What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Daily Work Tasks

Anyone interested in a health care career can learn the skills necessary to work as a pharmacy technician. This professional works in a pharmacy setting at medical facilities or retail establishments under the authority of a licensed pharmacist. A pharmacy technician is responsible for collecting prescription information from customers in person, by fax machine or on the telephone before supplying the information to a pharmacist. After the pharmacist places medication in a container, the technician accepts the customer’s payment or handles insurance paperwork. A pharmacy technician may also help customers select other medical devices such as braces or crutches that are available in the store. In addition, the pharmacy technician is often responsible for stocking shelves with over-the-counter medications and performing cleaning tasks. In medical facilities, pharmacy technicians may deliver medications to patients or registered nurses.

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Learning the Skills

Each geographic region has different requirements concerning the appropriate training for this occupation. A state may require a pharmacy technician to pass a rigorous examination with a particular score to receive certification before working in this job category. While many states do not require pharmacy technicians to attend specialized classes to understand this job, individuals learning vital information such as human anatomy and medical terminology are in higher demand and often earn more money. More brick-and-mortar and online schools are beginning to offer programs that teach about a pharmacy technician career. Individuals interested in this profession can contact local community colleges or look online for courses. Contacting a state’s health occupation board is helpful for learning the particular requirements to work as a pharmacy technician.

Receiving Specialized Education

Pharmacy technician associate degrees are becoming a popular choice for students because employers want to hire individuals with basic knowledge and practical experience. In the past, pharmacists would train an individual on-the-job. Today, many employers prefer to hire pharmacy technicians who have received a college diploma. In the future, more states will require a pharmacy technician to have a formalized education before passing a competency test with a passing score. Employers hiring professional pharmacy technicians can feel more confident that customers and patients receive the highest quality service. A knowledgeable pharmacy technician is less likely to make an error in judgment that can lead to a complication for a patient or customer. Many experienced pharmacy technicians are also eager to have the educational standards raised in this profession.

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