Retail Pharmacy Assistant School

Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Take the first steps towards your new career in retail pharmacy with ICS Canada’s online Retail Pharmacy Assistant Career Diploma courses! Start learning new skills at home and on your own time, and graduate in as little as six months with ICS Canada.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students for entry-level employment as a retail assistant in a pharmacy.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Define the roles and functions of the retail pharmacy assistant
  • Outline pharmacy procedures, operations, and the permissions of various healthcare professions to prescribe medications
  • Explain how dosage forms and routes of administration are detailed on prescriptions
  • Calculate pharmaceutical arithmetic and conversions to provide correct dosages
  • Explain how certain medications are dispensed in solid, liquid, or topical forms, and the applications of each form
  • Describe how drugs reach their appropriate sites of action, as well as the various classes of prescription drugs
  • Identify the types of over-the-counter drugs and some of the general medical conditions these drugs can help treat


Introduction to Retail Pharmacy Assistant

In Learning Strategies, the student will learn about the advantages of learning at home and types of study materials, examinations, and learners. Also covered in this unit is how to access and use the features of the Penn Foster website, establish a study schedule, use study tips, and prepare for and take examinations.

In The Retail Pharmacy Assistant, the student will learn about the history of pharmacy, the differences between modern pharmacies and retail pharmacies, and the responsibilities of the retail pharmacy assistant. Also covered is how to provide customers the service they really need.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe how to establish a study plan by incorporating effective skills, strategies, and study technique
  • Explain how to exhibit efficiency and professionalism as a pharmacy assistant
Retail Pharmacy Operations and Licensed Drug Prescribers

Pharmacy Operations describes the daily activities of a pharmacy technician. The student will learn about policies and procedures related to pharmacy operations and dispensing medications in both community and institutional pharmacies; the computer systems and software programs used by pharmacies to control inventory and keep records; pharmacy technology; and tasks related to pharmacy administration and management.

Prescribers of Drugs describes the healthcare professionals who are licensed to prescribe medication for the treatment of disease and illness. The student will also learn about medications that are prescribed for various conditions.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe the basic procedures and operations that take place in the pharmacy
  • Identify the various drugs that treat different conditions and the providers who prescribe them
Prescription Dosages and Administration

Dosage Forms and Routes of Administration describes a variety of dosage forms and the way they’re prepared or manufactured. Also covered is the way different drugs are administered and why.

Prescriptions explains how to read and interpret prescriptions. The student will learn about the parts of a prescription; how to interpret pharmaceutical notations; and how to improve patient compliance.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain the components of a prescription, as well as how to fill a prescription order
  • Differentiate between different dosage forms and their routes of administration
Pharmacy Arithmetic and Calculations

Pharmacy Arithmetic serves as a refresher course for basic arithmetic and math skills that are commonly used in pharmacies. The addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals is covered, as are percentages and Roman numerals.

Pharmaceutical Calculations explains how to determine dosage amounts and other calculations used in pharmacies. The student will learn about the measurements used in pharmacy, the metric and common systems of measurement, and the relationships between these two systems. Also covered is percentage and ratio strengths; isotonic medicines; thermometer conversions; atomic and molecular weights; and milliequivalents.<.p>
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Add, subtract, divide, and multiply whole numbers, fractions, and decimals
  • Perform fundamental calculations used in pharmacy for preparing and dispensing medicines
Pharmaceutical Dispensing

Pharmaceutical Dispensing I: General Considerations will teach students how to use the equipment necessary to measure, weigh, compound, prepare, and dispense medications. Also covered is how to prepare stock labels for medications.

Pharmaceutical Dispensing II: Solid Dose Forms continues the topic of pharmaceutical compounding by describing the dispensing of the solid dosage forms. It also provides exercises in tablet and capsule dispensing and capsule packing from bulk powder. Students will perform more pharmaceutical calculations and complete some exercises regarding label typing.

Pharmaceutical Dispensing III: Liquid Dose Forms describes the preparation and dispensing of liquid dose forms for oral administration. Students will learn about the differences between suspensions and solutions and try hands-on exercises concerning their preparation. Also discussed are the components of emulsions, syrups, and elixirs. Students will perform pharmaceutical calculations concerning the compounding of liquid dose forms.

Pharmaceutical Dispensing IV: Topical Dose Forms explores the different forms and classifications of topical preparations. Students will learn about various dermatological bases, as well as how ointments and creams are prepared. They’ll also perform some pharmaceutical calculations regarding topical dose forms.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain how to weigh, measure, dispense, and compound, and prepare labels for medications
  • Describe the uses, methods of manufacture, basic types of ingredients, and ways of dispensing tablets and capsules
  • Describe how to compound and prepare solutions, suspensions, and emulsions
  • Describe how to properly mix and prepare topical dose forms
Prescription Drugs

How Drugs Work will teach students how drugs work to produce their effects. Students will explore the sites of action for antihistamines, bronchodilators, endocrine drugs, cardiovascular drugs, drugs affecting the central nervous system, and antibiotics and antibacterials. The general actions of drugs are also characterized according to potency and efficacy. Also covered is how drugs are metabolized to inactive compounds in the liver and ultimately eradicated from the body by the kidney.

Drug Classes: Prescription Drugs describes the major classes of prescription drugs that pharmacy assistants will help dispense. Descriptions of each drug class are presented with examples of the commonly prescribed drugs in each class.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Identify how drugs get to and work at their sites of action before being metabolized and excreted
  • Identify the general classes of drugs with their uses in the therapeutic treatment of disease
Over-the-Counter Drugs and General Medical Conditions

Drug Classes: Over-the-Counter Drugs describes some major classes of over-the-counter (OTC) drug products. The lesson provides product information and reference material related to many medications and products sold without a prescription. Each class of drugs mentioned includes a description of how the product works and why it’s used.

General Medical Conditions reviews some of the general medical conditions experienced by patients and the general classes of medications that are used to treat those ailments. This lesson focuses on what causes the illnesses in these systems and the types of drugs that are given to correct the illnesses.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain how OTC drugs work and how they’re used
  • Identify the major drug groups and the disorders, diseases, and conditions they’re used to treat

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete your program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
In order to further enhance your performance in this field, ICS has researched and recommended specific practical activities designed to complement your course work.
To ensure that you acquire the manual skills which are important in this program area, we encourage you to follow all of the course instructions.

Sample Lesson

To view a Retail Pharmacy Assistant sample lesson, click here.

Retail Pharmacy Assistant Course Details

In ICS Canada’s Retail Pharmacy Assistant program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Order inventory
  • Arrange merchandise
  • Perfect sales techniques
Online retail pharmacy assistant courses

Here are a few qualities that successful pharmacy assistants have in common:

  • Attentive: Hear and understand what others need and want.
  • Organized: Pharmacy assistants need to keep prescriptions and new drugs in the right place.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Dependable: Customers rely on you to have the right information.

"I chose to further my education and accounting knowledge with ICS Canada while working as an accounting clerk, which allowed me to move up within the company at which I am currently working. Studying with ICS Canada was a great experience, and the instructors were very helpful when it came to resolving any issues I had while studying."

- Sean S., ICS Canada graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Study Planner App to keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising