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Date Created: 12/21/15
Pharmacy Technician Job Description Pharmacy Technician Job Description - Pharmacy technicians work alongside and under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy technician duties may vary depending on the environment you choose to work in. Technicians work in medical, retail, hospitals, assisted living and mail order pharmacies. They assist patients and pharmacists by providing the following duties: preparing prescriptions, counting pills, labeling bottles and customer service. When a prescription needs to be filled or refilled the following steps are performed: • Verifying patient information • Preparing the medication • Selecting the container/ preparing the label • Patient instruction regarding dosage • Completing Insurance Claims • Maintaining inventory records There are several other functions that a technician may have to perform but the above listed pharmacy technician duties are a good example of what you can expect. It is important to note that you would be working alongside a licensed pharmacist who will review and verify all prescriptions prior to being dispensed to a customer or patient. When employed in an assisted-living facility, nursing home or hospital, a technician’s responsibilities may differ from those technicians working in a retail environment. These facilities operate continuously and may require additional skill sets such as updating patients’ charts and maintaining a sufficient supply of medication. How to become a Pharmacy Technician: Training is available through various certificate programs that are provided by community colleges, technical or vocational schools, and pharmacy technician schools. Similar programs are also available online, and the time required to complete such a program varies from six months to two years. There are no federal requirements and requirements may differ from state to state. While enrolled in pharmacy technician school you may expect the following: • Laboratory work • Study pharmaceutical calculations • Medical and pharmaceutical terminology • Record-keeping techniques • Ethics • Proper use of medications • Pharmacy law Most programs provide students with hands on experience usually in the form of an internship. Upon completion of pharmacy technician school, students may receive an associate degree, diploma or certificate. Prospective employers are looking to hire candidates with good training and experience. Pharmacy technicians with excellent communication, computer, customer service skills as well as education will make great candidates. National Pharmacy Technician Certification (CPhT) Examination While this test is voluntary in most states, it is a recognized standard of competency as a pharmacy technician and recognized by many employers. It is offered several times nationwide throughout the year. Upon receiving certification, technicians will have two years to complete 20 contact hours in relation to pharmacy, including pharmacy law. You can fulfill half of this requirement by working under a pharmacist’s instruction and supervision. Continuing education courses are offered by technician training programs, pharmacy colleges and pharmacy associations. How much do Pharmacy Technicians Make? A Pharmacy Technician Salary can vary based on the following: • Certification vs. non-certification • Specialized training • Education • Experience • Shift differential (i.e. working nights or weekends) The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a pharmacy technician salary varies from one segment of the healthcare industry to another. For example, those working in stores selling health and personal care products earn an average salary of $27,590, those employed by general hospitals earn $32,710, and the greatest number of technicians work in these two areas. Department stores and general merchandise retailers pay comparable salaries, federal government agencies tend to provide the highest salaries at $39,040, while scientific research and development (R&D) groups pay their technicians an average salary of $38,870. As you can see, pharmacy technician duties may vary depending on work environment (i.e. hospital, retail setting, research facility, etc.). Regardless of work environment, a career as a pharmacy technician will provide you with a challenging yet rewarding experience. Pharmacy technician duties may change with technology and its imperative you remain current with any new industry trends.
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