A licensed pharmacist needs someone to assist and this is where you have the for a pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technician works either in retail or mail-order pharmacies or hospitals.
Pharmacy Technician Job Description
The job involves the pharmacy technician in aiding the licensed pharmacist in preparing the prescription service, having an account in the stock of the medicines, customer service, including administrative jobs such as answering phone calls, and operating cash registers.
A pharmacy technician’s responsibilities also depend on the State regulations. Written prescriptions from patients or electronic prescriptions from a physician’s office are received by the pharmacy technician. They have to take care of every aspect of the prescriptions received like verifying the accuracy and complete information of the prescription, then to prepare and mix medication according to the requirement, measure, pour or count the medication accordingly. They then have to make the labels for the prescription ready and fix the labels to the respective containers. After verifying and getting the prices approved with the licensed pharmacist whom they work with, the pharmacy technicians price and file the prescriptions and then handed over to the patient.
A pharmacy technician also is expected to prepare insurance claim forms as well as patient profiles. They will refer the technical questions regarding medicines to the pharmacist. In places such as hospitals, the pharmacy technicians have additional tasks and responsibilities such as sterile solution preparations. But, here they do not prepare prescriptions or mix medications. The atmosphere in which a pharmacy technicians work is clean with lot of ventilation and light, well organized too. They might have to life heavy boxes, climb ladders to manage and arrange the stocks.
The job demands alertness from the technicians for, it involves in prescription handling and could risk the patient’s life in case of
Pharmacy Technician Work Hours
Pharmacy technicians’ schedule varies and sometimes is needed to work during holidays and weekends too. Some pharmacies are open 24 hours and hence they work shifts.
Pharmacy Technician Training and Certification
Regarding the training, some states demand formal training while some states do not demand a formal training for the pharmacy technicians. Anyhow, with the increased demand in pharmacy technicians the need for acquiring a formal training is becoming essential. There is an examination for the pharmacy technician, which one may clear or go through education and on-the-job training or a combination of both for the certification.
The on-the-job training takes about 3 to 12. Formal education for this is provided by community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, and even by the military. Such programs take 2 years and include classroom and laboratory work. Subjects like pharmaceutical terminology and calculations, pharmacy law and ethics are covered in this program. Some of the programs even involve hands-on experience in pharmacies. On completion of such formal training, a certificate or associate degree is offered.
The PHARMACY TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION BOARD (PCTB) and the INSTITUTE FOR CERTIFICATION AND PHARMACY TECHNICIANS conduct national certificate examinations. These exams increase the scope of employment and career growth for an applicant.
Pharmacy Technician Career Prospects
This is a field where growth is a little limited, but there is a little scope in large pharmacies and health centers for the technicians with required experience and training to be promoted to a supervisory position or other specialty position such as chemotherapy technician or nuclear pharmacy technician or sales. There are rare cases where the technician becomes a pharmacist after considerable amount of formal training.
Pharmacy Technician Salary
The range varies between $10 and $19 an hour, depending on the experience, organization, and formal training acquired.
Pharmacy Technician Job Prospects
This is also increasing in demand as other fields as the number of hospitals and need for pharmacies are increasing too. The ones with experience and formal training are in the highlight for a career growth. New applicants also will be needed to fill the positions of the ones who have left or retired.
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