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A Few Tips on How to Start a Career As a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician is a solid career choice. Health-care jobs are predicted to steadily grow over the next decade. In fact, labor and industry forecasters all seem to agree that most health-care job numbers will keep increasing over the next decade. The aging baby-boom population reaching their golden years is a major indicator of health-care’s upcoming growth. And, pharmacy is tied into health-care at nearly every level, which means that being a pharmacy technician should prove the be a stable career path over both the short and long term. This article talks about some tips and ideas about how to become a pharmacy tech. First, lets talk about what pharmacy technicians do day-to-day?

What Do Pharmacy Techs do?

Pharmacy Technicians have a wide range of duties since they work in a variety of venues. The majority of techs work in retail stores. Other environments include Hospitals, Long-Term Care facilities, Mail-Order pharmacies and Military bases. Insurance companies also hire experienced pharmacy techs to audit paperwork and adjust claims. Most pharmacy technicians work directly with customers / patients under the direction of a pharmacist. They may perform many of the same duties as a Pharmacist and must have a good working knowledge of the pharmacy operations. Besides counting out tablets and ringing up orders, pharmacy technicians also decode prescriptions, enter data into computers, create labels, make and receive phone calls, rotate stock as well as countless other duties.

Pharmacy Technicians do much of the work in a pharmacy, but they can’t do everything. They may not answer questions about medications or give any advice whatsoever. They can tell a customer where to find “over-the-counter” products and even read the words from the packaging. However, they can never personally advise anyone to use any type of drug product. Overall, a pharmacy technician’s main goal is to assist the pharmacist in helping patients and customers. They are expected to be attentive and accurate, but also friendly and knowledgeable.

Do I have to get certified to become a pharmacy tech?

Most employers and states require National Certification. Someday, the regulations may be the same everywhere, but for now it’s different in every state. The first step is to find out what is required in your state and/or any prospective employers. At the minimum, Pharmacy Technicians are required to register and keep an updated license with the Board of Pharmacy in their respective state. Most U.S. states require national certification from either the PTCB or ICPT (ExCPT). However, even if the state doesn’t require national certification, most companies who employ pharmacy technicians do. In addition, even if neither the state or your employer require certification, it’s recommended that anyone planning on a career as a pharmacy tech should become nationally certified in order to be more qualified when applying for a tech position or promotion.

What is the pharmacy tech test like?

Taking the PTCB Exam:

Most states recognize the PTCB since it’s been around longer and has a solid reputation. The pharmacy technician test given by the PTCB is a 90 question multiple choice test. There are four answers to choose from, with one being the correct answer. You get 120 minutes to complete the exam. The exam is in random format, which means that the subject matter switches around nearly every question. The exam is constructed as:

66% – Assisting the pharmacist / serving22% – Maintaining Medication and Inventory Control Systems12% – Administration and management of pharmacy business practices

To pass the PTCB Exam:

You’ll need to score at least 650 out of 900. Whatever you do, don’t read online message boards (Yahoo groups, etc.) where people who have passed try to tell you what’s on the exam. There are several test batteries that change frequently. In fact, they’ve currently updated all of the exams in mid 2010. The best way to ensure you pass the PTCB exam is to study until you confidently know all of the subjects on the exam.

What do Pharmacy Technicians earn?

The Salary paid to pharmacy technicians really varies by geographical location. So, in an attempt to collect the best available data, an ongoing wage survey has been running on my website for several months and the results are listed individually by city and state. To see those results, go to the wage survey page.

Pharmacy Tech School vs. Online vs. Self Study

The best route to get trained and certified really depends on each person and their own situation. Each type of program offers different types of structure and flexibility. The biggest factors to consider are job placement assistance, program accreditation and your budget.

Community College – pharmacy technology programs

Many Community Colleges offer a 1-2 year pharmacy technician program designed to prepare students to jump right into a pharmacy technician position. These programs usually qualify for financial aid and other assistance / re-training programs. One of the big questions you’ll want to ask when considering this type of program is about placement assistance after program completion.

Trade School / Pharmacy Tech Colleges

The trade schools are all a little different from each other, so you’ll want to research all of them to find one that’s best for you. If they are accredited, you may also qualify for financial aid grants and loans. If you are serious about attending one of the pharmacy technician schools, make an appointment and take a tour of the school. Ask specific questions about the program and the career placement. When you go for a tour at a pharmacy tech school, be prepared for the big sales pitch and some pressure. Remember, these schools are businesses and the folks who give the tours are salespeople and often work for commissions.

