Pharmacy Technician - How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technician

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Pharmacy Technician Job Description

 

A pharmacy technician has the knowledge and skills to perform many pharmacy-related functions while working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. A pharmacy technician will refer questions regarding drug information, prescriptions or health concerns to the pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians have a wide range of employment opportunities in different settings, some of which include:

  • Community or privately owned pharmacies

  • Hospitals

  • Home health care agencies

  • Nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities

  • Assisted living centers

  • Military service

  • Pharmacies that provide mail-order service

  • Managed health care companies

  • Educational programs

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Responsibilities 

 

A Pharmacy Technician has many duties to fulfill throughout a day. They are responsible for filling prescriptions and interacting with patients-- answering questions they might know and seeking answers for those questions they don't. In order to fill a prescription request, they might count, measure, weigh, pour or mix the medication for Pharmacist verification and approval. The Pharmacy Tech must then prepare the medication in a container and attach a clear label with instructions.

 Other duties pharmacy technicians are, but not limited to:

  • Completing insurance claim forms

  • Stocking inventory

  • Maintaining patient profiles.

  • Consulting patients on medication questions or side-effects 

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Skills

 

Reading Comprehension

Must be able to understand written documents, prescriptions, and labels to ensure patient safety.

Active Listening

Listen to and understand what people say and how it pertains to your abilities and duties.

Communication

Must be able to convey information effectively and interact with people. Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Service-Oriented

Wants to help and engage with people. Helps to be extroverted.

Perception

Know why people act the way they do and be able to distinguish red-flag behavior.

Coordination

Must be able to coordinate your actions with your boss and coworkers.

Complex Problem Solving

Identify complex problems and use your knowledge and on-hand information to evaluate options and solutions.

Judgment and Decision Making

Must be able to make decisions and exist with some autonomy so you can take appropriate action and complete tasks.

Resource Management

Must be able to effectively manage time and supplies so as to complete tasks in an timely manner and to save money

Endurance

Must stand for long hours and work many days, including weekends. Constantly moving and interacting with people.

 

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Working Conditions

 

Working conditions for pharmacy technicians are generally areas that are clean, well-lit, well-ventilated and organized. Pharmacy techs may be required to do some heavy lifting or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from tall shelves. Most of the workday is usually spent on their feet.

Pharmacy technicians work the same hours as the pharmacists under which they work, including evenings, nights and sometimes weekends and holidays. Some hospital pharmacies, as well as retail pharmacies, are now open 24 hours a day, requiring technicians to work various shifts. With experience and increased seniority, technicians may have some degree of increased control over their assigned working hours. Both retail and hospital settings offer opportunities for part-time work.

 


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How to Become a Pharmacy Technician:

 

There aren't formal education requirements for being a Pharmacy Tech. besides that you need a High School Diploma. It would be good, for your job search, if you completed a Pharmacy Tech Training Program because that could give you a leg up and employers like to see the certification. 

 

1. Learn Your State's Requirements

 

Different states have different regulations for Pharmacy Technicians. You might need formal training, a certain number of continuing education hours, or maybe you must take exams and pay fees. It all depends. Some states give you a Pharmacy Tech License after you pass a test, so you should check with your state's Board of Pharmacy to see what you need to get a job. 

 

2. Complete a Pharmacy Technician Training Program

 

You can find these programs at most community colleges and vocational schools. The Programs usually take one to two years depending on if you want the certificate or the Associate's Degree. Pharmacy technician educational programs generally require both classroom and laboratory work in a wide variety of areas.

Pharmacy technicians are generally expected to demonstrate acceptable knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Common medical terminology
  • Pharmaceutically-specific terminology
  • Proficiency in pharmaceutical calculations
  • Record-keeping principles required in a pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical techniques
  • Pharmaceutical laws and ethics

Technicians are also expected to learn commonly used medication names, their actions, and their appropriate uses and standard doses. Internships are included in many training programs, giving students hands-on experience in actual pharmacies. 

