Pharmacy technician certification examination blueprint

Based on changing market trend, job analysis PTCB the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has come up with changes in blueprint based on which Pharmacy Technician certification exam is conducted starting November of 2013. To get to know details on latest pattern of sample exams it is now possible to take sample exams from PTCB sample exams.

The latest pharmacy technician certification examination blueprint assesses the knowledge critical to pharmacy technician by organizing nine knowledge domains with sub-domains aka knowledge areas. Here is the blueprint covering nine knowledge areas as per the PTCB:

PTCE Blueprint Domains

Knowledge Domains Domain Description

% of PTCE Content

Knowledge Areas


Pharmacology for Technicians




Pharmacy Law and Regulations




Sterile and Non-sterile Compounding




Medication Safety




Pharmacy Quality Assurance




Medication Order Entry and Fill Process




Pharmacy Inventory Management




Pharmacy Billing and Reimbursement




Pharmacy Information Systems Usage and Application



What is format and pattern of PTCE exam?
PTCE is a 90 question multiple choice exam
This exam can be availed in any one of the pearson institute across USA
This is a two hour exam
Among 90 questions, 80 are used for scoring and 10 random questions are unscored questions
Of the two hours one hour and 50 mins is used for exam and 10 mins for post-exam survey and tutorial
How can I schedule for this exam?
As a first step apply for the exam. One the application is approved now you can schedule for exams
Once the application is approved this holds good for 90 days
Cancel & Reschedule Policy- No charge or fee for cancelling or rescheduling the exam. However, choose to cancel or reschedule atleast before 24 hours of scheduled appointment
What are things to follow on day on exam?
Arrive on time. If you arrive more than 30 mins late you are not allowed to appear for exam
Present valid ID proof in examination centre
Can I withdraw the scheduled appointment?
Yes. cancel atleast 24 hours before scheduled timing
IF you fail to appear within 90 days of approval, you will receive refund minus administrative fee of $25
What are the exam fee and associated fee details?
Here is the fee details based on PTCB :
Certification Application & Exam Fee $129
Re-certification Application Fee $40
Reprocessing Fee needed for making corrections to an existing application $10
Reinstatement Application Fee $80
Reprocessing Fee needed for making corrections to applications $10
Administrative Fee for refund from financial institutions, withdrawal of exams etc $25
Optional Certificate Printed on Fine Paper and Wallet Card provided to certified pharmacy technicians at no cost for initial certification $25

SAS helps finding healthcare jobs

SAS clinical the module geared towards healthcare ,healthcare services helps clinical investigators with their findings utilizing statistics. A professional who is trained (or) certified in SAS clinical can find position as SAS analyst, SAS Programmer, SAS consultant in healthcare environment. Here are some typical job duties of a SAS professional in a healthcare environment
1) Perform basic statistical analysis of healthcare data
2) Work closely with clinical investigators and help them come up with findings
3) Import and clean healthcare datasets that are in raw form
4) Merge the different files provided for analysis
5) Create the information as datasets used for analysis by clinical investigators. This role sometimes involves datawarehouse, Analytical software like OLAP usage
6) Create reports based on information
7) Must be comfortable with SAS programming like macros etc
What is the educational background expected out of SAS professional?
With changing data patterns SAS is finding prominent role in big data space as well. If you are from a statistics related field, bio statistician , or someone good at numbers this role easily fits you
sas healthcare jobs

Pop healthcare data analyst job duties

Pophealthcare the top healthcare analytics firm provides solutions to deliver risk adjustment, HEDIS and high-risk management population program. Among the three solutions developed and delivered by pophealthcare risksight offers analytics and forecasting services. Pop healthcare data analyst job duties include all or more of the following
1) As with any analytical solution this solution depends on many different datasources as its information source which are typically databases. The pophealthcare analyst should perform data mining making use of sql queries against multiple data sources
2) Establishes and defines processes, documentation and standards for data quality and provides expert advice to end users on data access
3) Responsible for defining healthcare informatics, operational definitions, and reporting requirements that are needed for data mart development
4) Efficiently deal with standards including HIPAA and regulatory/compliance issues as this role heavily deals with data related to patients
5) Offers analytical consultation on compliance issues to customers (i.e) how the information should be exposed for analytics purpose meeting healthcare safety standards
6) Primarily responsible for development and maintenance of the data architecture and data models to provide a foundation for database design needed to support population healthcare service needs
7) Make sure the information from datasource is accurate by employing validation strategies and methods to ensure accurate and reliable data
8) Analyze the data and create models needed for to identifying new opportunities and risk-factors to drive patient outcomes across the full continuum of patient care. This is done using predictive modeling and data mining. Knowledge with excel or statistical programming languages like R, MATLAB, python come handy
9) Must be proficient with bigdata technologies for future projects as an optional skill
10) Maintain operation of pophealthcare application that is needed for the implementation, maintenance, testing and/or functional design.
Pop health data analyst jobs

