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Health Science | Pharmacy Technician

4 Best Pharmacy Technician Textbooks for CTE Health Science Classes in 2023

December 7th, 2022 | 10 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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Whether you’re an experienced Pharmacy Technician instructor or just getting started, you know that the textbook you choose can serve as the backbone of your class and the key to getting your students certified. 

If you choose the right textbook--great! But if you choose wrongly, your Pharmacy Technician class could be hobbled--or doomed--from the start. 

At AES, we talk to teachers like you every day, and we understand the pressure you’re feeling. Though our HealthCenter21 can often be used as a supplement to prep students for Pharm Tech certification exams, it doesn’t offer the full curriculum you may be looking for. 

You want to set your students on a successful career path for life, and to do that you need a textbook that will work best for your students, your teaching style, and your classroom.

But what are the best options on the table? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

In this article, you’ll find the 4 best textbooks you can use to teach your class and help your students earn their Pharmacy Technician certifications:

  1. Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician
  2. Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician
  3. Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians
  4. The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better grasp on each of these textbooks and be able to see which--if any-- is the right fit for your classroom’s needs.

1. Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician, 6th Edition

mosbys-pharmacy-technician-bookMosby’s Pharmacy Technician, 6th Edition is a comprehensive textbook written with certification exams in mind, and covers all the ins and outs of being a Pharm Tech. 

Authors: Karen Davis and Anthony Guerra

Copyright: Elsevier Inc., 2022

What Pharmacy Technician Topics Are Included?

Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician tries to provide the most well-rounded education possible for its readers, covering a diverse array of topics. 

The textbook is divided into two units: 

  1. The first unit is Pharmacy Practice, which generally covers how a pharmacy runs and what a Pharm Tech’s duties are. It includes chapters like:
    1. Pharmacy Law, Ethics, and Regulatory Agencies
    2. Competencies, Associations, and Settings for Technicians
    3. Community Pharmacy Practice
    4. Institutional Pharmacy Practice
    5. Aseptic Technique and Sterile Compounding
    6. Medication Safety and Error Prevention
  2. The second unit is Pharmacology and Medications, which covers the specifics of which drugs are effective for the various bodily systems. It includes chapters like:
    1. Drug Classifications and Foundations
    2. Therapeutic Agents for the Gastrointestinal System
    3. Therapeutic Agents for the Nervous System
    4. Therapeutic Agents for the Respiratory System
    5. Therapeutic Agents for the Endocrine System
    6. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

How Much Does Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician Cost?

A 6th edition copy of Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician costs $111.99 on Elsevier’s website.

Who Is Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician Intended For?

Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician is a great pick for both new and experienced Pharm Tech students. It provides a solid foundation of knowledge for those seeking their certifications as well as plentiful refreshers for those already certified. 

If you need a well-rounded, in-depth textbook that will cover all your bases and set your students on the path to successful careers, Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician may be the choice for you.

2. Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician, 1st Edition

mosbys-advanced-pharmacy-technicianMosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician, 1st Edition is a more focused textbook, meant to help students explore methods for advancing their Pharm Tech careers. 

This textbook would work as a good supplement for Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician, 6th Edition, but shifts its focus to developing students’ leadership skills or helping them prepare for Advanced Pharm Tech Certifications. 

Author: Karen Davis

Copyright: Elsevier Inc., 2021

What Pharmacy Technician Topics Are Included?

Because of its supplemental nature, Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician focuses its content on Pharm Tech management as well as technical skills to support career advancement in the field. 

The textbook is divided into three parts:

  1. The first part is The Advanced Pharmacy Technician, which explores new developments in the Pharm Tech profession. Some chapters include:
    1. Current and Expanding Role of the Pharmacy Technician
    2. Training and Skills for Advanced Pharmacy Technician Roles
    3. Leadership and Management Skills
  2. The second part is Operational and Clinical Skills, which expands upon some of the specific duties of an Advanced Pharm Tech. The most robust section of the book, its chapter include:
    1. Advanced Clinical Skills in Community and Institutional Settings
    2. Patient Medication Compliance and Monitoring
    3. Sterile Products and Hazardous Drugs
    4. Medication Verification
  3. The third part is Launching Your Career, which closes out the book with further advice on career development as a Pharm Tech. The lone chapter available to see for this part is:
    1. Education and Training

How Much Does Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician Cost?

A 1st Edition copy of Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician costs $70.99 on Elsevier’s website. 

Who Is Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician Intended For?

Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician is intended more for experienced Pharm Techs seeking advice to advance their careers and expand their responsibilities. 

This textbook wouldn’t work well on its own for a Pharmacy Technician course, but might be useful as supplemental material to grant students insight into the evolving role of Pharm Techs. 

If you need a more niche textbook to teach your students leadership skills and career progression strategies to earn an Advanced Pharm Tech certification or further succeed at their positions, then Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician might be a good fit. 

However, if you’re teaching new students and need to give them a more well-rounded curriculum, this textbook won’t work for you, unless you pair it with the more comprehensive Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician.

3. Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, 3rd Edition

pharmacology-pharmacy-techniciansPharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians, 3rd Edition centers its content more around the medical and physiology-focused details of Pharmacology, rather than the day-to-day or administrative work. 

Authors: Kathy Moscou and Karen Snipe

Copyright: Elsevier Inc., 2019

What Pharmacy Technician Topics Are Included?

