7 Traits of an Excellent Pharmacy Technician

Posted on 10.16.2017

pharmacy technician

It’s Pharmacy Week, so here’s a shout out to all the fabulous pharmacy technicians out there. Thank you for all you do. We’d like to take a minute to highlight some of those oh-so-important characteristics that make you successful. That’s right, we’re watching you—and we like what we see.

For those of you who are considering becoming a pharmacy technician, keep reading. If you see yourself in these in these traits, becoming a pharmacy tech might be the perfect career for you.

  1. A great memory

You need to have a pretty good memory as a pharmacy technician. From different medications to patient information, you’ve got a lot to keep track of. If you’re a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), you had to have the top 200 most commonly dispensed medications and their generic names memorized to pass the certification exam. The more medications you remember the generic name for—along with what they’re used for—the easier your job is.

  1. The ability to put a name with a face

On an average day, you likely see hundreds of people come through your pharmacy. It’s vital for the correct patient to get the correct prescriptions. Being able to recognize your regular visitors not only helps your patients feel welcome and valued at your pharmacy, but it helps you be more accurate as you verify that they’re getting the right prescriptions.

  1. The desire to help people

You spend your day helping people, and it shows when you enjoy it. Sometimes it can be a challenge, because let’s face it, no one comes to the pharmacy for fun. A great pharmacy technician can go a long way toward helping make someone’s day a little better.

  1. Patience with those who are under the weather

How do we mention this delicately? Sometimes when people come to pick up a prescription they feel really sick—or their child is sick and crying, or they’re in a huge rush to get medication home to their loved one—and they’re not exactly . . . polite. We get it. We’ve stood in line behind these people. And we admire your patience in dealing with them. Thank you for your patience.

  1. Math skills

You spend a lot of time counting pills. Having an aptitude for math is a huge asset as a pharmacy technician. If a prescription states that the patient needs to take one tablet four times a day for 30 days, you have to know how many pills to count out. While you will likely have access to computer software and calculators to help you calculate accurate doses, being able to verify those numbers is a great skill for catching possible errors.

  1. The ability to multitask

Multitasking the name of the game in the pharmacy. You switch between making phone calls to insurance companies to dispensing medications to gathering medical information from new patients quickly. All the while maintaining perfect accuracy and a professional demeanor.

  1. Personal integrity

You are part of a team of healthcare professionals that we turn to when our loved ones are sick. We trust that you will do your part in working with the pharmacist to make sure our loved ones get the best possible care—whether it’s the correct medicine, the right number of pills, or seeing if there’s a cheaper generic option. We trust you to be professional and respectful with our issues. Thank you for meeting that trust.

This week, Pharmacy Week, and especially on Pharmacy Technician Day, October 19, know that we appreciate all you do to make our lives better. We might not remember to say thank you for your cheerful smile and your prompt help, because we’re feeling a bit under the weather, or we’re worried about our sick baby, or the cost of the medication isn’t really in our budget and we’re stressed—so we’ll take this moment to thank you here.

Thank you for all you do.