How to a become pacs administrator

Have you ever wondered how to become a PACS administrator? Picture Archive And Communication system aka PACS system is the milestone towards digitization of medical records. Personnel who are capable of designing the radiology workflow, make changes to radiology workflow on as needed basis, communicate the same to radiologists so that they can follow the workflow are some essential job duties of PACS administrator
PACS administrator job demands the personnel to be conversant and competent in following skills
1) DICOM – There is no PACS without DICOM. The Digital Imaging and Communication standard is the basics behind the digital image standard that determines the structure of digital images the get created in modality, transfer and storing of Images in storage system from which it is pulled and displayed by radiologists for diagnosis purpose. Hence, knowledge of DICOM is an essential skillset expected out of PACS admin
2) HL7 – With changing trends, healthcare systems and applications need a common language to talk to each other. HL7 the Healthcare Level 7 protocol has made this possible. HL7 interfaces is used by healthcare systems and applications created by disparate vendors, in different technologies can talk to each other with common language HL7. HL7 interfaces like mirth is gaining real great popularity. PACS administrator is expected to troubleshoot issues among HL7 interfaces
3) Database – Healthcare information is stored in database. Most commonly used databases include Oracle, SQL Server etc. Basic SQL query knowledge really comes handy for first level troubleshooting
4) Basic OS and networking knowledge – If the system becomes unavailable basic network and os commands like ping, netstat, ifconfig and such command knowledge , utilization comes handy
5) Typical PACS tasks – This includes Q/A tasks like study reallocation, study merge, patient reallocation, patient merge, image reallocation, series reallocation to name a few
6) PACS system knowledge – While handling software applications that support PACS knowledge of software applications, basic knowledge of modalities the machines that create images is essential
pacs administrator jobs

Pediatric nurse jobs

Nursing profession doesn’t stop with normal patient care. Pediatric nurse jobs involves nurses who has specialized training in pediatrics. As the name suggests anything associated with pediatrics has something to do with babies, kids. They are associated with your kids from their start to late teens as is the case with a pediatrician. Primary job liability involves recording information, collecting blood and urine samples and in some advanced cases they are permitted to diagnose the blood results
What does a pediatric nurse do in her job role?
1) Provide comprehensive, age-appropriate care to patients aged approximately 30 days to 18 years
2) Worki in both inpatient and outpatient settings
3) Pediatric nurses specialize in providing age-appropriate care for children with a variety of physical and mental disabilities
4) Provide care to children with acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions
5) Collaborates with the patient’s family to best promote healthful practices and disease prevention
6) Enter appropriate health information into EMR like epic, mckesson relay etc. This is a mandate IT skill the gains importance these days
7) They are expected to be registered nurses
Where do I find mursing schools offering training?
Here is the list of nursing schools offering training in nursing starting with associate level

Diagnostic Health Jobs

As a medical aspirant if you prefer to take up allied healthcare jobs that guarantee job security as compared to other niche, it would be really interesting to learn more on diagnostic health jobs as a potential career. Lets take a quick look at many different interesting diagnostic careers and what a typical job is like

1) Radiology Oncologist – Cancer treatment is 100% associated with chemotherapy these days. The technicians involved in creating prescriptions that determine the radiation administration to patients are called radiation oncologists
1.1) In general a radiation theraphist works under supervision of radiation oncologists and assists in application of radiation by properly positioning patients and operating of radiation theraphy equipment
1.2) In a typical imaging env a radiologist oncologist is expected to perform services like 3D conformal, IMRT, IGRT, SRS, HDR, and LDR seed implants. They should be proficient with operating specific modalities (machines)

2) Radiology Technologist – They provide radiological services to patients based on physicians orders
2.1) They perform all the radiology procedures related to all aspects of treatment – Common procedures include X-ray, portables, emergency room, Modalities like CT, CR,MR,DEXA Scan,ultrasound, surgical clinical imaging etc
2.2) They work on shift basis as needed. This includes weekend as well
2.3) They utilizing contrast media and specific tomographic examinations while performing clinical imaging

3) Nuclear Medicine Technologist – They perform nuclear medicine related duties an procedures necessary for diagnostic and therapeutic services needed under the radiologist supervision
3.1) Most of them obtain license before practicing their profession
3.2) They are expected to hold license in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) a first aid procedure used for life saving near to heart attack or drowning
3.3) Employers expect certified nuclear medicine technologists who have successfully completed training from AMA approved training programs
3.4) They perform highly complex organ imaging and organ function tests on patients
3.5) They hold the responsibility of safe use and administration of radioactive substance on patients before imaging or diagnosis

4) Electrocardiograph Profession – They are cardio sonographers that perform scanning of heart and surrounding vessels. Scanning these structures helps cardiologists diagnose diseases in heart if any. Some of their specialties include performing high-quality M-mode, two-dimensional, pulsed doppler, continuous wave doppler, colored doppler and transesophageal echocardiograms. They also perform high-quality vascular studies including carotids, arterial and venous dopplers

