November 17, 2020
Washington, DC – Less than 3 years since launching its Compounded Sterile Preparation Technician (CSPT) Certification Program, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), the nation’s leading credentialing organization for pharmacy technicians, has granted its 1,000th CSPT credential. Pharmacy technicians across the US are assuming more advanced roles in many areas of pharmacy, including in sterile compounding, the preparation of medications in a sterile environment to prevent contamination. By earning their CSPT Certification, technicians demonstrate their specialized knowledge and skills, and their commitment to ensuring safety and regulatory compliance in sterile compounding.
The 1,000th CSPT was granted to Gary Giffin, CPhT, IV Pharmacy Technician at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA, who said he pursued his CSPT to move up in his career. “I needed my CSPT Certification for advancement to an IV Tech II position here at my hospital. Sentara Norfolk is the area's only level 1 trauma center and we have a very large IV room operation here, so we're always looking for ways to make our technicians more qualified to treat the wide range of patient ailments we see,” Giffin said. “Although I've been an IV technician for many years, studying and taking the CSPT exam has shown me many areas where I'm a strong compounding technician and also shown me areas where, despite my experience, I have room for new challenges to increase my personal growth. Having my CSPT makes me want to work that much harder to improve myself as a technician and help improve medication safety.”
Senior Training Specialist Kurstin Peplinski, CPhT, CSPT, at Fairview Pharmacy Services in Minneapolis, earned her CSPT Certification in 2018. “Having CSPT as one of my credentials lets others, especially surveyors who inspect our pharmacies for safety, know that I have a demonstrated knowledge of sterile compounding,” she said. “Technicians really are leading the way in the clean room. This is our expertise, and being CSPT-Certified helps prove it.”
"As PTCB reaches this significant milestone, it’s clear that CSPTs have more confidence in their ability to move up the career ladder. Earning the CSPT credential demonstrates a technician’s level of commitment to patient safety and provides an opportunity to be recognized for meeting rigorous CSPT requirements,” said PTCB Executive Director and CEO William Schimmel. “The CSPT credential helps technicians stand out as highly qualified specialists, and annual recertification ensures CSPTs stay up to date through yearly continuing education in sterile compounding practices and compliance, including competencies required by the United States Pharmacopeia and others.”
To apply to become a CSPT, a CPhT must complete a PTCB-recognized sterile compounding education/training program and 1 year of work experience in sterile compounding; or have 3 years of work experience in sterile compounding. Candidates must achieve a passing score on the CSPT exam and have a qualified supervisor attest to their competency within a 1-year candidacy eligibility window. The assessment is a 2-hour, 75-question multiple choice exam covering hazardous and non-hazardous compounded sterile products. CSPTs are required to recertify every year to maintain an active certification. They must complete 5 hours of CE in sterile compounding and submit a competency attestation from a qualified supervisor annually.
CSPT is one of PTCB’s specialty credentials that counts toward earning the Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT-Adv) Certification. Others include certificates in Billing and Reimbursement, Controlled Substances Diversion Prevention, Hazardous Drug Management, Medication History, and Technician Product Verification (TPV). PTCB will launch certificate programs in Immunization Administration, Point of Care Testing, and the Community Health Worker role in the future. A PTCB CPhT who earns at least four certificates, or three plus CSPT Certification, will be designated as a CPhT-Adv.
CPhTs can learn more and apply for PTCB credentials at ptcb.org/credentials.
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