Online pharmacy Technician Programs / Online Colleges

An increasing number of schools are offering online programs which can be completed at home. An online pharmacy technician program can be a great choice for a highly disciplined person. If you’re prone to getting side-tracked by other projects (or TV shows) while you are at home, Online study programs may not work for you. On the other hand, if you can focus and stay on a schedule online programs are flexible enough to work around any schedule. When considering an online pharmacy technician program, shop around and look at the benefits of each. Some of the online programs may have affiliations with community colleges or chain drug stores, which may provide assistance in finding an internship or externship.

Self Study / Pharmacy Tech Review Books

Similar to online programs, self study can be challenging for the focus deficient types. However, one really good strategy for succeeding with a self-study pharmacy tech program is to form a small group and meet on a schedule. Even just having one partner to study with on a consistent basis helps immensely. Self study is also a very good option for experienced technicians who are in need of getting certified because of a new law or employers policy.

What subjects do pharmacy technician students study?

The breakdown of the test doesn’t really give a clear picture of what subjects pharmacy tech students need to study. In pharmacy technician programs, some of the subjects are: Pharmacy Math, The Top 200 Drugs, DEA Controlled Substance Schedules, Pharmacy Laws and ethics, Prescription decoding and abbreviations, parenteral Nutrition, Pharmacology and several more.

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5 Expert Insider Steps to Begin Transforming Your Health & Body Today!

While yes, our team is born in a world of intense high athletic goals such as bodybuilding, it is not our goal to support people to become bodybuilders – FAR FROM IT!;-) So you can relax now!! But it IS our goal to share with you why the lessons from our experience of mastering human health & the body, & how developing a bodybuilder “mentality” for your own life can literally skyrocket you into a level of personal health you never thought possible, while showing you the shortcuts in how to get there! Sound good? Heck, it sounds GREAT to us, because we already know how it can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

If you are serious about stepping into your greatness of feeling & looking great, take 3 minutes & glean our insight, because this is the single-most MISSING LINK that we see people repeatedly leaving out of their game plan to great health & why they continue to fail at achieving quality health for their lives.

When you have had an experience of taking your mental, emotional & physical self to the level that bodybuilding competition requires, as a coach for others it then allows you to see potential for your clients that they could never envision for themselves without you by their side AND TAKE THEM THERE, and that is the beauty of the gift that we REJOICE in offering others in order to achieve optimal health, energy, & joy for their lives. But to get there…to create a successful transformation of your health & body, you HAVE to begin INSIDE with our 5 MUST-HAVE Steps! Yes, that’s right – the focus begins in the MIND. Time & again we see this process work, and it’s our UNIQUE coaching psychology method that sets us apart, & why we are capable of producing jaw-dropping results with the level of motivational mentality we provide. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you fail to develop the DESIRE & MINDSET to IMPLEMENT it, you will never succeed.

Want the insider view to our winning approach to learn how to transform your own health & body? We’re here to offer you the scoop because it’s our desire to support you fully to achieve authentic, preventative health from the inside, out in your lifetime. So where do we begin? There is a prolific spiritual author named John Maxwell, maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t – but he writes of numerous spiritual topics & speaks on how we create TRUE transformation for our lives. Below we adapt his words for our article today because it’s a brilliant synopsis of just why & how we work with clients to coach them through mastering their personal health, as there are so many levels to the process.

When we discuss transformation of the physical body, to be successful we cannot deny that mind, body & spirit are woven tightly together in our being & therefore EACH needs to be considered – not just one. Often people when wanting to conquer health or healing goals immediately BEGIN at the physical, they think weight loss, nutrition, exercise…but that is their first step to failure because they’re joining the race before they’ve even laced their shoes!! When we fail to address mind & spirit in the health process we eventually lose the vision of why we’re addressing the physical in the first place & sadly fall off course when interest wanes, times get tough, or we lose our way because the how-to’s become unclear or appear out of reach. But if we start INSIDE & work OUTWARDS friends, GAME ON!!

Our 5 Expert Insider Steps to Transforming Your Health & Body

So these 5 KEY STEPS must be addressed in order to achieve a complete & SUCCESSFUL health & body transformation, and they must also be achieved in order as follows…

1. When you change your (health & body) thinking, you change your (health & body) beliefs.

If you think what you’ve been taught is healthy by the mainstream media is where your learning stops, then don’t expect to achieve great illness-free, authentic preventative health because they don’t teach proactive health approach, they teach reactive wait til you get sick & then act health approach. Begin to change your thinking to change your belief system about your body and health potential.

