Pharmacy technicians have a great deal of responsibility, that is why the pharmacy technician job requires people that can work under stress. That have good people and customer service skills, that can be very discreet, and that are good with computers. While not all pharmacies require technicians to perform the same tasks, they often overlap. Below you can read more about the duties and responsibilities that are part of the pharmacy technician job description.
Job Overview: What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
Being a pharmacy technician requires being familiar with a lot of pharmacy practices. Like performing the final check for a prescription and giving the customers advice about what medication they should take. Also, this professional handles sterilizing the countertop, trays, scale, and other medication measuring devices. As well as processing prescriptions and performing other administrative duties.
Pharmacy Technician Job Duties
People with the pharmacy technician job description might get different responsibilities depending on which career path they take. However, some of their everyday tasks in addition to the specialized ones dictated by their career choice are usually as follows:
- Receiving and checking prescriptions.
- Filling and pricing prescriptions.
- Preparing the medication for patients.
- Helping with insurance claims.
- Handling almost all patient paperwork.
- Making sure that the drugs are available to those who need them.
- Stocking and pricing the medication in the inventory.
- Making sure the pharmacy’s safety is up to date, by disinfecting and maintaining hygiene protocol.
Pharmacy Technician Essential Skills
Organizational Skills. The pharmacy technician is in charge of keeping the pharmacy organized, so among its most popular tasks, he must always make sure there are supplies on the shelves, as well as keep the medicine containers in order, and keep stock data well updated.
Interpersonal Skills. This professional must be able to relate and know how to deal with all types of patients. They must have strong people skills and be able to preserve patient confidentiality. As well as always support and ensure that drug therapy is carried out safely and successfully.
Field Knowledge. A good pharmacy technician has to know how to handle and fill out prescriptions according to the pharmacist’s specifications. They must also be able to count, pour, and mix pharmaceuticals and enter medication histories.
Technical Skills. The pharmacy technician job description entails knowing how to operate the hospital’s computer system and the medical equipment. This professional must also have a good knowledge of the specific hospital policy and procedures.
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician Professional
Aside from the various qualities needed to help a potential candidate fit into the pharmacy technician job description, there is only one requirement necessary for the job, and that is a pharmacy technician course. Other than that, no prior experience or higher education are necessary.
Qualifications & Training
Some states require that pharmacy technicians be certified before hiring them. In these cases, the wannabe employees must seek to complete the pharmacy technician course before sending out their CVs. Even though most jobs will also offer additional training after an employee gets the job. This course is very important to all employers, as it teaches future potential employees the things they need to know in order to do their job.
The course usually contains a number of classes which the future pharmacy technician needs to pass in order to graduate the course. These classes usually stay the same from program to program, and they are as follows: Pharmacology, Pharmacy Law, Pharmacy Calculations, Pharmacy Practice, as well as Sterile and Nonsterile Compounding.
Since people’s lives depend on employees properly learning the necessary skills for the pharmacy technician job description, most pharmacies offer on-the-job training as the first experience of a newly hired employee. So, even though they do not necessarily need to be certified, they are still required by law to have certain qualifications. Without these qualifications, the lives of their patients could be at risk. Moreover, as with most jobs that require no work previous experience, experience does pay off in the long run.
There are multiple types of pharmacy technicians, just like there are multiple types of pharmacists. The two most common career paths somebody with a pharmacy technician job description can take are best described by the environments in which they will work. The two career paths are inpatient and outpatient, or those who work in a hospital and those who work in retail.
A pharmacy technician will most often work 40-hour work weeks, with 8 hours of work 5 days a week. However, shifts usually guarantee that they will work strange hours. Whether working at nights, on weekends, or during holidays, it’s almost guaranteed that pharmacy technicians need to have a flexible schedule. Part-time pharmacy technicians jobs are also available, although not very common, so the most common type of schedule is still in shifts.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
After getting certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the sole nationally recognized certification credential in the United States, a number of career paths will open up to pharmacy technicians with the necessary patience and conviction to keep on trying to advance their careers. Therefore, their career paths could be either in inventory management, Tech-Check-Tech (checking the work of other technicians), or insurance billing. They can also work in compounding, medication therapy management (MTM), as a pharmaceutical representative, or technology specialist.
A beginning pharmacy technician’s salary is usually around $25,000 per year. Plus, after at least five years of work experience, they become viable for a significant pay raise. Therefore, later on, the senior level pharmacy technician with an experience of more than 20 years on the job can make as much as $37,000 every year, while the median yearly wage for this professional rests at $31,716 per year.
Finally, there are several different paths somebody with a pharmacy technician job description can take. The fact that one only needs to complete a course in order to be qualified for the job is what makes it a particularly unrewarding occupation, even though enough years on the job will usually grant someone a satisfactory salary. For more information on this particular field, you can look at the CVS pharmacy technician job.