Pharmacy Technician Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Materials

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

e-Pharmacy Journals

Web Resources


Manufacturers & Suppliers

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help

Pharmacy Technician Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Examples of Subject searches include: Pharmacy technicians; Drugs--Dosage; Pharmacy--Vocational guidance; Drug interactions; Drug stability; Drugs--Administration; Drugs--Side effects

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select from the pulldown menu, either Reserve Materials by Course or Reserve Materials by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject.

Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on Pharmacology include:

Pharmacy and materia medica RS
Therapeutics. Pharmacology RM


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in Pharmacology include:

Basic Drug Information Reference Books : drug forms, dosage forms, patient information, etc. (first places to check for further information, when presented a medication/prescription)

American Drug Index
St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons.
RS355 .A48 (year) in John Adams Reference and Rosenberg Reference
Listing of 20,000 brand and/or generic drugs with dose, dosage form, manufacturer, availability, and use. Published annually.

AHFS drug information
McEvoy, G. K., et al. (Eds.). Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
RS131.2 .A47 in John Adams Reference and Rosenberg Reference
Lists 1400 drug monographs covering 50,000 items with information on indications, pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, and therapeutic dosages. Published annually.

Drug Facts and Comparisons.
Kastrup, E. R., et al..St Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons.
RM300 .F33 2000 in John Adams Reference
Lists 16,000 Rx items and 6,000 OTC items in monograph and table format so comparison between drug categories can be facilitated. Updated monthly.

Drug Preparation Reference Books Covering Prescription Management, Compounding, Pharmacy Math and Dosage Calculation, IV Admixture Preparation, Reconstitution and Labeling Issues, etc.

Handbook of nonprescription drugs (12th ed.).
Allen, L. V., et al. (Eds.). (2000). Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association.
RM671 .A1 H34 2000 in John Adams Reference and Rosenberg Reference
American Pharmaceutical Association book on OTC drugs

Training Manual for Intravenous Admixture Personnel (5th ed.).
Hunt, M. L. Chicago: Baxter, 1995.
John Adams Reserve
A self tutorial for technicians to learn proper aseptic technique for sterile compounding

Remington’s pharmaceutical sciences (20th ed.).
Gennaro, A. R., et al. (Eds.). Easton, PA: Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 2000?
RS91 .R45 2000 in John Adams Reference
Book is the essential resource which pharmacists depend for resolving compounding concerns

Pharmaceutical calculations (11th ed.).
Stoklosa, M. J. & H. C. Ansel. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 2001?
Available in the John Adams pharm tech lab. Prior edition RS57 .S86 1996 in John Adams Reference
Complete compilation of pharmacy math used in community and hospital pharmacy practices.

Handbook on injectable drugs (11th ed).
Trissel, L. A. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2001
RM143 .T74 2001 in John Adams Reference
Lists IV drugs in monograph form which facilitates stability and compatibility review.


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online. More information about obtaining a library bar code.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for pharmacology topics is the InfoTrac Health Reference Center and Health & Wellness Resource Center These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles." For information about pharmaceutical companies, the InfoTrac Business and Company Research is especially useful.

e-Pharmacy Journals

Journals and professional magazines offer current news and developments in the pharmacy field and are published more frequently than books. Feel free to explore the following titles for up-to-date information on a variety of pharmacy and health topics.

Note: The online versions of these journals and professional magazines may require subscriptions and provide selected feature articles so it is best to check the copies in the library for complete issues.

DrugTopics.Com.: The Online News Magazine for Pharmacists
brief news articles about the pharmacy industry, new medications, etc., with links to online Continuing Education courses. Searchable.

Journal of Pharmacy Technology
Research journal with peer-reviewed articles about variety of topics including: Reviews of drugs and disease states, case studeies, innovative technologies and systems in pratice, supervision and management, legal updates and more. This online version of peer-reviewed research journal has article abstracts only. (The John Adams library has a subscription to this journal). From the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council.

