What You Can Expect as a Pharmacy Technician
A career as a pharmacy technician is both challenging and rewarding. The pharmacy technician industry is expected to add over thousands of jobs in the next few years, which means the need for certified technicians continues to rise. As the population ages, more people will also be in need for additional medical help, which is contributing to a strong growth in this field
Pharmacy technicians have a variety of responsibilities in their day-to-day work, and it’s important to know what those responsibilities are and what should be left to the pharmacist. Having a clear understanding of these responsibilities can also give you a picture of what your career would be like as a pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy Technician Responsibilities:
You take a prescription from your doctor to your local pharmacy. The first person you meet there will probably be a pharmacy technician. After they take your prescription, they:
- Enter all your data into their record-keeping software
- Measure out and package the medications in your prescription
- Accurately place the right labels on the medication
- Process your payment information and work with your insurance company if necessary
Pharmacy technicians will also:
- Answer phone calls
- Direct any medical questions or prescription-related questions to the pharmacist
- Take inventory of the drugs and supplies in stock and take note of what orders might need to be placed
- Provide quality customer service
The work can be repetitive, but each day does bring different customers, different health issues, and different challenges. Under the supervision of the pharmacist, pharmacy technicians may perform additional tasks. And you get the opportunity to help people and develop lasting relationships with regular customers every day.
Most of the things that pharmacy technicians are not allowed to do are handled by the pharmacist. Pharmacists are required to attend a specialized pharmacy school and are therefore more qualified to do certain tasks. Some of these include:
- Handing out any prescriptions without the approval of a pharmacist
- Giving medical advice to the customers in any circumstance
- Taking prescription orders over the phone
- Unlike pharmacy technicians, pharmacists can discuss patients’ medical conditions with them and offer advice
Pharmacy Technician Education: Career Step Can Help
Having a high school diploma is a requirement for a career as a pharmacy technician, but having pharmacy technician training helps you stand out from the competition. Formal training will make sure you have a good understanding of things like medical terminology and product dispensing. You will also find some programs offer the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through an externship before graduation.
Career Step’s Pharmacy Technician training program can get you ready to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam in as little as 3 months if you are studying full time. Our Pharmacy Technician Program thoroughly prepares you to work in any environment like a hospital, local pharmacy, or a grocery store pharmacy. We use all kinds of media such as videos, images, and interactive games to help you learn the most common drug names and other vital information. We will teach you:
- Pharmacy laws and regulations
- How to process prescriptions and enter data
- Non-sterile compounding
- Pharmaceutical calculations (so you can prepare the right dosages)
- And much, much more!
Through our externship opportunities, you can work at pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy before you graduate, which helps build your professional network and could lead to full-time employment once you are certified.
Becoming a pharmacy technician is a smart choice whether it’s your first real job or you’re looking to switch careers, and Career Step can help you every step of the way. Visit careerstep.com/pharmacy-technician-careers to learn more about this exciting occupation today.