifty degrees – right? Wrong again. I compared Washington’s daytime temperature with San Diego’s night-time, and came up with freezing hands and feet, and an attack of asthma that couldn’t be matched. All of us had covered every inch of skin, so when we mounted the trolley to central Washington, we weren’t quite breathing icicles. It was all worth it. I swallowed my sore throat and experienced the nooks and crannies of the aerospace museum. I’ll admit, though, I had to sit and rest a bit while my son, his wife and two grandchildren hurried to take in every flying object they could. The only bad part of that rest was that I dropped my glove, which was wet anyway because it had fallen into the toilet. I was too heavily strapped with two purses, one around my wrist, and a camera. Oh, the joys of family travel. Amazingly enough, I returned to the sight of the crime, where I had dropped my glove, and happily retrieved it under the bench that had served me so well.

We walked through the park to see the White House. It looked just like it looked on T.V. The wind was blowing briskly while we sojourned over to the World War II Monument. I definitely wanted to see the dedication to fighting men in the Pacific because my dad had fought there. By the time we got there, I was freezing to death. My grandson was having a grand time skateboarding on the many concrete surfaces of the monument. I looked longingly at the Korean Monument, as I lost a third cousin in that war, but I was unable to fight that wind anymore. I had to say “uncle” and tell my son that I needed to get indoors at an art museum or something. Fortunately, the sun shone on our path as we sauntered past the Obelisk. Nobody seemed put out by our shortening our walk, and I like to think they had all felt that piercing wind.

Just one more note to my sage – I found out about icy weather all in one hop. I was walking around a park where my grandson was practicing his skate boarding. I saw a long, white road that looked like an ideal hiking trail to some trees, and possibly back to where my son and family sat on some bleachers. The ground was soft and muddy at various places along the way, so it wasn’t too surprising when my foot sank into about one half foot of water right by the side of the inviting white road. I jumped up like a jack rabbit and aimed my remaining foot on the road, which was placed on the white stretch, only to slip miserably on a thick coat of ice. “Maybe I could still walk on the ice,” I thought, but I had on leather flats with thin rubber heals. No, this was not possible, so with the other foot now safely retrieved from the water, I aimed at the drier portion of the ground above the water line. With the lead in from my free foot, I jumped as well as any Olympian back onto dry land. The white stretch of road was really a completely iced-over stream about ten feet wide. “Could people really skate on that?” I asked myself as I returned to the bleachers where my son sat. I spent the next half hour drying my shoes, socks, feet and pants legs in a car heater… and thanking God for keeping me safe one more time. To other Grandma’s – “Do what is fun and safe, but if you sense danger, abide by your seasoned instincts”. And remember, “It’s the good memories that will get you through the bad times.”

When you’re a grandmother, travel has some special challenges for you. I have asthma and arthritis, but I kept up pretty well with my son, his wife and two children. I’m the daughter of a military man, and the family line goes back to the Revolutionary War, so walking around Washington D.C. in some of its colder weather was a challenge I fully accepted. But I’m from San Diego, and was in for “weather shock”. Don’t give up a chance to travel because of physical problems. It’s the good memories that will get you through the hard times (I love that saying) and you need to enjoy your retirement. Turn those anxious moments around to opportunities to laugh at yourself a little. If you have trouble sleeping in those strange hotel rooms, place yourself in God’s hands. He’s always with you, no matter where you are.

The Kentucky Drug Problem

Without question Kentucky is one of America’s most historic states having produced legends like Daniel Boone, the Kentucky Derby and thoroughbred race horses. Kentucky’s fertile soil made possible the production of protein enriched European bluegrass, and is called the Bluegrass state. Unfortunately this highly fertile soil and vast rural areas produced Kentucky stills and marijuana crops as well. In recent years Kentucky has been plagued with substance abuse and addiction problems more than any other state. Ranking in the top ten for many drug abuse statistics that include past month marijuana abuse, marijuana production, illicit drug dependence and prescription drug addiction. The Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, an organization composed of many agencies bound to combat the drug problem, covers 67 counties in three states that include Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Of the 67 counties 29 are located in Kentucky.

