The Medical - Pharmacy Assistant program at Vancouver Career College will provide you with the skills and resources necessary to work in the health care field.
The Medical Office Assistant portion of the program will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to be a practicing medical office assistant. You will learn medical terminology, office and clinical procedures, billing and electronic health records, transcription and more.
The Pharmacy portion will prepare you for an exciting and challenging career as a pharmacy assistant. You will learn the technical, clerical, and medical skills needed to work in the pharmaceutical industry.
You will also receive training in Standard First Aid with CPR & AED, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Before graduation, you will participate in a four-week practicum to gain practical work experience in your specialization of choice.
*From an English language teaching institution.
**19 years of age upon starting classes, and pass college’s admissions test.
This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
Gain confidence and get the support you need at Vancouver Career College.
This course builds on the skills learned in the Student Success Strategies course or its equivalent. It provides information on how to use the communication skills learned in order to make a successful presentation to a prospective employer. Students also learn how to uncover the hidden job market and identifyemployment opportunities. Self-assessment during this course allows students to identify their personal skills that are transferable to the work place and to describe these skills to a prospective employer. Students may be videotaped during a mock interview and will participate in the analysis of their performance in the “interview”.
This practicum will place students in actual workplaces related
to their field of study where they are expected to act as a
regular employee for the set time periods in order to gain the
valuable “real world” experience, often sought by employers
who are hiring. Students are encouraged to find their own work
experience; however, once placed, continuation in the
placement is a mandatory diploma requirement. This
practicum is an unpaid work experience.
Students and practicum hosts are provided with a practicum
“package” that outlines the expectations of both the student
and the host that need to be met to have a successful
In this final integration practice module, students are provided
with the opportunity to practice and understand the basic
technical duties required to work as a Pharmacy Assistant in a
community pharmacy in Canada.
Students will participate in duties and tasks as Pharmacy
Assistants working in a community pharmacy. Their daily tasks
will include receiving prescriptions, patient and prescription data
entry, generating labels, retrieving or compounding medications,
filling each prescription, leaving prescriptions to be checked,
returning stock to inventory, filing completed prescription hard
copies, storing prescriptions for pick-up and delivery.
Pharmacy software applications are necessary in both the
retail and institutional setting. The students are required to
efficiently use the KROLL pharmacy software in all aspects of
the daily processes that take place in a pharmacy. The more
knowledgeable the student is with respect to the detail involved
in entering and processing prescriptions, the more valuable
they will be to the employer.
Many pharmacies are actively using the KROLL pharmacy
software. It is a user-friendly program with a variety of options
that help deliver optimal care to the patient.
This module is designed to give the student the skills and
knowledge that are required to develop a career as a Pharmacy
Assistant. Students will become efficient at preparing
pharmaceutical preparations and the necessary documentation
to meet and maintain standards. Emphasis is on calculations in
The students will become proficient at the use of equipment and
supplies used in compounding. A variety of dosage forms will
be reviewed with emphasis being placed on the knowledge and
skills that are needed to accurately prepare prescribed
The students will review and practice the various mixing
techniques and NAPRA standards of non-sterile compounding
and learn the necessity of compounding medications.
Students are expected to calculate, measure, weigh and mix.
Proper and timely cleaning and maintenance of compounding
equipment and area will be stressed.
This course is designed to teach students about the various
aspects of community pharmacy from the viewpoint of the
pharmacy assistant. The course covers the dispensing process
and dispensing techniques, pharmacy business practices, third
party billing, and blister packing.
Students learn about pharmacy business practices both in the
dispensary and front store. Students learn to complete many of
the technical tasks associated with the day-to-day operations of
a pharmacy. Students read and interpret a prescription, review
calculations, enter prescriptions into the manual or
computerized system to be filled, and complete the appropriate
filling process including packaging. Pharmacy equipment and
dispensing techniques will be demonstrated within the course
with the opportunity for students to practice as well. The course
exposes students to general principles of effective and efficient
inventory management. Theory and practice will educate
students about control and maintenance of community
Students will be learning a minimum of 200 commonly used
Canadian drug names and reviewing their use.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems (WHMIS)
objectives will also be covered.
