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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Miriam A Mobley Smith, Pharm.D. (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy)
Description: This book is an uncomplicated, user-friendly introductory resource that reviews the basic concepts that a skilled and knowledgeable pharmacy technician should know. Each of the 15 concise chapters contains pertinent, functional information that is organized to correspond to the content areas of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE).
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to provide baseline knowledge for new technicians in training who are either on-the-job or in a formalized educational program. This book meets the author's objectives by providing an organized, straight-forward text that logically introduces technicians to new concepts, focuses their study and helps them to recognize knowledge area deficits that need enhancement. The role and importance of the pharmacy technician within pharmacy practice is reinforced throughout the chapters.
Audience: This book is written for entry-level pharmacy technicians who are learning the technician's role, duties and responsibilities. For more advanced technicians, this book provides a useful educational resource for reviewing content areas in preparation for the PTCE. The author, a pharmacist, consultant and editor for numerous pharmacy publications, has proven to be a dedicated and credible authority on issues relating to pharmacy practice.
Features: The book builds its informational framework on four major sections: Basic Information, Prescription Dispensing, Maintaining Medication and Inventory Control Systems, and Assisting with Pharmacy Administration and Management. The latter three sections reflect the broad function areas found in the PTCE. The chapters within each section start with an overall description followed by the PTCE content-related responsibilities and knowledge areas. Each chapter then gives a basic overview of the most relevant topics within that subject area while providing a brief description of how the material relates to upcoming and previous chapters, reinforcing a strong sense of continuity throughout the book. It is fairly balanced in addressing issues relative to technicians working in community and institutional practice sites. The sections on medical terminology and organ-specific drug listings comprehensively review commonly utilized terms and medications. The calculations section includes problem-solving exercises which refer to commonly used medicinal products. The example exercises are easy to understand and complete but do not include all of the answers to the questions for readers to verify their grasp of the materials. The sterile compounding section, while providing several illustrations of aseptic manipulations, could be enhanced by the inclusion of captions describing the concepts being shown. This would be especially helpful for the entry-level technician with no sterile compounding experience. An informative radiopharmaceuticals section is also included which may broaden the technician's understanding of and interest in this unique practice area. The four appendixes contain useful information that includes the PTCE content outline and contact information for national technician organizations, state pharmacy associations and boards of pharmacy.
Assessment: This book is of high quality and well suited as a textbook for an introductory course in a technician training program or as a supplementary text for on-the-job technician training. It compares favorably in content to similar available textbooks (e.g., American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. [Manual for Pharmacy Technicians. 2nd ed. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 1998] and [Ballington DA. [Pharmacy Practice for Technicians. . St. Paul, MN: EMCParadigm; 2003, 1999]). The author of this book focuses on a more concise approach to the material without utilizing a self-instructional, workbook format. The other texts include a self-assessment section at the end of each chapter where this book does not. The lack of this feature may make the book somewhat less desirable for a pharmacy technician who needs that level of reinforcement.