Prescription drug addiction is a major problem in Kentucky with treatment admissions for opioid pain relievers having increased over 1250% since the year 2000 according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). In 2000 treatment admissions for opiates other than heroin, which are typically prescription pain killers, were at 424. In 2010 that number skyrocketed to 6,249. Treatment admissions for all drugs including alcohol have risen nearly 20% during that same time frame. The biggest jump in Kentucky addiction treatment admissions involve prescription drugs and marijuana,with alcohol treatment seeing a slight increase.Drug induced deaths are well above the national average (12.7) in Kentucky at 17 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Meth lab incidents jumped from 297 in 2007 to 706 in 2009 (138%). Although the final numbers are not in, 2010 meth lab incidents are even higher than previous years. In an effort to slow the production of methamphetamine, stricter laws were passed controlling the sale of cold tablets that contain the key ingredient used in meth production, pseudoephedrine. Meth cooks and dealers creatively found their way around this by developing methods of obtaining the tablets called “smurfing”. Smurfing involves several addicts making the rounds to several pharmacies gathering their limit for compilation later. Adding to the problem is a new method of meth production called “shake and bake” using various chemicals to produce a reaction that transforms ephedrine into methamphetamine in smaller quantities virtually anywhere without drawing attention.

There is a continuing ebb and flow of illegal drug trafficking activity in and out of Kentucky. Kentucky ranks fourth in marijuana production. Although there are a high percentage of people in Kentucky who smoke marijuana, production still outpaces consumption by a long shot. Marijuana is shipped to dealers in Illinois, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, DC. Drug traffickers take advantage of the prescription drug addicts into Kentucky by diverting pharmaceuticals from South Florida pain management clinics back into the state. Pain management clinics are now popping up in Eastern Kentucky as well, which produce many of the states addicts.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports nearly 50% of Kentucky high school seniors surveyed in 2009 reported lifetime marijuana abuse. While it cannot be proven that marijuana abuse will cause addiction to harder drugs, it is known that nearly 100% of addicts who seek drug addiction treatment for those harder drugs started out abusing marijuana. To give you an idea just how bad it is, 287,000 drug addicts or alcoholics needed but did not receive addiction treatment in 2007, with only 24,100 addicts receiving drug rehabilitation or alcohol treatment that same year. Results clearly show less than ten percent of the addicted population receive rehabilitation or treatment in Kentucky.

Spousal Loss Elevates AUD Risk

Separation or divorce is not an easy phase to handle. It has the potential to trigger stress, tension and anxiety, which can further deteriorate mental health by causing a number of psychiatric diseases. During such testing times, people usually fall prey to substance abuse, particularly drinking, to alleviate stress, anxiety, etc., as well as experience euphoric effects.

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem in the United States, with most Americans directly or indirectly affected by the prevalence of this worldwide phenomenon. Given that alcohol is easily available everywhere, there are increased chances of abusing it as well as other substances in circumstances as trying as separation.

Individuals can succumb to alcohol abuse and addiction in a myriad ways. However, various research findings over the years suggest a strong association between marital status and risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD). One particular study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) in Advance, concluded that married people are significantly less likely to develop AUD than unmarried people.

Causal relationship between divorce and AUD

The above study led by Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., Virginia Commonwealth University, examined a sample of 942,366 married individuals to examine the association between divorce or widowhood and the risk for developing AUD. The prevalence of AUD was ascertained by using medical, criminal and pharmacy registries and controlled factors, such as age, education and family history of alcohol use.

In addition, divorce was found to be associated with the recurrence of AUD in those with the problem before marriage. The other findings of the research are as follows:

Divorce was strongly associated with the risk for first AUD onset in both men and women.
Widowhood increased the risk for AUD in men and women.
Among divorced individuals, remarriage was associated with a large decline in AUD in both men and women.
The risk of the onset of AUD was found higher in individuals with a family history of AUD and among those who had prior externalizing behaviors, such as conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), etc.

