The responsibilities of pharmacy technicians are extended, so the position requires people who can work in a stressful environment.
They need good customer service and people skills, be cautious and good with computers.
The tasks of a pharmacy technician can differ from one pharmacy to another.
However, responsibilities often overlap.
In this article, you’ll find detailed information about pharmacy tech duties, hours, salary, requirements, and more.
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Article Table of Contents
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do
Pharmacy technicians should be familiar with a range of pharmacy practices.
That includes performing a final check for a prescription and advise customers on what medicine they need.
They are also responsible for keeping trays, scales, counter top, and other items that come in contact with medications sterile.
They should also process prescriptions and handle other administrative tasks.
Pharmacy Technician Responsibilities
Depending on a career path, pharmacy technicians can have various duties.
However, their regular and specialized daily duties can include the following:
- Collecting and checking prescriptions.
- Preparing the medication for patients.
- Filling and pricing prescriptions.
- Handling patient paperwork.
- Helping with insurance claims.
- Ensuring the availability of drugs to those who need them.
- Stocking and pricing the medication in the inventory.
- Ensuring safety at the pharmacy, by disinfecting and maintaining hygiene protocol.
One of the duties of a pharmacy technician is keeping the pharmacy well-organized.
So they should keep the shelves stocked with supplies, containers in orders, and ensure that the stock data is up-to-date.
Pharmacy technicians need to relate to patients and know how to deal with every type of them.
They need good people skills and the ability to preserve patient confidentiality.
They should also support drug therapy and ensure it’s done safely and successfully.
Pharmacy technicians should fill out and handle the prescriptions up to specifications of the pharmacist.
Their responsibilities also include counting, pouring, and mixing pharmaceuticals, and keep medication history records.
Pharmacy technicians need to know how to operate medical equipment and hospital’s computers.
They should also be aware of specific policies and procedures carried out at a hospital.
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians need various qualities to be suitable for a job.
But among them, the pharmacy technician course is one necessary requirement.
Except for it, no higher education or experience are required.
Training and Qualifications
In some states, pharmacy technicians should be certified to be hired.
For this, the prospective technicians need to complete a pharmacy technician course.
Further, the employees will receive additional on-the-job training.
The course is essential though, as it covers vital things the technicians need to know to do their job.
The pharmacy technician course usually comprises various subjects needed for the students to pass it.
The following classes are included:
- Pharmacy Calculation.
- Pharmacy Law.
- Pharmacy Practice.
- Sterile and Non sterile Compounding.
Pharmacy technicians need to learn necessary skills properly since the lives of people depend on them.
In most pharmacies, on-the-job training is considered to be the first experience of a newly hired person.
Even though certification isn’t mandatory, having certain qualifications is required by law.
This ensures that technicians won’t put people’s lives at risk.
Besides, in the long run, the experience will pay off.
Just like pharmacists, pharmacy technicians can take two types of career paths.
It will depend on the environment in which they work and includes inpatient and outpatient facilities, i.e., working in a hospital or retail.
A typical work week of a pharmacy technician includes 40 hours, with 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
However, the hours can be odd.
Pharmacy technicians need a flexible schedule as their shifts can take place at night, on weekends or holidays.
There are also part-time jobs for pharmacy technicians, but they are not as common.
So the most common schedule is in shifts.
Pharmacy technicians can get certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board which will open multiple career paths.
It will require conviction and dedication, but they will be able to advance in their careers.
They can move on to inventory management, insurance billing, or Tech-Check-Tech (supervising the work of other technicians).
They can also work as technology specialists, pharmaceutical representatives, in compounding, or MTM (medication therapy management).
Initial salary of a pharmacy technician is typically at $25,000.
With a minimum of five years of experience, they can receive a significant raise.
Senior pharmacy technicians who worked over 20 years in the position can earn $37,000 annually.
The median salary for this profession is $31,716.
A pharmacy technician can take various career paths.
To become one, you only need to take a course, which makes the occupation unrewarding.
However, with enough years of experience, one can be eligible for a significant pay raise.