Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies in retail chain stores, independent pharmacies, clinic and hospital pharmacies; and in related organizations such as pharmaceutical companies, health and life insurance companies, drug wholesalers and pharmacy supply companies.
Pharmacy technician job description
Pharmacy technicians provide clerical and technical support to pharmacists in hospitals or retail pharmacies.
In most retail pharmacies, pharmacy technicians are often interrupted by orders, telephone calls, and staff and customer questions. The hours can be long and irregular, sometimes under stressful conditions. The work is challenging and requires accuracy—there is no room for error. Pharmacy technicians spend most of the day on their feet and are required to lift and move objects weighing up to ten kilograms.
Main duties of the pharmacy technician
They measure, mix, package, label and deliver medication. They keep computerized lists of patient prescriptions and see to it that the right drugs have been prescribed. They also look after home health care products such as canes and hearing or vision aids.
Depending on their position, they can also manage third-party billing, answer the telephone, direct customers to items or to the pharmacist for a consultation, receive written prescriptions, clean and sterilize dispensing bottles and instruments, answer questions about non-drug products and operate a cash register.
A high school diploma with courses in chemistry or biology is recommended to become a pharmacy technician. Most hospitals require the completion of a one-year pharmacy technician program at a community college.
- Excellent knowledge of math
- Proficiency in the use of computer tools
- Basic knowledge in chemistry or biology
- Concentration and precision
- Good memory, clarity, reliability
- Manual dexterity
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
Career path of the pharmacy technician
After a few years of experience, pharmacy technicians can aspire to supervisory or pharmacist positions.