The study concluded that spousal loss through bereavement or divorce was largely associated with the increased AUD onset risk. Additionally, it suggests that the AUD status of the spouse can greatly affect the changes in characteristics of his or her behavioral health.

According to the authors, “These results suggest that it is not only the state of matrimony and the associated social roles that are protective against AUD. Rather, they are consistent with the importance of direct spousal interactions in which one individual monitors and tries to control his or her spouse’s drinking. A non-AUD spouse is likely to be much more effective at such control than a spouse with AUD.”

Furthermore, researchers of the above study endorse the fact that the protective effect of both first marriage and remarriage can reduce problematic alcohol use, which can assist in clinical screening for AUD among divorcees and widowed individuals and reduce their risk of AUD onset.

How to quit alcohol

Alcohol is the most commonly available and abused drug in the U.S. The consequences of excessive alcohol consumption can be detrimental for both physical and mental health in the long run. Individuals who abuse alcohol also stand an increased risk of developing the problem of AUD that can get aggravated with time and frequent indulgence. Although medical intervention can manage or cure alcoholism, it is important to undergo the process of detoxification to derive the best results from the treatment.

States Enact Laws Regulating the Sale and Marketing of Pharmaceutical Products

Rising costs are a major issue facing America’s health care industry. One concern is how both the advertising and excessive use of prescription drugs can add to the general inflation experienced throughout the industry. One survey conducted in 2000 showed a startling increase in the use of drugs that were heavily advertised. The rate of use was in fact some six times greater than that of other prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The marketing of various drugs is an important part of the pharmaceutical industry. Companies must follow certain guidelines as to how they promote them. Pharmaceutical compliance is dictated by the federal government. However, in recent years a number of states have on their own taken steps to deal with the prescription drug issue. Nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws pertaining to the marketing and sales of prescription drugs.

The states of Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont have introduced laws that require pharmaceutical companies to disclose payments that may be made to doctors who provide prescription drugs to their patients. Vermont also limited what it classified as the “fraudulent” advertising of prescription drugs to consumers and doctors, although this law was subsequently declared by a court of appeals to be a violation of free speech.

Maine has enacted more such laws than any other state. It has prohibited drug companies from placing advertisements in the electronic or print media unless they meet federal standards. Other laws enacted by the state specify guidelines on pricing information and prohibit the sale of drug information by pharmaceutical companies that identify the doctor who ordered the medication. Confidentiality is another aspect of laws introduced in Maine and other states that are designed to prevent drug companies from harassing health care providers with advertisements. Nearby New Hampshire prohibits the transferral of personal prescription information for any purpose other than the reimbursement of the pharmacy.

Some states have enacted laws designed to regulate who can market prescription drugs and how the marketing is done. Laws of this nature have been introduced in California, Florida and South Carolina. In West Virginia, an educational campaign on prescription drugs was written into the state’s health law, while a similar public awareness effort was launched in Texas.

Although pharmaceutical compliance will remain primarily a federal issue, state action has been brought about largely in response to the effects of increasing drug costs on various state health programs.

My Odyssey Into the World of Gourmet Coffee Beans – Coffee Beans That Truly Taste Divine

I have always been a lover of coffee. But like almost all regular coffee drinkers, I never knew that there was something out there that was a lot better than what you find at the local supermarket. It is true that in the last ten years or so, I had evolved from buying ground coffee to purchasing real coffee beans, and then grinding them just before using them. Then I advanced from a drip coffee maker to a devoted user of the French Press coffee maker.

My giant leap forward came several years ago when I was first introduced to the wonders of roasting one’s own coffee beans by a friend. He himself had tasted coffee made with freshly roasted beans about ten years ago at an upscale coffee shop in Richmond, Virginia. After having been a regular customer at the cafe, he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to finish a university degree in business. Before he left, he bemoaned the fact to the shop owner that he would be soon without the benefit of his great coffee. The owner told him that that was no problem: he could start roasting the coffee beans himself. That is exactly what my friend decided to do-he became a home roaster.

He bought a brand new home coffee roaster for about $80, then ordered green coffee beans online, and proceeded to carve out a path that he was to continue to the present day-that is of enjoying the world’s greatest coffee in every cup he drank.

