Very often, we tend to think of pharmacy continuing education as it relates to medicine preparation and dispersion, but there are many other related subjects.
This may surprise some people, but there are some pharmacy continuing education courses that you can take online for free. You can study about pharmacy management, interacting with the community, chronic pain management, dealing with Medicare Part D, and even contact lens issues – to name only a few.
As a side note, for those classes you do have to pay for, keep records of the costs associated with them; they are a legitimate business expense and can be deducted from your taxes.
Politically Charged Issues
These days, even a pharmacist can become embroiled in troubles of the day. Some people object to abortion on moral grounds, and thus they feel that the so-called morning after pill – used to abort a pregnancy – is morally wrong. As a pharmacist, you may be called upon to dispense such drugs. Some pharmacy continuing education courses are designed to help you deal with this issue – deciding whether or not to give out the medication, and dealing with the potential law suits should you refuse to sell it.
Finding the Right Program
The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education is an excellent place to turn to in order to find proper pharmacy continuing education programs; their website is acpe.accredit.org. They list each of the states in the country, and what they require in terms of a pharmacist’s mandated education. The council has their Pharmacists’ Learning Assistance Network, which lists all of the programs that can satisfy the pharmacy continuing education requirements. As the requirements vary from state to state, sometimes online courses are enough to fulfil the pharmacy continuing education, and other states – like New York – require you to attend live classes.
Other Options for Classes
Not all pharmacy continuing education classes have to be taken at a college. Many pharmaceutical companies offer classes that are acceptable to certain states for continued education credits, and some are free.
Reporting Education Credits
The reporting of pharmacy continuing education credits also varies from state to state; some states don’t require you to report the credits you’ve earned in the previous year. However, even if you do not have to report the credits you earn, you need to keep track of them. If the state orders an audit of your records, you’ll have to be able to prove you took the appropriate classes, and when. Other states – like Texas – require you to report only the exact number of hours needed for that year; if you earn more hours, you can’t report them, and you can’t carry them over to the next year. So, check on all aspects of the continued education rules and requirements in your particular state.
If you have a pharmacy license in more than one state, you may or may not have to do pharmacy continuing education in both states. You can check and see if one state will accept the education credits you earn in another state. This is often very true for any credits you earn via an online class.