Pharmacy Technician Job Description

Pharmacy Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a pharmacy technician job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a pharmacy technician. Feel free to use our pharmacy technician job description template to produce your own pharmacy technician job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a pharmacy technician.

 

 

Who is a Pharmacy Technician?

A pharmacy technician is a medical professional who collaborates with a certified pharmacist to carry out pharmacy-related tasks. They are experts with training in the technical facets of providing patients with medications and medical equipment. Together with pharmacists, these health care providers assist and support patients to ensure they receive the best care possible. Pharmacy technician training, certification, licensure, and real practice vary not only globally but also in some countries geographically and by employment. Pharmacists are in charge of the pharmacy technicians. They are accountable for the effectiveness and security of pharmacy operations generally. They typically divide their time between offering customer service and using their technical expertise to write prescriptions. They assist patients with ordering or filling prescriptions and talk with the pharmacist about any issues. Additionally, they guarantee that all pharmacy activities, including customer service, phone, and technical support, and inter-staff communication, are seamless. Pharmacy technicians can work for a variety of employers, including long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, third-party insurance providers, computer software firms, the government, the military, or education. They typically work in the community, retail, and hospital pharmacies.

Pharmacy technicians frequently provide prescription medications and other medical devices to patients, as well as teach them how to utilize them. In a pharmacy, they may also carry out administrative tasks like checking prescription requests with doctor’s offices and insurance providers to make sure the right meds are supplied and that payment is paid. In addition, pharmacy technicians undertake inventory-related duties like cycle counts and sending manufacturers outdated and damaged pharmaceuticals. Pharmacy technicians may assume the position of compounding supervisor, supervising the daily manufacture of sterile and non-sterile medications while adhering to regulatory bodies’ criteria. Recently, pharmacy techs have started directly speaking with patients on the phone to encourage timely drug administration. Pharmacy technicians’ relative importance within the pharmacy workforce has increased recently in many countries, largely as a result of a lack of pharmacists. As a result, they now have more duties and responsibilities, including alternative medicine, pharmacotherapeutics, customer service, retail and hospital software systems, inventory management, and infection control. There are various types of pharmacy technicians, depending on their various roles and the location where they work:

Retail Pharmacy Technicians: The retail pharmacy is what typically comes to mind of most people when a pharmacy is mentioned. In a traditional pharmacy, such as one found in a grocery store or drugstore, pharmacy technicians are primarily responsible for customer service and consultations with clients in need of prescription or guidance. This kind of pharmacy sees clients, gets the patient’s prescription medication ready, and gives it to them. Retail pharmacies can be found in separate buildings or other establishments like supermarkets or big-box retailers like Target or Walmart. In a retail pharmacy, pharmacy technicians perform set shifts with a primary focus on providing excellent customer service. Working day shifts or evening and night hours are both options in a retail pharmacy. As a retail pharmacist, you can additionally be asked to work weekends. A lot of the time, they will respond to inquiries on how and when to take medications. The pharmacist can assist if a pharmacy technician runs into problems even if they may not have all the solutions.

Hospital-Based Pharmacy Technicians: In a hospital, pharmacy technicians may work with IV drugs (medications given through a tube and needle inserted in a patient’s vein) and do additional laboratory preparation, such as sterilizing equipment (deep cleaning). In addition, pharmacy technicians might look after the automated vending machines that automatically dispense medications to nurses for use with patients. There are several ways in which working in a hospital can be different from working in a retail pharmacy. One distinction is that hospital pharmacy technicians typically spend more time preparing prescriptions than assisting patients. In a hospital, a pharmacy technician can also be required to make IV solutions or put medication into syringes. They can make medications for short-term or long-term patients, as well as for operating rooms and emergency departments. Depending on the position you are hired for as a pharmacy technician at a hospital, you will work different shifts. Pharmacy technicians are needed around the clock in hospitals. This indicates that although you could have to work the night shift, your weekly schedule should remain consistent.

Compounding Pharmacy Technicians: A compounding pharmacy is another location where pharmacy technicians can be located. Because compounding pharmacies specialize in specialty and personalized medicines, they differ slightly from the typical retail pharmacy. Because you will be aiding with specific prescriptions when working in this kind of pharmacy, you should concentrate on developing abilities like pharmacy mathematics. Because you might or might not interact with customers at all, this form of pharmacy places less of a focus on certain skills. You might simply prepare and label various prescriptions and perform computations. Although compound pharmacies are less common than retail pharmacies, you can still apply if one is located in your area. The working conditions and hours for this kind of work rely on your company and their expectations.