2. When you change your (health & body) beliefs, you change your (health & body) expectations.

Once you begin to expand your thinking, start to also seek out experts in areas of health & body who have shown & continue to show PROVEN ABILITY TO CREATE TRANSFORMATION RESULTS in their own health & body that you would like to emulate. Begin to sponge knowledge from them vs. what mainstream media claims leads to great health results, & you’ll in turn raise the bar on what you expect from your own health. You’ll see your new mentor/s are just ordinary people too like you, who decided to blaze their own health path about the quality of health they wanted to achieve for their life by taking the road less followed for their own health in life, and YOU CAN TOO – if you follow in their footprints.

3. When you change your (health & body) expectations, you change your (health & body) attitude.

Once your mind becomes opened by experts to your new health possibilities, you’ll have a renewed attitude & confidence about your abilities & empowerment around your personal health & begin to realize that anything you put your MIND to, your BODY can achieve -with the right tools in your toolbox. And THAT is exciting!

4. When you change your (health & body) attitude, you change your (health & body) behavior.

Now that you come to the table with a revitalized health attitude of possibilities & an arsenal from your health mentor, your entire being & behavior begins to shift because your mentor connects you with your own personal ability to achieve great results for your health, and as that continues to happen over and over, your self-efficacy GROWS & GROWS around your capabilities to manage your own personal health, as you transition into your own personal mini-health-expert!

5. When you change your (health & body) behavior, YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Now that you’ve achieved health & body mastery, you will begin to see an entire energetic, mental & emotional shift in your life that FAR EXCEEDS the physical. Yes, you will look & feel great, but the ways optimal health radiate outwards to all facets of your life will be astounding, as you attain a personal joy in life through health that you’ve never experienced before. No pills, no roller coaster of energy, no food cravings, no more blah approach to life, no more hiding from life within your own body,…you emerge a renewed person, ready to take on your full potential in this life.

This list is the perfect example of why health coaching with experienced experts not only WORKS, but offers you AMAZING, permanent results you could never envision or achieve on your own. With the support of your coaches seasoned & proven mentality of success in health & body transformation, you develop a similar mindset, outlook & body of knowledge in order to reach external goals of physical health & body success!

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Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Body Composition
Flexibility
Muscular Strength
Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

Balance
Reaction Time
Coordination
Agility
Speed
Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the definition of Physical Fitness emphasizes the difference between Health Related Physical Fitness and Athletic Ability Physical Fitness. Its point-of-departure is the “health” of the US nation, which is often referred to as the “public health perspective.” In that respect, the 5 Health Related Fitness Components are more important than those related to Athletic Ability (or Skill Related Components).

Although the concept of Health Related Fitness has an integral association with “good health”, the 5 Components are addressed individually by health professionals to allow for their measurement.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the term, what purpose does it serve?

Continuing from where the definition left off, the objective of measuring the 5 Components is to advise clients about their own particular Health Related Fitness, and to use data obtained from the tests to design appropriate exercise programs which can then be evaluated.

The 5 Components contribute evenly to make up a holistic Health Related Fitness, which is of direct interest to the health of the ordinary citizen, in that the concept is normative. In other words, it is a standard which allows for consistent application.

It is therefore important for those working in the health and fitness industry not to mistake “overall physical fitness” with “Health Related Physical fitness.”

To conclude, let us consider this distinction between Physical Fitness and Health Related Fitness

One needs to bear in mind that regular physical exercise can improve overall Physical Fitness, as well as Health Related Fitness. However, overall fitness is a generic term and is up to subjective interpretation, while Health Related Fitness can be assessed.

The distinction therefore, between these two terms, exists in that Health Related Physical Fitness can be measured according to a set of established comparative norms.

This is where the “rubber hits the road.” The guidelines set out by the ACSM enable health professionals to work with clients to assess and measure their response to exercise and prescribe appropriate exercise programs. A client’s progress can then be monitored and adjusted where necessary in order to obtain the desired fitness goals.

Cleto Tirabassi is a certified Fitness Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA).

His work centers on the “sensible approach” to Health Related Fitness, which entails the use of practical, flexible and sustainable methods to achieve optimal levels of health and physical fitness.

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Simple Ways To Avoid Common Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the world’s most common health problems. According to the World Health Organisation, it is also in the top 10 diseases and injuries accounting for disability-adjusted life years (number of years lost due to ill-health). It can affect people of any age, potentially affecting their work life and general well-being.