5) Ultrasound Technician – Popularly called sonographer the ultrasound technician is primarily involved in diagnostic imaging to identify abnormalities
5.1) These professionals are specialized in utilizing ultrasonic high frequency waves to detect some abnormalities
5.2) They should be capable of utilizing accessory equipment like multi-format cameras, PACS, transducers, printers etc. In case of pregnancy related trimester ultrasounds they usually give printout of pictures taken during the procedure
5.3) Some sonographers work for OB/GYN, perinatologists who are high risk ob/gyn who measure and monitor common items during pregnancy like measuring heart rate of baby, blood flow rate from uterus onto baby and back from bay to uterus via placenta, amniotic sac size, amniotic fluid size
5.4) After performing procedure in patients an ultrasound technician has the responsibility to communicate the same to physician of changes in physical condition of patients
5.5) They quote the correct ultrasound procedure codes in RIS
5.6) They closely interact with patients by explaining the medical condition to patients, an intro on procedure to be performed, prepare patients for upcoming procedures
5.7) They maintain record of patients
Can an ultrasound technician become expert in niche?
Often ultrasound technicians also called sonographers find jobs in hospitals, specialty clinics, imaging institutes etc.
Yes, an ultrasound technician can become an expert in a specific niche. A simple example is the fertility clinic. In such places ultrasound technician often perform ultrasound on reproductive organs. This includes uterus, ovaries, fallopin tubes etc. In addition to ultrasound they assist doctors in procedures like uterine dyeing ,sonohystogram etc. They often gain designation like perinatal sonographer. The best step would be to complete a program on ultrasound, find a nice job, specialize in niche and gain title and more perks

Pharmacy purchase inventory analyst manager career

Pharmacy technician certified by PTCB are referred to as CpHt. This is a designation much respected in pharmacy industry. As such a person who enrolls in college, successfully completes certified pharmacy technician certification find interesting career in pharmacy as pharmacy technician trainee, pharmacy technician, pharmacy manager to name a few
What is a pharmacy technician is good at numbers?
If you are a cpht and have good financial acumen your career option goes beyond core onto business side of it. To start with you can choose career profession as Pharmacy purchase & inventory analyst, pharmacy purchase manager etc
What does a Pharmacy purchase & inventory personnel do?
1) Their primary role involves acting as a buyer utilizing the purchase system in pharmacy and purchase medicines
2) They manage the inventory of medicines
3) They interact a lot with manufactures, vendors utilizing the purchase and distribution systems in place
4) Certification as pharmacy technician with designation cpht
5) License in concerned state
6) Best financial knowledge with capability to interpret numbers
7) Conversant with Microsoft office suite of products – needed for creating proposal, reports etc

EPIC clarity report writer analyst career overview

Has your healthcare organization implemented EPIC EMR system. With digitizing of medical records and EPIC being the market leader the demand for many different EPIC module professionals has been growing continuously. EPIC clarity report writer analyst job duties and responsibilities includes the following:
1) Report writer is responsible for collaborating with stakeholders in EPIC projects. This includes the operational stakeholders who are involved in this project business operations
2) Report writer interacts with end users who make use of the data in EPIC EMR
3) They interact heavily with application analysts who can be given title of developer in some organizations
4) Report writer also holds the responsibility of business analyst in report writing projects that includes generation of the reports for analyzing, determining the functional requirements, design, write and validate data extracts and reports
5) Database developers, DBA’s can easily fit in this role as the technical acumen mandates understanding of SQL, usage of sql to extract data from backend database. EPIC makes use of microsoft SQL server backend
6) A person who is currently working with reporting tools like Sql server reporting service, crystal reports can easily switch to this role
7) They help in application optimization through development of new functionality
8) In addition to report writer in this role they need to act as application administrator taking care of all the application administrative support including testing and implementing scheduled vendor releases and system upgrades, and fixing system defects. The vendor EPIC does come up with major versions, patches to fix the issues in current system software
9) Application analysis from technical and functional perspective needs to be given by them
10) They define system requirements and develop logical data models using best practices for build and configuration, maintenance and data integrity

Hospital information system know how

Hospital Information System, HIS as it is popularly called is the software that supports healthcare workflows, healthcare maintenance and caters many functionality related to healthcare. This domain is primarily focused on catering the administrative needs of healthcare organizations like hospitals, laboratory, clinics etc.
While appearing for HL7 control specialist certification, it becomes mandatory to have good grep on Hospital Information System. HL7 is one of the protocols based on which HIS systems are implemented to cater hospital administration.
HIS systems are broadly classified as follows :
1) Clinical Applications
These are the set of software programs/applications that is being used by clinical practitioner including doctors, nurses, lab technicians etc
How is a clinical application designed?
Clinical applications software solutions designed and developed based on inputs from core healthcare professionals
Healthcare professionals usually involved in the application design can be physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacist etc
2) Non-clinical Applications
Activities other than clinical tasks like billing, insurance, maintenance, laundry, pharmacy are supported using these set of applications
As a HL7 professional it becomes necessary to have good knowledge on both of these as the tasks of HL7 professional is to design and develop HL7 interfaces that make these application communicable, Map the necessary data and make disparate applications communicable