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Pharmacy technician duties

At the head of the pharmacy is a pharmacist, assisted by his trusty pharmacy technician who will be tasked with carrying out pharmaceutical duties in the front and backend of the office.

Most people do not realize this but a pharmacy technician is an integral profession that helps power the pharmacy and health care sector. He or she is an individual who assists a pharmacist and performs a myriad of pharmaceutical-related duties. Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy tech is free to assist or even head activities that do not require a pharmacist’s all-important professional judgement.

Besides assisting in obvious duties such as dispensing prescriptions, keeping the pharmacy stocked with medical supplies and helping patients with their queries, pharmacy technicians are also hired to spearhead administrative tasks. This includes data entry, insurance claim completion, record keeping and liaising with other health care providers. Most importantly, a good pharmacy technician knows that he or she should assist the pharmacist and their employers to ensure the business runs smoothly.

Core responsibilities of a pharmacy technician

  • A pharmacy technician should be conscientious enough to dispense the right type and amount of prescription drugs or intravenous injections required by the patient. He or she will need to ensure that the drugs are package and labelled correctly with the right information, otherwise this might endanger the patient’s life and possibly result in an expensive lawsuit.
  • Oftentimes, a pharmacist is often busy with important pharmaceutical tasks, so a pharmacy tech has to process medication for his or her superior to verify.
  • The sale of drugs is a billion dollar industry, which is a pharmacy technician is tasked to ensure proper storage of all drugs to prevent theft and loss.
  • A pharmacy technician should ideally develop good communication skills in order to respond and deal with patient queries.
  • Pharmacy technicians who want to impress their superiors should also possess some technical knowledge of payment processing and insurance claims.
  • Occasionally, pharmacy techs will also be assigned to deliver and administer medication to patients in hospitals.

Vital skills for a pharmacy technician

Good pharmacy technicians are able to advance far in their career if they possess active listening skills. They should take time to understand their superior’s advice and instructions, and at the same time listen carefully to their patients’ needs.

A great pharmacy tech never stops learning. He or she is proactive in constantly gathering information and actively looking for ways to improve other people’s lives.

Prudent time management is also an important trait to possess as pharmacy technicians are required to be multi-taskers, so he or she must be able to juggle between numerous tasks at work without affecting their personal lives.

Pharmacy technician work environment and schedule

5 out of 10 pharmacy technician graduates find it easier to accept work in retail pharmacies and drug stores due to the availability of jobs in that particular sector. The others opted to work in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and even neighborhood grocery stores.

Interestingly, in the recent years, it has become a trend for fresh pharmacy technician graduates to work at large retail chains like Wal-Mart and Target. While the starting salary ($10 to $15) and work hours aren’t much to shout about (20 to 32 hours per week), pharmacy techs working at these chains find that they can quickly gather the experience and skills needed to attract better employment prospects in the future.

Filed in: Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacy technician Job

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