An Introduction to Kroll, pharmacy software, and prescription
entry is explained, demonstrated and practiced.
Students will learn about ratios, fractions, and other math related
topics and how they play a major part in calculating different
prescription and medication dosages. Students also learn about
math calculations routinely used in IV preparation, a requisite
skill for employment in hospital pharmacies.
This course explores the basic principles of pharmacology, with
an emphasis on drugs used for prevalent diseases in the
Students will learn the pharmacokinetic processes that affect
medications and the body. Students will learn to identify drugs
by their therapeutic use.
Students will learn about conditions that affect the different body
systems and how these conditions are treated with prescription
and over-the-counter medications. Commonly prescribed
Canadian generic and brand name drugs will be discussed
along with dosage forms, indications, contraindications, side
effects, drug interactions and other special administration
considerations and dispensing tips.
Introduction to Pharmacy provides students with an
understanding of the pharmacy profession.
The history of medicine and pharmacy will be reviewed, focusing
on the evolution of Pharmacy roles, especially Pharmacy
Assistant. The profession of pharmacy as it is today will be
examined, and the structure of the various types of pharmacies
in our society will be explored. Students are introduced to the
important roles of all pharmacy personnel including the role they
will play in a career as a Pharmacy Assistant.
Students become familiar with the Federal and Provincial Laws
that govern pharmacy in Canada.
This module provides the necessary knowledge and skills to
identify a valid prescription, patient profile and label, and
introduces the process of filling a prescription. Transcription of
Latin abbreviations and physician directions are reviewed. Drug
nomenclature is introduced along with the use of required
resources to research drugs. Students will learn both Federal
and Provincial drug benefit plans along with other private thirdparty
insurance companies and their billing procedures.
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity
to discover and understand the basic Anatomy and Physiology
of the body systems and to give them the knowledge of various
disease states of these body systems.
Students are introduced to the basic anatomy and physiology
of the major body systems and their components. They are
made aware of how a body and its multiple parts function
together by working as one unit. They are introduced to the
effects that disease states have on the body whether they are
viral, fungal, bacterial, hormonal or other and will begin to
understand the role that medications play in treatment.
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills that are required to recognize and prevent medical and dental emergencies within a medical/dental office. It will prepare students to assist the physician/dentist in administering immediate care for the client in the medical office environment. Students also participate in CPR-first aid training. Lectures, reading assignments, and laboratory projects will provide a basic understanding of medical emergencies and the role of the office assistant in assisting with the administration of care used in the office. This information permits the student to interpret and relay information and to communicate to the health care team and emergency workers. Subjects include:
-Typical medical emergencies
-Roles of individuals in emergencies
-CPR and first aid training
(*) This one-week course may extend beyond 20 hours due to first aid and WHMIS training on specific days maybe being fullday hours.
Medicine, like other professions, has its own language. Students will learn to work with the specialized terminology of medicine, including the pronunciation and spelling of terms to describe medical circumstances and situations. Students will learn through descriptions, illustrations and exercises to identify the major anatomical features and systems of the body and the common pathologies, which can adversely affect these systems.
In the first level of the course, students will learn the medical
-Objectives in studying the medical language.
-Word analysis: combining forms, suffixes, and prefixes.
-Pronunciation of terms
Terms pertaining to the body as a whole
-Structural organization of the body: cells, tissues,
organs, systems, body cavities
-Abdominopelvic regions and quadrants
-Positional and directional terms
-Planes of the body
Students will gain a better understanding of themselves through an exploration of their personal attributes, transferable skills and learning styles. This course will introduce techniques for time, conflict, and stress management and develop interpersonal communication skills. Fundamental study and motivation skills will be covered, preparing students to excel in their program of choice. Students will also prepare a professional resume and learn how to write effective cover letters.