ABE Contextualized Math Modules: Pharmacy Technician

The module teaches basic mathematics concepts within the context of the Health Science career cluster using routine tasks performed by a pharmacy technician.
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Author(s): 
State of Washington ABE instructors for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
Published: 
2009
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Abstract: 

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in partnership with Washington Online supported the development of a series of contextualized math modules for Adult Basic Education (ABE). Written by instructors from across the state, each module consists of a PowerPoint file containing self-paced instructional content. The files can be shared with students for direct use. Instructors can also use the PowerPoint file as a basis for lesson presentation. The series teaches mathematics concepts within the context of occupations spanning the Health Science, Transportation, and Architecture/Construction career clusters. The entire series of 12 modules is accessible atwww.sbctc.ctc.edu/college/_e-abepd_teachingresources.aspx

The pharmacy technician module provides scenario-based instruction to teach the mathematics concepts involved in calculating dosages and dispensing medication, which are tasks commonly performed by pharmacy technicians. Each task presents a scenario-based problem and teaches the math skills essential to solving it. Practice problems are provided for both skill development and application to authentic situations formats, with answers available to allow learners to check their work. An assessment is included at the conclusion of the module. Audio narration is provided for the workplace scenarios to support lower-level readers and ELL students.

Benefits and Uses: 

The focus of this math strand is for students to be able to figure out the amount of medication, in the proper form, in order to fill a prescription ordered by a doctor. Students will be able to: (1) Apply medical abbreviations to math solutions; (2) Use a formula to calculate dosage; (3) Add; (4) Multiply; (5) Divide; (6) Sort necessary and unnecessary information to solve word problems; (7) Note key math words or phrases to solve math problems such as “simplify an expression” and “per,” as in “5 milligrams per milliliter;” (8) Read drug labels; and (9) Apply the standard formulas used in health care.

This resource was reviewed and vetted through the Designing Instruction for Career Pathways initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education under Contract No. ED-CFO-10-A-0072/0001.