IV Certification Options for Pharmacy Technicians

Becoming a pharmacy technician will often require earning an IV certification. Those who earn IV certification will learn how to safely and accurately prepare intravenous prescription drug solutions. Some programs include IV certification as part of their required courses. Certification can also be earned through private professional organizations and accrediting agencies.

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Pharmacy Technician IV Certification

Pharmacy technicians assist customers, communicate with physicians and doctor's offices, label prescription bottles and process prescription requests. Depending on their employer's needs, pharmacy technicians may also be responsible for certain administrative duties like answering phones, receiving payments and stocking shelves.

Many pharmacies require that pharmacy technicians be IV certified. Becoming IV certified allows pharmacy technicians to mix solutions that are administered to patients intravenously. Some degree programs include IV courses as part of their general curricula. Courses in intravenous admixture and sterile compounding will help students develop the abilities to safely prepare and administer IV solutions.

IV Certification Course

Although some programs offer training in the mixture and administration of intravenous pharmaceutical solutions, pharmacy technicians can also complete IV certification courses through accredited organizations like the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA). The IV certification program offered by the NPTA covers a variety of topics and includes a 2-day hands-on training course in Houston, Texas, which students must attend. Topics covered include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Quality control techniques
  • Sterilization techniques, including hand washing
  • Safe handling of hazardous materials
  • Vial and ampule manipulations

Maintaining Certification

In order to maintain the IV certification, pharmacy technicians must complete continuing education courses. In general, pharmacy technicians can take additional courses offered by organizations like the NPTA or those offered by their employers or other educational facilities.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to increase by 32% between the years 2010 and 2020 (ww.bls.gov). This rapid growth is due to an increase in the elderly population who will need prescription drugs to treat a variety of diseases related to their increased lifespans.

PayScale.com reported in November 2013 that pharmacy technicians earning total salaries in the 10th-90th percentile range took home $18,147-$37,694; the median figure was $25,222. These figures included overtime, bonuses and similar pay.

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