Pharmacist: Alternative Careers. A guide for newcomers to British Columbia

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1 A guide for newcomers to British Columbia

2 Contents 1. Pharmacist: Alternative Careers 2 2. Employment Outlook 5 3. Retraining 6 4. Searching for Jobs 7 5. Volunteering in the Field 7 6. Helpful Resources 8 1. Pharmacist: Alternative Careers In BC, pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed pharmaceuticals and provide consultative services to both clients and health care providers. They work in hospitals, universities, government and pharmaceutical companies, and retail pharmacies. They may also work in research, development, promotion and manufacture of pharmaceuticals. You may find that your international training and experience as a pharmacist are not immediately accepted in B.C. The skills you have acquired as a pharmacist (strong ethical sense, strong mathematical, computer, written and verbal communication skills, and good manual dexterity) can be used in these alternative careers: Pharmacy Assistant (NOC 3414) Pharmacy Technician (NOC 3219) Technical Sales Specialist (NOC 6221) Alternative Careers: Pharmacy Assistant (NOC 3414) Also look for these job titles: pharmacy aide, pharmacy side room attendant, pharmacy supply assistant, pharmacy technical assistant Pharmacy assistants help pharmacists with the day-to-day needs of running a pharmacy. They may work for retail, hospital or clinic pharmacies. Duties include: helping pharmacists by compounding, packaging and labelling pharmaceutical products helping maintain prescription records and inventories of medications and pharmaceutical products Requirements: secondary school graduation; workplace training provided Last updated: June 30,

3 Skills: excellent customer service skills professional sales experience highly organized with excellent problem solving skills detail oriented manual dexterity Wages: median hourly wage: $ Pharmacy Technician (NOC 3219) Pharmacy technicians have independent authority and responsibility to prepare, process and compound prescriptions under the direction of a pharmacist. They may work for retail, hospital or clinic pharmacies. Duties include: prepare medications for clients; compound oral solutions, ointments and creams maintain inventories of medications and prescription records of pharmaceutical products ensure the information on prescriptions is accurate enter client information in databases bill third party insurers Requirements: completion of a two- to three-year college program in pharmaceutics registration with the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC) as a regulated pharmacy technician Internationally trained pharmacists are eligible to register as Pharmacy Technicians in BC through the Currently in Practice path until December 31, o candidates with less than 2000 hours pharmacy experience in Canada must first complete the PEBC Evaluating Exam (Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada). PEBC determines if international experience is relevant for practice in Canada (see: o after successful completion of PEBC evaluating exam, candidates may, through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process (PLAR), then challenge three of the four modules in the CPBC Bridging Program (pharmacology, management of drug distribution systems, product Last updated: June 30,

4 o preparation). The fourth module, professional practice, is mandatory (approximately 40 hours, in class or online instruction). For further information, see n.php php 4_Pharmacy_Technician/5114-PT_RegInfo_CurrentPractice.pdf Skills: detail oriented computer skills manual dexterity Wages: median hourly wage: $20.12 Sources: Career Cruising database (Profile for Pharmacy Technician ) Technical Sales Specialist (NOC 6221) Also look for these job titles: pharmaceutical representative, sales support specialist A technical sales specialist, also known as a pharmaceutical representative, works with pharmaceutical companies to promote and educate health care workers about pharmaceutical products. You may work for a company that makes or sells a technical service or product, such as pharmaceutical equipment. You may enjoy this job if you like marketing and have a good knowledge of body systems, pharmacology and strategic business planning. Technical Sales Specialists sell a range of technical goods and services, scientific and industrial products, to governments and to commercial and industrial establishments in domestic and international locations. Duties include: promote sales to existing clients; identify and solicit potential clients assess clients' needs and resources and recommend the appropriate goods or services provide input into product design where goods or services must be tailored to suit clients' needs estimate costs of installing and maintaining equipment or service prepare and administer sales contracts Last updated: June 30,

5 Requirements: usually four-year college or university program in a relevant field Skills: speak, write and read English listen well and be able to explain and/or sell your product track trends and changes in pharmacology and marketing be accountable, attentive to detail, professional and punctual Wages: median hourly wage: $ Employment Outlook The demand for pharmaceutical services is rising in response to the increasing proportion of the population who are over the age of 65. Over the last decade years, Canada's aging population has led to a rapidly increasing number of prescriptions being filled by pharmacists. The largest increase in pharmacy activity has taken place in community pharmacies that are located in food and general merchandise stores. Many jobs will be created in retail pharmacies as more supermarkets and general merchandisers open pharmacies in their stores. Pharmacy Assistant (NOC 3414) Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 3414) Source: Last updated: June 30,

6 Pharmacy Technician (NOC 3219) Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 3219) Source: Technical Sales Specialist (NOC 6221) Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 6221) Source: 3. Retraining You may want to consider upgrading your skills to increase your employment options in this field. The following courses may improve your current skill set: Vancouver Community College, Pharmacy Technician Program Thirty weeks, full time certificate program, including practicum in the community Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Professional Communications for Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHP) Program will improve communication for entry into professional practice, improve pronunciation, expand health and idiomatic vocabulary, improve written skills for documentation, increase awareness of communication styles and understanding of culturally expected behaviours in the Canadian health care system shared/assets/iehp_brochure_june_ pdf Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Open Learning: Medical English Last updated: June 30,

7 Provides an opportunity to develop or strengthen your understanding of medical terminology as it is used in a Canadian health care context. Case scenarios, dialogues and discussions related to body systems, medications, will be used to develop language skills. Internationally educated health care providers will be able to acquire career-specific language development. Thirty week program, web-based instruction 4. Searching for Jobs B.C. Health Authorities (select link for each region and then go to Careers ) Regional services including publicly funded hospitals and residential care facilities B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority Job postings available in specialty institutions such as BC Transplant, BC Women s Hospital, BC Children s Hospital Health Match BC Health Match BC is a free health professional recruitment service funded by the Government of British Columbia Indeed.ca Health E Careers Providence Health Care 5. Volunteering in the Field Volunteering in health care facilities can help you to explore a new career and learn more about the health care system in BC. You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that can lead to information on job openings and inside connections with potential employers. Last updated: June 30,

8 Canadian Red Cross see Community Support Initiatives Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Fraser Health Authority Providence Health Care VOLWEB.ca 6. Helpful Resources BC Pharmacy Association College of Pharmacists of BC Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians Click on Career Advice at for help on: resumes & cover letters getting Canadian work experience networking for employment online social networks Canadian workplace culture Questions? Please ask the Information Staff in the Central Library, Vancouver Public Library or telephone Please note that the information in this guide is also available online through the Skilled Immigrant InfoCentre website at Last updated: June 30,

9 This project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada with support from the Province of British Columbia Last updated: June 30,

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