Fortunately, there are some simple techniques that you can use to avoid the common causes of back pain. This article will identify those techniques and explain how they can also reduce the level of back pain you are currently experiencing.

What are the common causes of back pain?

The human back is a complex system of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. These components must work together to support the body and enable movement. The spine also contains cartilage-like pads which are called discs. They provide cushioning between the components of the spine. Problems affecting any of the components of the back can lead to back problems. The most common causes of back problems include:

Physical overexertion

Incorrectly picking up very heavy items or repeatedly bending over can strain the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the back. Pain from overexertion can occur quickly or take many months to appear.

Injury

Back pain is often caused by an injury from an accident. The most common accidents that cause back injuries include car crashes, collisions on the sporting field, and falls. These injuries might include ruptured discs, broken bones, and torn ligaments or tendons.

Medical conditions

A variety of medical conditions can cause back pain, including osteoporosis, cancer of the spine, sleep disorders, kidney problems, arthritis, and sciatica. In some cases, these conditions cannot be cured, so the pain they cause can only be managed.

Ruptured or bulging discs

The discs between each vertebra in the spine can sometimes rupture or change shape. When this happens, more pressure is placed on the nerves in the back, potentially causing back problems.

Poor posture

Having poor posture can eventually contribute to pain in the back and may even cause long term damage.

How to avoid the common causes of back pain

Seek chiropractic help

Obtaining chiropractic treatment is one of the most effective ways to reduce back pain. A chiropractor is a medical professional who is trained to identify and treat musculoskeletal problems of the human body. They can identify the root causes of your pain and suggest treatments that address them.

Some of the ways that a chiropractor can help you avoid causes of pain include:

Ensuring your spine is correctly aligned Chiropractic treatment involves alignment of the spine and other joints in the body. Correcting the alignment of your joints will prevent premature wear and can reduce the likelihood of pain occurring.
Identifying any issues with your posture Chiropractors can diagnose and correct postural problems that cause back pain.
Diagnosing any serious underlying illnesses or injuries causing back pain Chiropractors can also identify other serious health problems that may potentially contribute to pain like ruptured discs and sciatica.

Sleep on your back

When you are sitting down, walking, running, and lifting objects all day, your spine can become compressed. Laying down on your back gives your spine a chance to recuperate, reducing the likelihood of back pain.

Exercise more

Exercise that strengthens the core muscles can be very useful for reducing or avoiding back pain. The core muscles are the muscles found in the abdominal region and lower back. If these muscles are well developed, they will take strain off of the ligaments and tendons in the back which can reduce pain levels. Having a strong core also reduces the risk of a back injury occurring.

Get a good pair of shoes

If you are on your feet for long periods, purchase a high quality pair of shoes that fit your feet well. This will ensure that your body has a stable and well-balanced base that supports your legs and back. It will help you avoid back problems associated with ligament, muscle or tendon strains.

Have regular massages

Massages can help to relax the muscles in your back and increase blood flow. This can help you remain flexible, preventing pain relating to sore muscles and ligaments.

Have medical problems diagnosed

If you have unexplained back pain, it is a good idea to see a doctor. They will be able to run tests to check your overall health and identify any health conditions that may be causing your pain. Your doctor may also help you identify health problems before they worsen and cause even more pain.

Practice good ergonomics and improve your posture

Good posture involves standing, sitting, and moving in a way that reduces the amount of strain on your body. When you exhibit good posture, your joints will be well aligned – reducing the risk of injury or wear-and-tear on the joints in the back. This reduces the risk of long term injuries occurring which cause back pain.

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The Autism Myths (ASD) – Twelve Reasons for the Autism Epidemic

1. The Cause of Autism is Not Known

It appears far more likely that they have not been able to identify a medical or environmental cause(s) for autism. There is no evidence that research over the past forty years has been directed at identifying the cause for autism or finding a cure. Obviously, what you don’t look for you won’t find! I believe the cause has been known for many years. To identify the cause would lead to prediction and over time, prevention.

2. Autism is a Medical Problem

Autism is being treated as a medical problem when there is clear evidence that the major risk factor for autism has been shown to be the lack of a proper diet. Nutrition is not considered a medical problem. For this reason the cause for autism has eluded research efforts.

3. Genes are the Cause for Autism

Genetic changes have been found in some children with autism. Fragile X is one example but the literature has not shown what causes these genetic changes. I would argue that these changes are the result of factors that cause autism rather than the genetic changes causing autism. Understanding the difference is critical to defeating autism. Billions of dollars have been invested in research on autism. It appears that more than half the autism budget has been for genetic studies while I have not found a single grant that considered nutritional inadequacy to be a risk factor in autism.

