In July 2005 I became a certified technician. I'll never forget test day, having to leave at 4:30 AM in order to make the test site in time for the 7AM start. Seeing hoards of middle aged women with literally 20 pencils and five calculators.
The test was supposed to take around two hours or so if I remember correctly. I remember breezing through it in about a half hour seeing as I had already had four years of experience at that point. What I do remember is the test being challenging in certain areas, especially the questions regarding drugs. I remember a good deal was based on hospital protocol and there were only a few math based questions.
When I passed, it was one of the largest achievements I had made at that point in my life.
Today, though, it seems like any dimwit can earn certification from the PTCB. About a year ago a new employee, whom had never worked in a pharmacy before and even admitted to not know what hydrocodone was the day before the test, decided to take the PTCE after working for us for a week.
I laughed it off thinking, there's no way in hell he'll pass that.
But he did.
And I started reading more about what the test had become in the years since I took mine. I found out that it was now computer based and stopped once you correctly answered enough questions. And you could take it locally now which woulda been a helluva lot nicer than getting up at 4 in the morning.
Yet I keep reading again and again about how people are becoming certified when they know nothing about pharmacy. Most read through one of the review books in a week and go take the test and then pass.
First I should mention I do not support the 'tech schools' out there that train people for this job. I think its a waste of money personally because you're essentially paying to learn on the job training, but whatever that's an argument for another post.
However I do not think it's right that someone can earn this designation and not know a damn thing about pharmacy. From what I have gathered the test has become more math based and the questions regarding drugs are insanely easy. Which makes sense when I read about some of the yahoos that are now certified.
What happened to the honor it was to carry the title C.PhT after your name? It used to be that when we hired someone and they were certified, you knew that they knew their shit. Now it doesn't mean a damn thing as they can be as big of an imbecile as any other green tech.
It just seems like there should be some sort of reform here ya know? Maybe actually challenge people a bit? Am I the only one who's noticed this?