What to Expect from a Career as a Pharmacy Technician?

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Are you considering your career choices after high school, or maybe you are ready for a career change? Have you considered a career as a pharmacy technician? You can earn a pharmacy technician certification online. Pharmacy techs have the advantage of working in the healthcare field and helping people without needing schooling and clinical background. Pharmacy techs work under the direct supervision of a pharmacist and help with running the day to day operations of the pharmacy. 

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Typical days for pharmacy technicians can change depending on their work setting. Still, usually, the day involves giving out medication to patients, counting pills or measuring medication amount for prescriptions, organizing inventory, entering customer information into the database, keeping track of drugs in stock, and billing insurance companies. 

Specific responsibilities for pharmacy technicians do vary depending on the work environment of the tech, such as a hospital pharmacy, or drugstore, and retail pharmacy. However, there are standard duties that pharmacy technicians will do in almost all pharmacy settings. 

Receive and Confirm Prescriptions

The primary duty of pharmacy technicians is to receive and confirm prescription orders. Most prescriptions are sent to the pharmacy as an e-prescription. Pharmacy techs need to retrieve prescriptions through a computer software program, and the need to verify insurance coverage before a patient picks up their order.

Checking patient’s information is an essential part of a pharmacy technicians’ role. This includes checking the spelling of the patient’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, drug allergies, and insurance information. One small mistake can have significant repercussions, so pharmacy techs must have extreme attention to detail.

Preparing and Filling Prescriptions

Filling prescriptions involves more than counting pills and labeling bottles. The job of a pharmacy technician is extraordinarily detail-oriented. There are medications, such as creams, ointments, and compounds that need to be prepared. Pharmacy technicians that work in hospitals or hospital units might need to develop intravenous products, medications, and treatments, which all play an essential role in a patient’s health, safety, and recovery. 

Customer Service

Pharmacy techs are frontline, especially in a retail pharmacy, and will interact with patients or customers regularly. This means that pharmacy techs will help customers or patients purchase their prescriptions, locate over-the-counter medication, answer basic medical questions, or refer their items to a pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians in this type of setting must be able to provide answers to technical questions about insurance coverage, and they are expected to be polite and helpful with strong communication skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have a pleasant personality and be able to deal with people that are not going to happy about being sick. Customer-service skills are a vital skill for a pharmacy technician to have. 

Managing Inventory 

Pharmacy technicians keep track of the inventory to make sure they are correctly stocked with medications. Managing the inventory at a pharmacy includes performing regularly scheduled inventory of specific medicines, stocking inventory, and checking expiry dates of medication. The process keeps the pharmacy stocked and prevents potential issues and upset customers or patients. 

Specialized Roles

Pharmacy technicians are essential to maintaining and organizing a pharmacy and assisting a pharmacist. Some pharmacy technicians take on more roles as they gain experience in the industry, such as being promoted to pharmacy technician supervisor or overseeing and managing other pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy techs can specialize in specific areas like compounding, and many of these duties depend on the work setting and state laws and regulations. 

Final Thoughts

Pharmacy technicians need to have communication, problem-solving, organization, mathematical, and attention to detail skills in order to be successful in their careers.

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