Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in dispensing and managing prescriptions for clients. The actual details of the position vary from one state to the next. The same is true of the formal qualifications for the job. Some states require a certification through accredited schools. Other states have no regulations at all. Technicians do not operate independently when working in a pharmacy. They must always be supervised by a professional pharmacist. Technicians cannot perform all of the tasks of a pharmacist in all states. Pharmacy technicians usually have a few clearly defined job responsibilities.
Assist In Filling Prescriptions for Customers
The primary job responsibility for pharmacy technicians is helping the pharmacist fill prescriptions for patients. Much of the training required in certain states focuses on this task. Filling a prescription can be as simple as counting pills, labeling the container and recording the transaction in a computer. Individuals with degrees in the field might actually perform some compounding and preparation of prescriptions especially if the pharmacy is busy. A certified technician could be called on to prepare intravenous medications and supplies for customers like those required for chemotherapy. All of these actions are done under the direct supervision of a qualified pharmacist.
Maintain the Pharmacy and Inventory
A pharmacy technician will help to take care of the workplace and maintain proper inventory levels. Dealing with inventory is sometimes covered in classes and sometimes learned on the job. Inventory tasks can include confirming medication levels, recording what pharmaceuticals are needed and preparing information the pharmacist will use to place orders. Maintaining the workplace usually means the technician will keep the storefront or area clean by sweeping, wiping down surfaces and dealing with trash. The amount of cleaning and other maintenance tasks required is dependent on the policies of the pharmacy or larger storefront.
Perform Customer Service and Administrative Tasks
Pharmacy technician programs prepare graduates to perform an extensive amount of customer service. This includes dealing with customers in the storefront and potentially working on a register. It also involves taking calls and preparing orders that must be filled. Technicians might have to deliver medications to hospitals or homes during the day. Some pharmacies require technicians to perform administrative tasks such as entering records into a database. Technicians with advanced skills might be required to enter or query billing information from insurers. Computer use is generally part of the job although exactly how much administrative work is required depends on the pharmacy.