Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) administers a national certification process for pharmacy technicians via a standardized test. This test is challenging, with a 2018 passage rate of 57%. Institutions, including our own, have created educational programs to support eligible applicants’ preparedness. Pharmacists have historically taught this program at our institution. In 2019, we transitioned to a program in which certified pharmacy technicians train new technicians (CPT-TNT) under the guidance of pharmacists. The purpose of this study was to evaluate test scores in our PTCB preparatory class prior to and following CPT-TNT.
Methods: This retrospective, single center, quality improvement project was completed over a three month period (January 2019 – March 2019). New pharmacy technicians participating in CPT-TNT were identified via a query of pharmacy records. New pharmacy technicians were included if they completed the baseline assessment and three month assessment test. Both tests were the same and were based on PTCB review materials. All data was collected anonymously using a standardized data collection form. Collected data included demographic information (age in years, gender, college education and employment history), percent score on baseline assessment test and percent score on three month assessment test. The primary outcome was difference in test scores between baseline and at three months. We analyzed data using the paired t-test and considered a p-value < 0.05 statistically significant. This project met criteria for exemption from institutional review board review.
Results: Seven new pharmacy technicians participated in CPT-TNT during the three month study period. Six were included in this analysis; the excluded new technician completed the baseline assessment test but did not complete the three month assessment test. Average age ± standard deviation age was 26 ± 3.2 years. Most participants were female (5/6, 83.3%) and most had a college education (5/6, 83.3%). Average ± SD experience as a pharmacy technician was 5.2 ±3.8 years, and most had previous hospital experience (4/6, 66.7%). Mean ± SD test results were significantly higher following CPT-TNT (69.3 ± 15.6% post vs 52.7 ± 16.5% baseline, p=0.001).
Conclusion: CPT-TNT improved scores on our preparatory test for CPhT examination. Certified pharmacy technicians appear to provide effective education to new pharmacy technician peers, creating a viable staff education strategy and possible career advancement pathways.