Pharmacy Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a pharmacy assistant. Feel free to use our pharmacy assistant job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a pharmacy assistant.
Who is a Pharmacy Assistant?
Pharmacy assistants, often known as pharmacy clerks or aides, help a pharmacy run smoothly by performing a variety of administrative and clerical tasks. They frequently work behind the counter, whether it’s answering phone calls for the pharmacy or setting up a meeting with a customer and the pharmacist to discuss their issues or problems. While both pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians help a pharmacist, their responsibilities are somewhat different. A pharmacy technician, on the other hand, has a more sophisticated duty than a pharmacy assistant. Within a pharmacy, pharmacy assistants are responsible for more administrative duties.
Pharmacy assistants may count medications or label prescription bottles, but they are not involved in the prescription formulation process. While pharmacy technicians are often involved in the preparation of prescriptions and interact with a wide range of customers. Drugstore assistants often count medication, label bottles, stock pharmacy shelves, accept client calls, and manage the cash register under the direction of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. In retail pharmacy drugstores, pharmacy assistants also assist certified pharmacists with the sale and preparation of medications for patients. These pharmaceutical responsibilities are comparable to those of a pharmacy technician, who disperses medication to patients, however, pharmacist assistants normally have less authority.
A well-informed pharmacy assistant can support the pharmacy team in improving patient health outcomes. The work includes client interaction in addition to administrative skills. Pharmacists and pharmacy assistants are on the front lines of health care. They play an important role in ensuring that individuals get their prescriptions on time and easily, and they may demand you to work nights and weekends. On the other side, the job is fulfilling because you are helping individuals improve their health every day, and your services can help them live a better life. Because you will be dealing with new customers, prescriptions, and medications, there will always be something new to learn in this position.
Creating and updating patient files, placing orders for pharmaceutical supplies, and managing the cash register are all responsibilities of the pharmacy assistant. You should also be able to refer patients who have queries about their medications to the pharmacist. You must be able to accept and unpack fresh stock brought by suppliers to be successful as a pharmacy assistant. Finally, an excellent pharmacy assistant should make sure that shelves are properly stocked and arranged, and that work surfaces are kept clean at all times.
Pharmacy assistants must be able to complete routine duties with a high level of precision and concentration. While pharmacy assistants do critical everyday chores, they are unable to sign prescriptions, make over-the-counter medicine suggestions, or advise customers on their medications. Only a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician can perform these duties. A pharmacy assistant must have the following abilities and traits to be successful in the position: attention to detail, strong communication skills, a caring attitude, and the capacity to remain calm in a difficult environment. In addition, Sharma stated that a pharmacy assistant’s ability to learn new things throughout their lives can help them flourish. A practitioner in this field must be up to date on the most often prescribed pharmaceuticals in Canada (both branded and generic), provincial and federal legislation, and pharmacy computer systems. Becoming a pharmacy assistant is another excellent approach to obtaining expertise in the pharmaceutical field. You can advance to other occupations with more responsibility, such as pharmacy technicians, with extra training.
In a pharmacy, pharmacy assistants play a critical role. They are like the oil that keeps the pharmacy operating smoothly, with so many distinct working parts and important tasks. The pharmacy’s efficiency and effectiveness are aided by the numerous tasks you do. You can also aid patients as a pharmacy assistant. You can aid everyone who uses the pharmacy by assisting pharmacists with pharmacy needs such as obtaining and dispensing prescription drugs, keeping the shelves supplied with pharmaceuticals, and updating customers’ electronic files. You’ll work with patients one-on-one to help them get their prescriptions filled. Patients’ queries will be answered, orders will be processed, and patients will be checked out at the register. It is quite fulfilling to play a vital part in the healthcare profession.
Pharmacy Assistant Job Description
Below are the pharmacy assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a pharmacy assistant job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
- Assist the pharmacist and pharmacy technician with prescription processing.
- Greet customers and answer basic questions from them.
- Know the medications you have on hand.
- Provide basic pharmacological information and interactions with customers.
- Consult a pharmacist for more complicated questions.
- Input information about customers and prescriptions into the computer system.
- Type and print prescription labels.
- Assist with the collection, bagging, and delivery of prescriptions to customers.
- Maintain a professional demeanour when answering the phone.
- Pay attention to emails and faxes.
- Take inventories of all medications and pharmaceutical supplies.
- Assist in the organization and storage of medications.
- Accept and process deliveries.
- Clean and arrange your workspace regularly.
- Assist with billing requirements.
- Restock medications and other pharmaceutical supplies on shelves.
- Direct all queries about prescriptions, health, or medications to the pharmacist.
- Perform a variety of administrative tasks such as filing, copying forms, till counting, etc. when needed.
- Complete transactions and manage the cash register.
- Report any severe problems to the head pharmacist.
- Assure that work environments are clean and well-organized.
- A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required
- A bachelor’s degree is needed
- Mastery of all Microsoft Office apps is relevant.
- Accurate and detail-oriented.
- Must be trustworthy.
- Prior work experience in a pharmacy or other service-related field is required.
- Knowledge of over-the-counter and common prescription medications.
- Outstanding customer service abilities.
- Working knowledge of point-of-sale systems (POS).
- A typist who is computer literate and skilled is eligible.
- Communication Skills: To be an effective pharmacy assistant, you’ll need strong communication skills. You’ll be dealing with customers for the majority of the day, and some of them may be unwell or angry about prescription expenses. A good pharmacy assistant maintains a level of professionalism and can communicate with customers daily. Because a pharmacy assistant must order inventory, submit proper records, and handle consumer phone calls, these communication skills are transferable to administrative jobs as well. Working in a pharmacy necessitates collaboration with coworkers, managers, and pharmacists. In every team context, it is critical to use effective communication skills, mutual respect, and the understanding that doing your work successfully has an impact on others around you.