4. Nutrition Has Little or Nothing to Do With Autism

Autism has not been shown to be caused by any virus, bacteria, etc. but rather belongs in the category of chronic disorders. History has clearly shown that most all chronic disorders are caused by any one of several nutritional deficiencies. This would include the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and cholesterol to name a few. A few examples of disorders prevented or cured by these nutrients include scurvy, spina bifida, pellagra, rickets, goiter, various birth defects, skin disorders, pernicious anemia, etc. Nutrition or the lack thereof has almost everything to do with autism!

5. Vaccines are the Cause for Autism

The basic question that should be answered is what is different about the children that experience autism shortly after being vaccinated compared to those who do not experience the symptoms? There are far too many children vaccinated that do not develop the symptoms and that makes it difficult to blame vaccines as the cause. The level of resistance to factors in vaccines may well depend upon the adequacy of the diet. The small percentage of children that develop symptoms following vaccinations may share common nutritional deficiencies, but to my knowledge this has not been evaluated or studied.

6. Environmental Toxins are Causing Autism

Environmental toxins are without a doubt a risk factor for autism but common sense says that this must be a very low risk since research efforts have not revealed a smoking gun in fifty years. I consider this to be nothing more than a diversion that makes for interesting headlines and is a good concept for seeking research grants, but in the end is like “The Bridge to No Where.” In the meantime children are suffering and families are left to live with the problems of autism.

7. Older Parents Increase the Risk of Autism

Recent studies have suggested that older dads pose an increased risk of the child having autism. The problem that I see with this research is that it did not consider the dietary practices being followed by those individuals. Neither were their attitudes on “healthy foods” included which could have a significant impact on the foods their children would be offered. Age for either parent would appear to be a very minor risk factor.

8. Older Siblings With Autism Increase the Risk for Newborn Children

Recent studies have reported an increased risk (25-35%) for newborn children developing autism if they have an older sibling with autism. The variable that will dictate the level of risk is believed to be in their respective diets. If the dietary practices are identical for both, I believe the risk is more than 90% because the one with autism is lacking an adequate diet. If the newborn eats a different diet that is nutritionally adequate, the risk would be less than 2%.

9. Applied Behaviour Analysis is the First and Best Treatment for Autism

There are several types of therapy for children with autism such as physical, speech, occupational, and behavior. The ABA therapists recommend 25-40 hours of therapy per week starting as soon as the child is diagnosed. Medications or the many forms of therapy provide nothing for the nutritional deficiencies present in children with autism. Nutritional therapy to confirm the adequacy of the child’s diet, should be the first step taken to ensure the diet provides for proper brain development. When the diet is right, one needs a lot less therapy or medications.

10. Medications Are the Best Way to Treat Autism

Most medications simply treat the symptoms, not what is causing autism. The best way to treat autism is to eliminate that which is causing it. If, as with other chronic disorders, the cause is poor nutrition, then the best treatment is to eliminate the deficiencies. This may or may not cure the problem. There is no known medication that will cure autism.

11. There Is No Way To Predict Autism

To accurately predict if a child will develop the symptoms of autism is a challenge. Recent studies have shown that a poor diet is the greatest risk factor for developing autism. By identifying those risk factors very early in life, before symptoms are present, will afford an opportunity for an early intervention to totally eliminate the risk identified.

12. There is No Way To Prevent Autism

There is no known or proven way to prevent autism at this time. However, it appears that prevention will be possible through early prediction as described above. Proving the prevention of autism with the elimination of known risk factors is not an easy task. This will require thousands of individuals for adequate proof which may not be possible. It is expected that the incidence of autism among newborn children will be significantly reduced as prevention becomes possible. This will require testing for these risk factors in the early months of life and where risks are identified, intervention is used to eliminate the risks. There is always hope.

It appears that these twelve myths block the path to eliminate autism and other neurological disorders. So long as the association of adequate nutrition is overlooked or avoided in autism research, we can expect the results of research to continue to go in a circle with no real progress that benefits children or parents. We will simply continue the escalation in the number of children affected and a significant growth in the professions providing services for these children. Of necessity this will place a greater financial burden on tax payers to provide for these services, the cost of which would bankrupt most families. These costs have been estimated to be $50,000-$250,000 per child per year with many families having multiple children being affected.