Much of this textbook’s material focuses on the medical intricacies of Pharmacology. In particular, how specific drugs affect different areas of the body, and what standard treatments are for various diseases and disorders. 

The textbook is divided into eleven units, a few of which include: 

  1. The first unit is Introduction to Pharmacology, and provides some of the basics aspiring Pharm Techs need to know about the field. Its chapters are:
    1. Fundamentals of Pharmacology
    2. Principles of Pharmacology
    3. Pharmacodynamics
    4. Drug Interactions and Medical Errors
  2. The second unit is Drugs Affecting the Autonomic Nervous System and Central Nervous System. This unit begins the textbook’s shift into how different drugs affect the various systems of the body. Its chapters include:
    1. Treatment of Anxiety
    2. Treatment of Depression
    3. Treatment of Schizophrenia and Psychoses
    4. Treatment of Pain and Migraine Headache
  3. The third unit is Drugs Affecting the Musculoskeletal System, which continues the textbook’s focus on the effects of drugs on the body. This trend continues for all the remaining units. Its chapters are:
    1. Neuromuscular Blockade and Muscle Spasms
    2. Treatment of Gout, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    3. Treatment of Osteoporosis and Paget’s Disease of the Bone

How Much Does Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians Cost?

A 3rd Edition copy of Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians costs $87.99 on Elsevier’s website.

Who Is Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians Intended For?

Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians is intended for new students looking to get started on their Pharm Tech education. 

While its material focuses more on helping students with the scientific aspects of Pharmacology, it’s still a solid all-around resource that will cover most of your necessary bases. It even includes a companion workbook, patient scenarios, and several other resources to help students launch their Pharm Tech careers. 

If you need a thorough, science-focused textbook that will spend most of its time helping your students understand the physiological effects of drugs, then Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians might be a good choice for your class.

4. The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach

pharmacy-technician-comprehensive-approachThe Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach offers a balanced, well-rounded base of information you can use to educate your students on all facets of being a Pharmacy Technician. 

Author: Jahangir Moini

Copyright: Cengage Learning, 2021

What Pharmacy Technician Topics Are Included?

The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach lives up to its name by providing a diverse, yet thorough array of topics that new students can use as a solid baseline for starting their Pharm Tech education. 

The textbook is divided into four sections:

  1. The first section is Pharmacy Practice, which introduces the student to pharmacy history and basic operations. Chapters include:
    1. The Foundation of Pharmaceutical Care
    2. Pharmacy Law, Ethics, and Regulatory Agencies
    3. Prescriptions and Processing
  2. The second section is Pharmacy Practice Settings, which explores the different pharmacy environments students might one day operate in. Chapters include:
    1. Hospital Pharmacy
    2. Community Pharmacy
    3. Advanced Pharmacy
  3. The third section is Administrative Skills, which covers much of the paperwork, inventory work, and billing work Pharm Techs might encounter daily. Chapters include:
    1. Insurance and Billing
    2. Inventory Control and Management
    3. Medication Errors and Safety
  4. The fourth section is Medication Effects on Body Systems, which covers the specifics of how certain drugs affect the various body systems. Chapters include:
    1. Therapeutic Drugs for the Nervous System
    2. Therapeutic Drugs for the Musculoskeletal System
    3. Therapeutic Drugs for the Endocrine System

How Much Does The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach Cost?

Depending on the medium you need, there are various prices available on Cengage’s website:

  • A standard paperback version of the textbook is priced at $173.95. 
  • The eBook version starts at $42.99. 
  • There is also a version available through the online platform MindTap that starts its pricing at $111. 

Who Is The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach Intended For?

The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach is intended for entry-level students in the Pharm Tech field. Its sweeping and thorough structure serves as the perfect starting point for students who need a great foundation to work from. 

If you need an all-inclusive, in-depth textbook that will grant your students most of the critical knowledge they need to start careers as Pharmacy Technicians, then The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach would suit you well.

So Which Pharmacy Technician Textbook is Best for You?

reviews-pharmacy-technician-textbooks (1)

That depends on what kind of textbook you need for your classroom. A few of these textbooks are more specialized toward particular teaching styles or student needs, after all. 

If you’re looking for comprehensive, thorough textbooks that will cover all the Pharm Tech basics new students need to know, then check out either The Pharmacy Technician: A Comprehensive Approach, or Mosby’s Pharmacy Technician

If you want a textbook that focuses more on teaching students the specific physiological effects of drugs, then Pharmacology for Pharmacy Technicians might be a better choice. 

Lastly, if you need a supplemental textbook intended to help experienced Pharm Techs further their careers or gain advanced certifications, consider Mosby’s Advanced Pharmacy Technician

However, if you’re like many CTE health science teachers, you know that while textbooks can serve as the heart of a course, these days students need a deeper experience to gain all they can from your course.

What can really make a textbook shine is using it in conjunction with a digital curriculum to create a blended learning experience. Blended learning combines traditional teaching methods with instructional technology to help keep your students engaged while providing them the education they need. 

If blended learning sounds like a fit for you, or if you need help with student engagement in your Pharmacy Technician course, consider checking out HealthCenter21 to supplement your class. 

HealthCenter21 is a full-fledged digital curriculum with hundreds of hours of health science content that CTE teachers nationwide use every day to save themselves time when teaching their students. 

Wondering how HealthCenter21 could fit into your Pharmacy Technician class? Check out our recommendations to see whether it has the content you need for your students:

Discover How to Use HealthCenter21 for Your Pharmacy Technician Course >