- Technical skills: For receiving and confirming prescription orders, pharmacy assistants must be able to enter data accurately. If a customer has a written prescription, the pharmacy assistant must gather and verify the customer’s information before entering it into the computer system.
- Accuracy: Throughout their varied responsibilities, both pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants must maintain accuracy. It’s critical to do correct calculations and have the ability to check the most factual information, whether they’re processing insurance claims, verifying prescription information, or completing a sales transaction at the pharmacy cash register.
- Collaboration: Together with a pharmacist, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants operate. As a result, to function as a team efficiently, it’s critical to have good collaboration abilities. Finally, their capacity to communicate and collaborate effectively allows them to provide greater service to their customers.
- Mathematical Skills: It’s crucial to have good mathematical abilities for both the pharmacy technician and pharmacy assistant positions, whether you’re processing payments or managing the cash register at the pharmacy. Even if you use software to assist you in performing necessary calculations, this skill can assist you in independently verifying information.
- Customer service skills: No matter what position you hold in the pharmaceutical industry, customer service abilities enable you to appropriately engage pharmacy clients. This ability allows you to listen to a customer’s concerns and assist them in resolving any problems they may be having.
- Pharmaceutical knowledge: Pharmaceutical knowledge is required for this position. You must be familiar with pharmaceutical drugs, regulations, and pharmacy safety. This information can assist you in providing better support to a pharmacist as well as better service to a pharmacy’s customers.
- Organizational Skills: Pharmacy assistants are in charge of filling shelves with medicines, keeping an inventory, and performing other retail chores. It’s beneficial to have organizational abilities that allow you to maintain things in order and follow the proper procedures.
How to Become a Pharmacy Assistant
- Obtain a high school diploma
Studying for a recognized certificate in community pharmacy services at a TAFE or licensed training organization will offer you the skills you need to work in a pharmacy setting, provide basic medical advice, and possibly open up more job prospects. For a pharmacy assistant position, most states demand a high school diploma or GED. On-the-job training under the supervision of a pharmacist allows pharmacy assistants to develop knowledge and experience. This course will educate you on how to work professionally with clients while also teaching you clerical and technical skills.
- Take courses online (Optional)
Taking courses in physiology, mathematics, or anatomy can help you get recruited as a pharmacy assistant if you haven’t already graduated from high school. A pharmacy assistant diploma is available online through the International Career Institute (ICI). The courses provide you with the chance to learn from professionals who are both qualified and experienced. Medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, common illnesses, pharmacy history, customer service in retail pharmacies, and retail pharmacy sales are just a few of the topics you might learn.
- Develop your skills
Dealing with consumers is one of a pharmacy assistant’s most important jobs. It is critical to be able to write and communicate coherently. You may need to make calculations to calculate the pricing of prescriptions, thus developing mathematical skills is beneficial.
- Apprenticeships and traineeships
You establish a formal training contract with an employer as an apprentice or trainee, which allows you to complete training toward a nationally recognized qualification. You work and develop practical skills on the job, and you also take organized instruction from a licensed training provider. If you’re a school dropout looking to re-enter the workforce or an adult or mature-aged individual looking to change careers, an apprenticeship or traineeship may be right for you. Even if you’re still in school, you can start an apprenticeship or traineeship. If you’re still in high school, your school may be able to help you find an apprenticeship. To begin your training through VET in Schools, speak with your school’s VET Coordinator. You can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are no longer in school and want to earn money while learning and working.
- Acquire experience
Unlike pharmacy technicians, that you don’t need any qualification or special training to work as a pharmacy assistant is a great advantage. Experience, on the other hand, can help you find a job. To gain the necessary information, you can either work in a hospital or a local drugstore or take a part-time job in a pharmacy. After you’ve completed your training, applying for and working as an entry-level pharmacy assistant provides you with valuable on-the-job training and experience. Work experience could potentially lead to senior pharmacy positions.
- Start a job search
In a pharmaceutical company, hospital, outpatient clinic, or nursing home, look for a position as a pharmacist assistant. To find available job ads, look on the websites of hospitals or the American Pharmacist Association. You can also let your friends and colleagues know you’re seeking a job as a pharmacy assistant. Your friends may be aware of openings, and your industry contacts may be able to offer helpful advice on how to proceed with your job hunt.
Where to Work as a Pharmacy Assistant
Pharmacy assistants work in hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacy stores. Hospital pharmacy assistants are responsible for providing medications to patients and assisting with the stocking of shelves in the pharmacy department. These activities are taken on by pharmacy assistants so that the pharmacist may focus on delivering better customer service and being present to answer patients’ queries regarding their medications.
Pharmacy Assistant Salary Scale
According to job postings on Job Bank Canada, pharmacy assistants often earn between $15 and $25 per hour. The national average earnings for pharmacy assistants in the United States is $32,230 per year. The salary for a pharmacy assistant varies depending on geography, education, and experience in the industry. As with most occupations, the more experience you have, the better your chances of getting a raise. Depending on your business, you may also receive advantages such as employee discounts, health insurance, and a flexible schedule in addition to this salary. At the start of their employment, pharmaceutical assistants typically earn between 19,158 NGN and 58,197 NGN net per month. After 5 years of service, the monthly pay ranges between 21,378 NGN and 64,546 NGN for a working week of 44 hours.