When my friend first introduced me to the idea of home roasting, I was not prepared to spend about $80 on a home roasting machine. He then informed me that certain popcorn poppers would do almost as well.

That’s when I decided to check Walgreens, a nearby pharmacy, for such a machine. I found Kitchen Gourmet, a rotary style air popper there for about $9.

I must admit that it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I accomplished my first roast. I placed the popper next to the kitchen sink and about three and a half minutes later, the coffee beans were done, roasted to a beautiful medium brown color, just awaiting to be ground and brewed for the most perfect cup of coffee that you can imagine.

Several years later, I am ready to take the next step in this bold adventure: to introduce to the world the exhilaration of roasting their own beans; or if you’re not prepared to take the plunge, to at least buy freshly roasted beans imported from all over the world. You are going to give your palate the treat of its life! Order the world’s best tasting gourmet coffee beans. You may buy these fresh roasted or green online now. Do it now! Start out on your own adventure in savoring the world’s most popular beverage.

Frank Albas is an online retail merchant of gourmet coffee beans, both roasted and green. He has been a great lover of gourmet coffees as a consumer for several years, but now he has advanced to being a supplier of these to all coffee enthusiasts.

Order the world’s best tasting gourmet coffee. You may buy these fresh roasted coffee beans online now at Divine Coffee. We also have green coffee beans for sale.

Check out our special offer of.5 lb of Honduran Marcala ground coffee free for orders of fresh roasted coffee beans 2 lbs or more at Honduran Marcala. Start out on your own adventure in savoring the world’s most popular beverage.

The Purpose of Pharmacy Management Systems

Pharmacies are complex businesses. Even a minor pharmacy in a small town has a substantial amount of responsibility and moving parts. In fact, big pharmacies and mom-and-pop pharmacies a like wouldn’t be possible today without the advent of pharmacy management systems.

What is a Pharmacy Management System?

The pharmacy management systems are a type of computer system, often called a pharmacy computer system. These systems are not a single piece of software but rather a unified collection of components that can be added to and removed from the system on a plug-and-play basis. An essential component of any such framework is the point-of-sale (POS) system, which is similar to the POS found in a grocery or hardware store.

Legal and Ethical Responsibilities:

A pharmacy, however, has important responsibilities that a hardware store or grocery generally does not. A pharmacy, for instance, is charged with ensuring that customers get their prescriptions precisely how they are prescribed by their doctor. Mistakes can result in loss of life. For this reasons, pharmacies seek to limit the opportunity for human error. One of the primary ways they do so is by integrating a prescription dispensing system into pharmacy management systems. A prescription dispensing system is robotic and computerized, and it ensures that the prescription is filled precisely how the doctor ordered it.

Billing of Claims:

The vast majority of money that enters a pharmacy’s coffers comes from insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid rather than directly from the customer. In this way, a pharmacy is a lot like a health organization, and pharmacy computer systems must integrate that aspect as well. After a prescription is filled, modern systems automatically process and track the insurance claim.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations:

A pharmacy must also comply with all local, state and federal regulations. The pharmacy cannot rely on the medical professionals for compliance because there can be extenuating circumstances in play, such as two separate doctors unknowingly providing a prescription to the same client. A modern pharmacy system will automatically check any request before it is processed, and if that request is in violation of a law or regulation, it will deny it.

Health Care Network:

The modern pharmacy management systems must also be connected to the health care network that provides services to its area and even throughout the country. Imagine a scenario where a pharmacy needs further instruction when filling a prescription for an out-of-state customer. Modern systems ease that burden by automatically providing the pharmacy with all the contact information and alternative contacts that it needs.

The author is having a proper knowledge of automated pharmacy systems which are very useful for the people who want to get complete understanding of the systems.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compounding Pharmacies

If you are facing the need to use a compounding pharmacy for the first time, there’s little doubt that you have questions. Compounding pharmacies are available, but they are not commonly used by most patients. Here are the most frequently asked questions about these pharmacies.

What Is a Compounding Pharmacy?

