A pharmacy technician is an exciting and emerging career for many as more and more individuals are dependent on medications and as more and more conditions are finding cures with pharmaceuticals. Pharmacy technicians are vital to the business of the local pharmacy and going through a proper training program will help ensure you are hired for the best and most well paid pharmacy technician position available.
The Role of a Pharmacy Technician
Just what does a pharmacy technician do? The pharmacy technician does many things behind the counter to keep the pharmacy running. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics pharmacy technicians complete several things during a given shift. The major goal of the pharmacy technician is to help licensed pharmacists get medication and other such products to patients. To that end the technician verifies prescriptions, ensures everything is correct on the prescription and makes sure that all needed information is on the prescription. Then in preparing the medication the technician retrieves, counts, pours, weighs, measures, and sometimes mixes medication. Then the technician makes medication labels, chooses a container for the medication, and applies the label and any additional warning labels to the container. The Pharmacists checks all medications the pharmacy technician has prepared prior their release to the patient. The technician then prices and files the prescriptions, maintains patient profiles, files insurance claims, takes inventory and stocks shelves. If a patient has any questions regarding medications or health the pharmacist is the one to answer all questions that patients have. The technician is not to render any advice or answer health and prescription related questions. Some technicians can work in a hospital setting where their roles are a little bit different as they have a bit more responsibility.
Pharmacy Technician Career Path
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Technicians who are successful often find themselves as supervisors, mentors or trainers. Another option is to go into pharmaceutical sales. Still others choose to go into specialized medical fields like chemo therapy or nuclear pharmacy technician.
Pharmacy Technician Education Programs
Students entering into a Pharmacy Technician Program generally enter with a specific set of skills such as a high school diploma or GED, no history or record of drug abuse in their past. In addition a love of customer service, listening to people, attention to detail, ability to be alert, observant, organized and responsible are vital. Math, spelling and reading skills complete the list of required skills. Teamwork is important but it is also important to be able to work independently. These skills are vital to success according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you have some or all of these skills than look into this program.
In the Pharmacy Technician Schools students learn from books and labs. The courses include medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques, pharmacy laws and pharmacy ethics. In addition to all these vital courses students in a Pharmacy Technician Education Program will also learn medication names, generic alternative names, mechanisms of actions, usages of medications and doses of medication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics an Internship is often the end requirement of a Pharmacy Technician Education Program. Depending on the type of Pharmacy Technician Education Program you enrolled in you will either receive a certificate of training completion or an associate’s degree so, choose carefully.
Why should I go into a Pharmacy Technician Education Program?
While some pharmacies do train technicians onsite it is not the formal training that one receives from training programs. It is job specific and isn’t transferable. That is it’s not universal. Pharmacies are more likely to hire someone who has attended and completed a Pharmacy Technician Education Program and that individual is likely to make more money during their career. The pharmacy technician position career is expected to grow 32% over the next few years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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