Long-Term Healthcare Pharmacy Technicians: Pharmacy technicians are needed in a variety of medical settings, not just hospitals. Additionally, long-term healthcare facilities including nursing homes, mental health centres, and assisted living facilities require the services of pharmacy technicians. As a pharmacy technician, you will dispense medicines to the residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities. For each client, you will prepare a unique dosage of medication. Medications that must be taken with breakfast and those that must be taken later in the day, for instance, will both be prepared. The drug will then be safely stored until it is time to provide it to the patients. Either a full-time or part-time career is possible in a long-term care facility. Although this type of work may potentially require some weekend hours, you will most likely have consistent working hours.

Getting patient data into computer records accurately is a critical component of a pharmacy technician’s job description. Doctors, insurance providers, patients, and pharmacies with regular clients must have access to this information. Techs are not permitted by law to advise you on your health or on how to use your medications, unlike pharmacists. Because of this, they will summon the pharmacist to respond to what may seem like a straightforward query. For individuals with formal training or prior experience, there are several job prospects for pharmacy technicians in both full- and part-time positions. There is a huge demand for pharmacy technicians right now, and it is only projected to grow. The importance of and demand for pharmacy technicians will increase as pharmacies extend their patient care offerings. Successful candidates must have outstanding communication skills and a passion for providing exceptional customer service. Your ability to work in a fast-paced atmosphere must be established.

 

Pharmacy Technician Job Description

What is a pharmacy technician job description? A pharmacy technician job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician in an organization. Below are the pharmacy technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a pharmacy technician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician include the following:

  • Manage Inventory: Pharmacy technicians must keep track of the medications that are currently in stock. Drugs and other supplies that are in short supply must be ordered right away. Patients won’t be able to obtain their necessary medications on time if common drugs aren’t kept in stock. They also need to develop the ability to predict the level of future demand for common drugs. They can place and expedite orders for new medications, check to see if they arrived, and discard any outdated medications.
  • Receive Payments: At the front of the pharmacy, pharmacy technicians assist customers in paying for their medications. They must also handle the patients’ insurance claims.
  • Enter Customer Details: Entering patient and customer information correctly is another responsibility of pharmacy techs. This includes entering the information into a computer system and any prescriptions that were taken. This information must be entered carefully because inaccuracies can result in medical errors and other issues.
  • Answer Phone Calls: Customers frequently call pharmacies to inquire about the status of their prescriptions and to obtain a variety of prescription-related information. You’ll be on the phone with consumers for most of the day discussing their prescriptions.
  • Gather Data to Fill Prescriptions: The front-line employees at a pharmacy are pharmacy technicians. One of their main responsibilities is gathering crucial data from patients and healthcare providers to complete prescriptions. For the pharmacist to properly fill the prescription, the right information must be gathered in every situation.

 

  • Measure Drug Amounts: Some pharmacy technicians may operate under a pharmacist’s supervision and measure the dosage of each prescription. This must be completed precisely, and care must be taken to pay attention to every last detail.
  • Package Prescriptions: The pharmacy technician must correctly package and label the prescription once it has been filled and examined by the pharmacist to make sure the correct quantity of medication is there. The box must contain all necessary instructions on how to use the medication and list any potential negative effects.
  • Create Revenue: By doing calculations, keeping records, and issuing charges to clients and healthcare providers, pharmacy technicians are frequently in charge of creating revenue for the pharmacy.
  • Prepare Reports: Each month, pharmacies deal with thousands of individuals who need prescription drugs. Depending on the business, each pharmacist will be required to create a specific amount of reports each month or quarter. These usually include a breakdown of the number of transactions as well as other data. These reports are essential in assisting the business in determining the profit margins on various transactions. The data gathering and the creation of these reports for the specific pharmacy may involve pharmacy technicians.
  • Regulate the Pharmacy: Pharmacy technicians are typically in charge of keeping the space neat and organized. They accomplish this by adhering to the protocols, guidelines, and regulations set by the pharmacy company.
  • Comply with Safety Policies: Since pharmacy technicians work with prescription medications, it’s crucial to make sure that customers and staff members are closely adhering to infection control guidelines. This is crucial while handling different pharmaceuticals because contamination might have detrimental effects on one’s health.
  • Refer Patients to the Pharmacist: Transferring customers to pharmacists is necessary because pharmacy technicians are unable to explain to patients how different medications could interact. Additionally, they are prohibited from recommending the optimum medication for a particular medical condition. Any of these inquiries must be directed to the on-call pharmacist.