In essence, this type of pharmacy is one that customizes medications that are not commercially available. Medications are prescribed by a physician, veterinarian, or other medical provider. The medications are then compounded, or put together, by a state-licensed pharmacist. These pharmacies are typically utilized for people and animals that have unique health concerns that commercially available medications cannot address.

Are These Types Of Medications Safe?

You must understand that compounded medications are off-label. This means that the FDA does not approve them. That said, compounded medications are considered safe when put together and sold by reputable pharmacists. Before you order or ask for a compounded medication, ask your doctor to recommend a pharmacist or pharmacy. Not all professionals are skilled in the art of compounding medications.

Why Do I Need This Medication?

There are a variety of reasons why you may need a compounded medication. For example, if your pain management drug is difficult for you to swallow, your pharmacist may suggest a liquid or transdermal version. If you are experiencing sensitivity to an ingredient in your hormone replacement, your doctor may have a medication compounded without that particular ingredient.

Compounded pharmacies also make medications for veterinary patients. Often, flavoring is added or liquid is made in order to increase palatability for a pet.

Where Do Medication Ingredients Come From?

The ingredients that are put into compounded medications come from the same suppliers as the big pharmaceutical companies. These companies are inspected and regulated by the FDA. The ingredients in your compounded medications are considered safe for consumption.

Who Regulates These Pharmacies?

Just like typical pharmacies, compounded pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed at the state level. There is also an entity known as the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) that has developed national standards that compounding pharmacies must follow.

Does the FDA Inspect Compounding Pharmacies?

The FDA does not inspect compounding pharmacies, but this should not dissuade you from making use of their services. The FDA does not inspect typical pharmacies. The regulation of pharmacies and pharmacists has always been handled by individual states. The FDA does, as has been stated, inspect and regulate the facilities that produce the ingredients that go into these medications.

Compounding pharmacies are on the rise as people become more aware of them. Up until the 20th century, all pharmacies were of the compounding type. It wasn’t until just a century ago that the pharmacies we are used to seeing today arose. If your doctor suggests a compounded medication, you can feel safe in taking it. Follow the same safety protocols as you would with a typical medication, and speak with your doctor should you experience any adverse events.

Emad Yousef is the owner of Trinity Pharmacy. At Trinity Pharmacy, we specialize in compounding customized medications to meet your specific needs, whatever those needs may be. Whether you are in need of quality pain management, customized hormone replacement therapy, dental compounding, or special vet medications for your pets, we have the skill, equipment, and experience required to ensure you get just what the doctor ordered.

Thinking of Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician?

he Role of the Technician

Technicians will have different roles depending on the setting in which they are going to be working. In a retail setting they usually perform all of the following:

Assist pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical care
Perform tasks such as computer/data entry,
Medication preparation/selection
Counting and labeling
Refer patient questions regarding medications and drug information to the pharmacist
Handle inventory
Bill insurance carriers

Technicians in a health system pharmacy (such a hospital), could also be responsible for the following:

Reviewing patient charts
Prepare and deliver medications to nursing stations
Perform unit dose packaging
If certified, they can prepare sterile materials such as IV antibiotics and chemotherapy products.

Certification

In the past, the majority of pharmacy technicians were trained on the job after being hired. The problem with this is that on the job training by its very nature is very employer specific and usually limited to the tasks that employer would like you to perform. In most cases, it does not provide the necessary training or background regarding pharmacy practice. Formal education requirements, competency exams and registration with a State Board of Pharmacy is now slowly taking over on the job training. Many states in the USA already have certification requirements to even be eligible for a technician job. It’s only a matter of time until more and more states adopt legislation requiring all pharmacy technicians to receive formal training and to become certified.

