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Job Overview and Duties

Pharmacy Technician Overview: What do Pharmacy Tech Jobs Entail?

Pharmacy tech jobs play essential roles in the healthcare industry. The pharmacy technician works with and for the pharmacist to help keep the pharmacy running efficiently as a Swiss watch. If you’re seeking a healthcare position that pays well and is in high demand, let’s explore what pharmacy tech jobs entail.

Is a pharmacy technician position right for you?

What are Desirable Attributes of Candidates for Pharmacy Tech Jobs?

The following are either innate characteristics or qualities you can cultivate:

Are you considerate of others?

As first-line greeter in your pharmacy, a sincere smile and empathetic attitude serves you well when interacting with patrons. At some point, you must contend with bad tempered or seriously ill customers. It’s vital to remain pleasant and helpful.

Note: Transcend customer expectations to provide outstanding customer service.

Are you detail oriented?

Pharmacy tech jobs consist of mind-numbing details, such as: input/update patient information into pharmacy computer, answer telephone, count medication, package and label bottles, arrange and maintain inventory, take payments for prescriptions, handle insurance claims and more.

Be mindful preparing the right medicine and right dosage for the right person is imperative. Concentration errors aren’t condoned, as they can cause severe repercussions for the person’s health and safety.

How do you rate your communication skills?

A competent command of the English language is an essential qualifier for pharmacy tech jobs. It’s highly desirable to know medical terms and possess the ability to express effective verbal and written communications.

Note: You must have ability to converse with patrons from all walks of life in a diplomatic manner.

Active listening is a highly underrated part of effective communication. It is tempting to interrupt a customer who is going on and on and on. Instead, really listen and repeat her request when she is finished.

For example, “Yes, Ms. Such-and-Such, I understand that you have arthritis and the child-resistant caps on your medicine bottles are hard to open. We’ll ensure your bottles have non-child-resistant caps.”

What Responsibilities are Associated with Pharmacy Tech Jobs?

If pharmacy tech jobs sound busy, it’s because they are.

Take note: this position requires good physical stamina as it involves standing/walking all day. You may also have to work evenings, weekends, holidays, etc.

Here are some of the responsibilities associated with pharmacy tech jobs:

Effective Communication Skills

As a pharmacy tech, you are considered the “face” of the pharmacy. Make it a smiling one! You are expected to counsel with customers about their new meds, explain side-effects and assist with insurance claims.

Assist Pharmacist and/or Process Prescriptions

Pharmacy techs verify information included on a written or electronic prescription, such as name, address and phone number of physician, patient’s name, address and phone number

Techs prepare and affix computer-generated labels to applicable containers and ensure insurance information is up-to-date in the files. They examine the patient’s records in the pharmacy database for likely drug interactions.

Note: Duties may include filling prescriptions and calculating their price. The pharmacist checks the RX for errors before the tech collects payment and releases medication to the customer.

Handle Inventory

Counting stock, reconciliation and re-ordering inventory are under the bailiwick of pharmacy techs. Incoming orders must be inspected for accurateness and stocked on storeroom shelves. Expired meds must be removed from shelves and returned to appropriate manufacturer.

Note: Controlled drugs must remain under lock and key.

Administrative Functions

Various administrative tasks include but aren’t limited to: answering telephones, keeping computerized patient records current, billing, processing patient insurance claims and entering miscellaneous data in computer.

What are Eligibility Requirements for Pharmacy Tech Jobs?

Requirements differ from state to state. All states require a high school diploma. Some permit you to start working as a pharmacy tech without formal training. Others dictate registering with the state to hold pharmacy tech jobs. When no formal training is required, you will likely shadow the pharmacist or attend in-house training sessions.

Otherwise, you need to attend a community college or vocational school for about a year to qualify for a certification. For an associate degree, expect to attend classes for about two years. The focus will be on:

Medical terminology
Pharmacy ethics & law
Healthcare systems

There are several options to get the clinical experience you’ll need to become certified. Some schools offer the experience in the course of your training. Certain retail drugstore pharmacies partner with schools to provide clinical training. Or, at authorized pharmacies, you can shadow the pharmacist.

What is Average Annual Wage for Pharmacy Tech Jobs?

Latest statistics say pharmacy tech jobs in the U.S. annual wages range from $30,518 – $37,754. Salaries will vary somewhat from state to state and according to experience.

What are Appealing Aspects of Pharmacy Tech Jobs?

There are a gracious plenty of pharmacy tech jobs available. Aging baby-boomers and mounting occurrences of chronic diseases have created demands for prescription meds that outweigh the number of existing pharmacists and pharmacy techs.

Working as a pharmacy technician puts you on the fast track toward becoming a pharmacist.

It takes barely a year to become a certified pharmacy tech as opposed to the standard four-plus years of college required to pursue other medical professions.

You won’t get bored. With opportunities to work in different settings such as, hospitals, retail pharmacies, mail-order RX outlets or pharmaceutical companies, you can select your ideal environment. Experts are predicting that requirements for pharmacy tech jobs will increase exponentially as pharmacies assume more responsibilities for patient care, e.g. flu shots.

If you want a job where you’ll make a difference, this is it! Remember the true significance of your daily interactions with customers, which you might think ordinary and forgettable. Your friendly smile and kind words may soothe a sick or angry person. You may be the only person who cared enough to brighten their darkest day.

Bottom Line

Do you feel queasy at the sight of blood? You can still provide meaningful healthcare by choosing pharmacy tech jobs.

Pharmacy tech jobs revolve around people helping people, who need help.

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