Pharmacy Technician Certification Practice Questions Set 1 - Answer Key

1. C: According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), the abbreviation "QD" should never be used in communicating information to other health professionals. Abbreviations should be avoided in all prescription writing and medical communication. Abbreviations have led to many serious medication errors. QD has been mistaken for QID, and fourfold dosing errors have occurred as a result. In addition, numerals should be spelled out.

2. B: Many errors have occurred due to the misreading of prescriptions. A terminal period should not be used after dosing increments, such as mg or mL, due to the possible misinterpretation of the period as the number 1. Trailing zeros should not be added after whole numbers due to the risk of a tenfold overdose if the period is poorly written or hard to see. A zero should be added before a whole number because if the period is not seen, a tenfold overdose may occur (e.g., 5 mg given instead of 0.5 mg).

3. B: In case of a chemotherapy spill inside a hood, several measures should be taken to prevent worker and workplace exposure. The worker cleaning up the spill should don additional protective wear, such as double gloves, eyewear, and a gown. If a liquid is spilled, absorbent gauze or a gauze pillow (from the spill kit) should be placed gently on the spill to avoid splashing. Powder or solid spills should be cleaned using water-soaked gauze. All items used to clean up the spill should be disposed of in yellow chemotherapy bags. The blower should be left on unless the HEPA filter has been contaminated.

4. D: Quality assurance helps guarantee patient safety. Mechanisms to assure patient safety include storing dangerous and high-alert medications separately from regular stock, bar coding all procedures associated with prescription filling, and implementation of computerized physician order entry to minimize poor legibility. All involved with medication filling should triple check their work.

5. A: United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Chapter 797 is a set of sterile compounding standards created in order to reduce the risk of patient infection and to protect employees. Use of USP <797> is required for any institution in which sterile compounding occurs. The Joint Commission (TJC) is an agency that accredits health-care institutions based on patient care and safety standards. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), provided by product sellers, detail chemical products, potential dangers associated with these chemicals, and measures to be taken in case of exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency that ensures a safe and healthy workplace.

6. D: The low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs), including enoxaparin, generally do not require laboratory monitoring. The international normalized ratio (INR) is used for warfarin monitoring, and the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) is used for heparin monitoring. The red blood cell (RBC) count is a measure of red blood cells, and a low value denotes the presence of anemia (bleeding). If laboratory monitoring of LMWHs is desired (e.g., for patients who are obese or have renal insufficiency), it is usually via antifactor Xa.

7. D: "Proscar and Prozac" are an example of a look-alike, sound-alike (LASA) drug name pair. Such drugs have a risk of being mistaken for each other due to similarities in spelling and/or sound. LASA drugs should not be stored next to each other, and other precautions should be taken to minimize error. Proscar and Prozac are not controlled substances, are oral agents (not administered IV), and do not interact with each other.

8. B: Demerol should never be given with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Nardil, due to the risk of hypertensive crisis and death. Zerit and Retrovir are both nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This combination should be avoided due to possible antagonism, rendering treatment ineffective. Reclast and Actonel are both bisphosphonates used for osteoporosis. Reclast is an IV product taken once yearly, and Actonel is an oral product taken once weekly. These agents should not be coadministered due to the risk of toxicity. Aspirin and Coumadin are generally not coadministered together due to the risk of bleeding. However, some patients will require this combination due to their clinical condition. Patients taking both medications should be counseled about signs and symptoms of bleeding.

9. A: Pancrease is a mixture of enzymes normally produced in the pancreas. Cystic fibrosis is a condition in which the body does not supply enough of its own pancreatic enzymes. This does not occur with asthma, renal failure, or osteoporosis.

10. B: First, one must convert pounds to kilograms. Divide 175 lbs by 2.2 kg/lbs to obtain 79.5 kg. Multiply by 2 mg/kg for an answer of 160 mg.

Last Updated: 05/12/2014