Certification Exam

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is an exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and is taken upon completion of the pharmacy technician training course. The exam is officially recognized by over 25 individual State Boards of Pharmacy. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and needs to be completed in a 2 hour window. There are three areas of measured competence:

Assisting the pharmacist in serving patients – This is the most comprehensive portion of the exam. In includes material on dispensing prescriptions, distributing medications and collecting/organizing information. You also will need to scan prescriptions for accuracy and validity, perform certain counting tasks and performing certain pharmaceutical calculations. This section of the exam consists of 66% of the total exam material.
Maintaining medication and inventory control systems – This section will test you on knowledge of placing and receiving drug orders, storing drugs correctly and other inventory related questions. This section of the exam consists of 22% of the total exam material.
Knowledge of pharmacy operations – This section will test your knowledge on general pharmacy operations including various workflow based questions, maintaining pharmacy establishments, various legal questions and questions on dispensing and computer management systems. This section consists of 12% of the total exam material.

Career Opportunities

In terms of jobs that don’t require a college degree, being a pharmacy technician is ranked one of the highest in multiple categories. It consistently ranks in the top 100 fastest growing jobs also in the top 100 best jobs without a college degree. The annual job growth rate for technicians is over 25%! So, where are all of these technicians going to work? Retail pharmacy is but one job area that pharmacy technicians can work in such as:

Clinical practice
Compounding
Nuclear medication
Training & Education
Management
Sales
Research & Development
Consulting

The Pharmacy Technician Class

The course itself usually consists of 14-15 classes spanning 7 to 8 weeks. The course is certainly comprehensive! Here is a list of topics that you can expect to learn during the course:

History of pharmacy
Pharmacy law and ethics
Health system pharmacy and technology
Inventory management
Health insurance billing
Compounding and sterile products
Math skills
Dosage calculations, concentrations and dilutions
Alligations
Parental calculations
Dosage formulations and administration
Drug classifications
The different systems of the body

Pharmacy Business Owners: When to Consider Retirement

Will the pharmacy business experience declining profits over the next few years, and if this happens will the local community pharmacy be able to stay in business?

Does it seem that business profits for pharmacy owners are being attacked from every angle? Have you read the articles detailing these points:

• Reimbursements for diabetic testing supplies are being reduced.

• For patients who have recurring monthly prescriptions the government is nudging the public to purchase by mail-order instead of visiting their local pharmacy.

• The multipliers used to calculate reimbursements for Medicaid are expected to be lower than the pharmacy owner’s actual costs.

• Dispensing fees regulated by many state agencies are being reduced.

• The average wholesale price (AWP) paid to drug stores is being trimmed.

The federal government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) negotiates pharmacy reimbursement rates for prescription drugs plans. Many states may take longer to provide the reimbursements. Other federal and state legislation may affect both the profits and the viability of staying in business. There are also issues regarding higher personal taxes and higher capital gain taxes that need to be considered.

Over a number of years many independent drug stores have already been sold. These owners are gone and they are not looking to buyout their local competition. There are fewer young people willing to take the chance of business ownership. Some pharmacies have been closed due to the fact there was not a qualified buyer in the area. National and regional drug store chains have been sold during the past few years. The consolidation of pharmacy industry is seen as an advantage for the buyer, but for the local community pharmacy owner the consolidation provides added uncertainty to their business.

It is expected that in the coming years, if circumstances don’t change, that current pharmacy owners will receive considerably lower purchase prices than their associates did 10 years ago. With the average pharmacy owner closer to the age of 60 than 40, many of the current pharmacy owners will need to take a hard look at their retirement expectations.

When ready for an exit strategy, what does a pharmacy owner do when there are fewer willing buyers? Who will pay them an adequate amount for a business they have spent a life time building?

Pharmacy owners, who do not plan on exiting the pharmacy industry until a few more years, will waiting a year or two really put the most amount of money in the bank for the pharmacy owner’s retirement account? If the business is sold now, can the proceeds be injected into other investments that would offer a higher return? The pharmacy owner should have their accountant calculate some projections, and the pharmacy owner will need to personally keep a diligent eye on any new regulatory proposals. By not being on top of what is affecting the industry, a pharmacy business owner could see a serious impact to the person’s retirement plans.

Pharmacy owners are small business people. Financially they have done well during their career, but most would not categorize themselves as wealthy. The pharmacy is probably the largest asset they will ever own so any consideration of selling the business at the right time should come with a great deal thought.