 

Qualifications

  • A diploma from high school or an equivalent.
  • Degree from a pharmacy school.
  • Pharmacy technician certification.
  • Outstanding communication abilities.
  • The capacity to perform daily operations on a computer.
  • Basic Mathematics knowledge is needed to counter drugs.
  • Experience with customer service.
  • Working knowledge of a fast-paced setting

 

Essential Skills

  • Technological Skills: You could need to use a range of technology as a pharmacy technician, including computers, cash registers, inventory management systems, and other gadgets. Strong technological aptitude can speed up and accelerate your learning of new applications and tools.
  • Detail-Orientation Skills: When delivering prescription medication, meticulous attention to detail is necessary. The patient’s health could suffer if you make any mistakes with prescription types, dosages, or interactions. In a lot of ways, you are the first line of defence against such problems. When determining the proper amounts to measure, mix, dose, and dispense, the pharmacist’s instructions are to be followed. A patient’s health could be harmed by even a small inaccuracy when processing prescriptions, so accuracy is crucial. You must carefully examine prescriptions to make sure that there are no allergies or drug intolerances. For a pharmacy technician, paying close attention to details is essential since it guarantees prescription accuracy and that patients receive the right drug. Additionally, by prohibiting the delivery of the wrong prescriptions, this ability assures the patients’ safety.
  • Communication Skills: When you take prescription orders as a pharmacy technician, you speak with doctors and pharmacists. Additionally, you must pay attention to client inquiries and resolve any issues they may have. Effective communication includes listening with empathy and compassion. When working as a member of a healthcare team, diplomacy and tact are crucial abilities to develop. You must be familiar with medical and pharmaceutical terminology to understand spoken and written instructions.
  • Customer Service Skills: Customer service competencies are essential. Excellent customer service skills are necessary. Being polite is crucial when dealing with clients and patients. Pharmacy technicians frequently have to communicate with people from various backgrounds, depending on the situation. Customers and patients frequently have queries about the prescriptions they are prescribed or may require assistance in locating a specific item inside the pharmacy. In your one-on-one interactions with patients and clients, you must provide exceptional customer service. A crucial component of your profession is being able to relate to your patients on a human level. When handling customers’ prescriptions and OTC pharmaceuticals, employers frequently prefer to hire technicians who can be very friendly. When addressing a customer’s problems or worries, you should use their name to show that you have outstanding customer service skills. When a customer is picking up medication for themselves or a sick loved one, you may make their day much better by being optimistic and kind regardless of how busy you are.

 

  • Organizational Skills: For pharmacy technicians, the workload can become unmanageably heavy, thus maintaining organization and working precisely under pressure is essential regularly. To maintain a pharmacy’s effectiveness and efficiency, organizational abilities are needed. A structured pharmacy makes it easier to guarantee that medicine orders are fulfilled accurately, promptly, and given to the appropriate patients. Being structured can also aid in spotting errors before a patient is given a drug.
  • Computer Proficiency: The majority of pharmacy technicians will require at least a fundamental knowledge of computer abilities, as well as the capacity to master the required software and programs that are being used at the employment location. In a pharmacy context, computers are employed as a system to help provide safe and effective patient care.
  • Time Management Skills: Every company, regardless of industry, seeks out candidates with strong time management abilities. You must utilize your work time as efficiently as possible, particularly if you work in a busy pharmacy. When it comes to managing your workload, prioritizing which prescriptions need to be filled first and which other job activities need to be completed, having solid time management skills will show to be of enormous worth. Prioritizing helps to make sure that the most crucial orders are filled and ready to be available when patients need them, even though you cannot fill every request at once. Scheduling chores in advance and maintaining a to-do list are excellent strategies to stay organized and focused on the tasks at hand each day. Working as a team in the healthcare industry requires effective time management skills and the ability to enlist the assistance of coworkers to complete tasks. While many people find it difficult to delegate, those with effective time management abilities are aware of the jobs that must be delegated and when to keep a pharmacy operating well.
  • Management of Inventory Skills: It is typical for technicians to be in charge of a pharmacy’s inventory. You must be familiar with the correct handling and storage of all prescription drugs and pharmacy supplies. In many pharmacies, pharmacy technicians are also in charge of returning damaged pharmaceuticals and expired medications.

