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Pharmacy IV Certification Information

With the continual evolution of the health care system, pharmacists looking to broaden their training might want to consider intravenous (IV) certification. This training is now required in a growing number of states. For pharmacists, certification programs will cover the dispensing and sterile compounding of intravenous medication and hazardous drugs. Programs will also cover proper aseptic technique.

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Certification in Pharmacy IV

IV Certification Course Study Components

Some programs are available partially online, utilizing textbooks and written materials, including reading assignments and homework. Partial online courses also include a section of live instruction, often conducted on weekends or in the evenings. These hands-on sessions are often conducted in a live setting. In some circumstances, hands-on training can be put towards Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) credit.

IV Certification Course Objectives

Most courses in IV certification focus on 7-9 objectives. They provide the necessary skills for pharmacists to prepare sterile pharmaceuticals in a safe aseptic environment. The pharmacists will gain clinical knowledge of IV medications, equipment and supplies. Upon completion of a certification program, students will be able to:

  • Perform mathematical pharmaceutical calculations used in compounding sterile products
  • Demonstrate the correct cleaning technique and use of a laminar flow hood
  • Determine and demonstrate the stabilities and compatibilities, as well as the proper handling and compounding, of sterile products
  • Demonstrate correct aseptic techniques and safely prepare, handle and store chemotherapeutic agents
  • Define the risk levels of sterile pharmaceuticals
  • Describe the appropriate handling and disposal of biohazardous materials
  • Discuss parenteral drug therapy and the principles of sterility
  • Differentiate between various IV drug delivery systems
  • Define state and federal regulations related to compounding sterile pharmaceuticals

IV Certification Programs

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) sets the standard for pharmaceutical education, so courses accredited through this agency are the most respected. Alternatively, one may choose to complete a certificate course through the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA). Several, but not all, courses provided in conjunction with the NPTA provide hours toward ACPE credit. In many cases, a portion of the course material can be completed online.

Career and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that pharmacists can expect to see an employment increase of 25% from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). This is a much faster rate than the average of 14% for all occupations during that same time period. An aging population and its greater use of prescription drugs to treat ailments is a contributing factor to that rapid change.

Pharmacists were paid an average salary of $114,950 in May 2012, reported the BLS. That same year, the highest levels of employment were found in the following industries: health and personal care stores, general medical and surgical hospitals and grocery stores. The five states where pharmacists earned the highest annual average salaries were Alaska, Maine, California, Vermont and Delaware.

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