In a normal flow of transferring a drug store to a new owner, the process typically takes about nine months. This is important for a business owner to understand. To deposit the largest sum of money into the bank for retirement the decision to sell the business cannot be a quick decision, nor should the business be put on auction block for a quick sale. When it is time to consider retirement the appropriate planning needs to take place.

Pharmacy business valuations have been on a decline due to the above issues. If you would like to learn the current value of your pharmacy business please visit: http://www.PharmacyValuations.com.

All About Pharmacy Technician Schools

In many countries today, healthcare industry employment continues even while other industries falter, making a health service job a good choice for anyone considering a new career.

Pharmacy technician jobs are one of the main positions seeing drastic increases with hiring expected to increase as much as 25 percent over the next few years. This is a great opportunity for anyone with good attention to detail to consider a career as a Pharmacy Technician or `PT`, especially since it is possible to complete certification programs at reputable pharmacy technician schools in as little as two years and get into a well-paying job soon afterward.

Different Types of Pharmacy Technician Schools

In the US and Canada, some PT jobs do not require any certification or schooling although most do. Those who have schooling and certification are definitely preferable for positions, however, making schooling something that anyone looking at a career as a PT should consider very seriously.

In all likelihood, more jobs will move toward requiring certification as well, so skipping the education may reduce job hire and advancement opportunity.

Pharmacy Technician education is available in programs that last anywhere from 6 months to two years or more, depending on the depth of training.

Like many other medical training and technical programs, the shorter programs give a basic, fundamental overview of what to expect on the job and general education relating to basic pharmacology, pharmacology law, pharmacology records, inventory, labeling, ordering and many other relevant topics to working in a retail pharmacy environment.

Courses and diploma programs

Students that attend the shorter programs usually earn a Pharmacy Technician Certificate for completion of the program, but have no actual approved certifications.

Longer courses offered by schools include specialized diploma programs and Associates Degree courses that last between about 12 months to 24 months.

Diploma programs are great for students who already have some healthcare service experience and want to move into a position as a PT, as well as those entering the field new.

Study usually includes all that is mentioned above, plus pharmacology in more detail, dosage calculation, mixing medications and others, and usually includes an externship to prepare students to take the certification exam. Students completing a diploma course and passing their certification exam will earn the title of Certified Pharmacy Technician or CPhT.

Associates in Health Sciences with a PT specialty takes two years and is recommended for any individual if there is an interest in both obtaining a college degree, and being able to advance the fastest in their career.

Courses of study are much more in depth and include additional medical subjects. Externships are a required part of the curriculum, as is passing the certification examination. Those with their CPhT and an AS degree stand the best chance of being hired in non-retail pharmacy technician positions, and starting at the highest salaries.

Accredited vocational program

In the UK and many other countries a pharmacy technician is required to complete both an accredited vocational program in pharmacy services and a pharmaceutical science program, and must be registered with numerous UK healthcare organizations.

Courses of study include that which is mentioned above, as well as medicines management for patients and training in running and assisting in hospital clinics and more.

Please note however, in the UK there is a difference between a pharmacy technician and a pharmacy dispenser, with the former having more vocational and educational requirements.

Interested individuals are advised to contact local professional organizations in order to get additional details about attending school to become a PT such as which are the best courses and whether they offer job placement and financial aid.

In the US, contact the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPA) or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), in the UK contact the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) and in Canada the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) to name a few.

Employment After Attending PT Schools

There are actually many more employment opportunities for PTs than most people assume. While the majority of jobs are in retail pharmacy positions there are much more specialized career options for pharmacy techs with the right training.

Hospitals, medication manufacturing and packing companies, medication compounding pharmacies, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities and any type of medical facility that either fills medication prescriptions or dispenses medications directly to patients make use of pharmacy technicians.

These positions can be very rewarding, and tend to pay more as well. Certain qualified technicians also have the ability to counsel consumers and patients on the use of their medications, as well as answer medication questions.

In any case, attending schools that offer the most detailed training and externships, and prepare students to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians are highly recommended for anyone interested in a career in healthcare services that pays well and offers plenty of room for advancement.

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