 

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Step 1. Pursue a postsecondary program of study

The organization that certifies pharmacy technician programs is called the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). Many community colleges and vocational schools offer programs that have the ASHP certification. While associate degree programs normally need two years to complete, the majority of certificate programs may be finished in a year or less. Anatomy, healthcare systems, physiology, medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, pharmacy legislation, pharmacy ethics, and pharmacy pharmacology are among the topics covered in the course material.

Step 2. Acquire a pharmacy technician on-the-job training

The majority of programs let students complete clinical rotations as part of their studies. Students may also decide to obtain on-the-job training without enrolling in a postsecondary education program, depending on state laws. A retail pharmacy that has partnered with the school may offer a structured training program as a clinical experience. Another choice is to do practical training at a hospital or pharmacy that has been approved.

Step 3. Obtain a pharmacy technician certification

In some states, pharmacy technicians must obtain certification. Most employers will only recruit pharmacy technicians who have Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcareer Association certification, even in states where it is not necessary (NHA).

Step 4. Become a specialized pharmacy technician.

Some pharmacy technicians decide to only work for a particular chain of retail pharmacies, and they pursue specific training to work as general pharmacy technicians, community pharmacy technicians, central pharmacy operations technicians, or in a position akin to these.

Step 5. Keep your pharmacy technician certification current.

Every two years, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcare Association (NHA) administers a recertification exam to pharmacy technicians. Before taking the exam, you must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education. Seminars, workshops, conferences, college courses, and service to the credentialing authorities are all examples of acceptable continuing education activities. You will need to keep track of your continuing education and submit it online for verification as a technician. Additionally, there is a biannual charge for recertification.

 

Where to Work as a Pharmacy Technician

The majority of pharmacy technicians typically work in a retail or community context, like a pharmacy inside a drug store, department store, or grocery store, or in an independent or chain drugstore. Even the roles that people play in these kinds of environments can differ from workplace to workplace, from relishing the opportunity to interact with clients in a multicultural setting to playing two roles at once, such as splitting time between the pharmacy and the health/beauty/wellness section of the store. However, there are other employment options, and in some cases, even new pharmacy technicians can find work there. Hospitals, outpatient care facilities, long-term care facilities, speciality pharmacies, online/mail-order pharmacies, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions, health insurance providers, and pharmacy service providers for the Department of Veterans Affairs or one of the Department of Defense’s military departments are just a few examples. Because of the increasing usage of pharmaceuticals as patient treatments, employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians are expected to expand fast. Additionally, the need for pharmacy technicians in all practice settings will be fueled by an increase in the number of middle-aged and elderly persons, who often need more healthcare services. The hours that pharmacy technicians work are similar to those of pharmacists. Evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays can be among them, especially in places that are open around the clock like hospitals and some neighbourhood pharmacies. As they become more senior, technicians frequently have more influence over their work schedules. Both at hospitals and in communities, there are several chances for part-time employment.

 

Pharmacy Technician Salary Scale

In Nigeria, the average salary for a pharmaceutical technologist is about 329,000 NGN per month. From lowest to highest, salaries range from 154,000 NGN to 450,000 NGN.

The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians in 2019 was $33,950, or $16.32 per hour, according to the BLS. The top 10% of earnings in this occupation made $49,130, while the bottom 10% took home $24,120. Hospitals employ pharmacy technicians who are paid the highest, with a median salary of $38,310 per year. Pharmacy technicians making roughly $31,700 per year work in retail pharmacies, drug shops, and grocery store pharmacies. You might be able to get full-time employment via your employer and benefit from things like health insurance and retirement contributions. There may be a variety of jobs in your town if all you want to do is work part-time.

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