Pharmacy Times
News, feature articles about pharmacy practice from the print version of this magazine, patient education articles, updates on drugs, and links to online Continuing education sites. Searchable

U.S. Pharmacist
Online version of monthly journal with peer-reviewed clinical articles relevant to contemporary pharmacy practice in a variety of settings.” Also includes links to online Continuing Education sites. U.S. Pharmacist is “approved by the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education as a provider of continuing pharmaceutical education”


Finding Authoritative Health Care Web Resources

Below are some examples of authoritative health care resources. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Center for Disease Control
Extensive information about health and disease, from the federal Center for Disease Center

Food and Drug Administration
The Drugs link on this site provides extensive information, such as theDrugs Approvalslist (for FDA approved drugs), the National Drug Code Directory, regulatory information, and extensive links to OTC and prescription drug information for health professionals and patients.

National Institutes of Health
General health information about health, and news about current developments in medicine.

The Web site for the federal National Library of Medicine. Witb links to medical literature databases and health information for consumers.

MEDLINEplus: Medical Dictionary
Searchable medical dictionary. From the MEDLINEplus website which as extensive information from the National Institutes of Health

Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
Searchable, online version of the 17th (1999) edition of this general medical text
Features MedMaster, a searchable drug information database based on ASHP's Medication Teaching Manual: The Guide to Patient Drug Information. Also includes drug administration information for patients. From the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).


AAPT: American Association of Pharmacy Technicians
Information about the AAPT, with conference announcements and links to continuing education and certification prep sites for pharmacy technicians.

American Pharmaceutical Association
The Web site for the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), the national professional society of pharmacists, “the first established and largest professional association of pharmacists in the United States.” News and iformation about the APHA, links to FDA updates and drug recall announcements, plus online version of the association’s peer-reviewd. Journal of the American Pharmacists

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
This professional organization represents pharmacists employed in hospitals, HMOs, long-term care facilities, and other parts of the health care system. Features the AHFS Drug Information site of a database of current drug information.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
This organization evaluates and accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States—pharmacy services considered in these evaluation. The site provides an overview of the JCAHO’s programs.

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
“The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP®) is the only professional association that represents the state boards of pharmacy in all 50 United States”. The site includes pharmacists licensure information and exam preparation.

United States Pharmacopeia
The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) “establishes state-of-the-art standards to ensure the quality of medicines for human and veterinary use.” Features updates to USP’s drug monographs, subscription information for the USP 26–NF 21.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers or Suppliers or Vendors

Web portal for this drug distributor for the pharmacies and the health care industry, with online order services.

Web site for this pharmaceutical manufacturer, a “global leader in the manufacturing\and marketing of systems for the delivery of injectable drugs.”

Paddock Labs
“Paddock is a high volume manufacturer of bioequivalent generic pharmaceuticals and OTC specialty products.” Site includes full-text digests, including Secundem Artem which covers pharmaceutical compounding.

Web site for Pyxis, a manufacturer of medication, supply and information management systems. Information about its products and services.

Safeway: Pharmacy
Online refill links, patient education, and pharmacy job information at Safeway.

This company specializes in developing and marketing automated systems for “prescription fulfillment solutions for community, ambulatory, and managed care pharmacies.” Information about it products, services, and customer profiles.


Evaluating Sources

When researching for information-especially Web resources-always follow these guidelines to help you find reliable and trustworthy information

Pharmacy Information

When answering a drug information question or researching a drug information topic, consider the following evaluative criteria:

#1 Compliance with national pharmacy standards/best practices guidelines
Is the drug information consistent with national standards and/or guidelines as established in the United States Pharmacopeia (

When answering a patient’s information query, is the information given consistent with the patient counseling requirements determined by the California Board of Pharmacy (

When answering a response to a patient’s question, is the information provided in compliance with the recommended practices or best practices for pharmacy technicians? See the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board ( or the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: Practice Settings (
#2 Compliance with treatment protocols/standards of medical community
Is the drug information consistent with the treatment standards and protocols of the medical community?
Is the drug information consistent with recent, and local treatment protocols?
#3 Authority-- Is the information referenced and reviewed in a professional journal?
If using a web site, is it accredited or supported by a professional association such as the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) (

These 3 criteria must be addressed when formulating and making recommendations. It is imperative that you cite authoritiatve references in your recommendation.

All Information Sources

Evaluating Webpages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask
A UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Developed by Olin-Kroch-Uris Libraries at Cornell University.

Evaluating and Citing Source
A quick and easy check list to use when determining the quality of web documents. Prepared by Librarians at CCSF.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Brian Lym
Subject Selector
(415) 561-1946

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Last updated December 18, 2003