 

4. Earn a Certification (Optional)

 

You don't have to, but it could help you get a job; and employers will take you more seriously. You can take the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) certification exam through two organizations: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).  You must have your HS Diploma, complete a Pharmacy Tech Program, and have at least one year of experience working. 

 

5. Maintain Certification Through Continuing Education

 

To maintain your CPhT Certification, you need to earn a minimum of 20 continuing education credits over two years. Also, if you really like what you do, you could consider going back to receive your Bachelor's Degree and start down the path to become a practicing Pharmacist. 

 

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Salary Outlook

Resources

 

CPhT

PTCB

NHA

Continuing Education

 

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
High school graduate or equivalent GED required. Successful completion or enrollment in Indiana Board of Pharmacy approved Pharmacy Technician Training program, within one year of employment. Successful completion of high school Algebra course...
12.05.2016
Work with our dynamic Pharmacy team who shares our vision and commitment to making patient's lives better. Position Highlights: Learn from the experts: The Pharmacy team at Avera Marshall has over 60 years of combined experience Job...
12.05.2016
Under the supervision of the pharmacist, assists with the functioning of the unit-dose distribution system, assists with the preparation of intravenous admixtures and delivery of medication to patient units. Selects medication for Pyxis Med...
12.05.2016
High School Diploma/GED Current State license or certificate Are you able to lift 50 lbs? Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Summary: Provides world class Pharmacy services while assisting the...
12.05.2016
High School Diploma/GED Current State license or certificate Are you able to lift 50 lbs? Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Summary: Provides world class Pharmacy services while assisting the...
12.05.2016
Supports the pharmacist in the dispensing of medications to the patients. Duties of this position may include, but are not limited to, the accurate charging of medications in the Pharmacy computer system, reading medication orders for...
12.05.2016
Reporting to the Pharmacy Supervisor, is responsible for assisting pharmacists in all aspects of pharmaceutical care including processing and distribution of all drug and IV orders. Pharmacy technician license in the state of Illinois required...
12.05.2016
Multiple Positions Available. Under the direct guidance and supervision of a licensed Pharmacist(s), and following all Federal and State regulations, prepares and distributes medications and maintains drug inventory and patient records....
12.05.2016
Under the immediate supervision of the Manager of Inpatient Pharmacy Operations and Registered Pharmacists, the Pharmacy technician will assist registered pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical services to patients within the medical center...
12.05.2016
Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
12.07.2016
DescriptionRole Purpose:Prepare and deliver medications, monitor and maintain stock levels, and perform various technical and clerical duties as required. Responsibilities: Assist the Pharmacist as a Pharmacy Technician in receiving, processing...
12.07.2016
DescriptionRole Purpose: Prepare and deliver medications, monitor and maintain stock levels, and perform various technical and clerical duties as required. Responsibilities: Assist the Pharmacist as a Pharmacy Technician in receiving, processing...
12.05.2016
The Pharmacy Technician assists the pharmacists with the preparation, labeling, and delivery of medications in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy and adheres to the policies and procedures...
12.07.2016
High School/GED PTCB (Pharmacy Tech) 1 year of experience preferred Responsibilities Maintains proper storage and security conditions for drugs. Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. Assists customers (inpatient and/or...
12.05.2016
The pharmacy technician assists the pharmacists with the preparation, labeling, and delivery of medications. The technician attends work as scheduled and is expected to complete assigned duties within time constraints and in an efficient and...
  1. Pharmacy Technician Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    High school graduate or equivalent GED required. Successful completion or enrollment in Indiana Board of Pharmacy approved Pharmacy Technician Training program, within one year of employment. Successful completion of high school Algebra course...
  2. Pharmacy Technician Marshall, MN Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center
    Work with our dynamic Pharmacy team who shares our vision and commitment to making patient's lives better. Position Highlights: Learn from the experts: The Pharmacy team at Avera Marshall has over 60 years of combined experience Job...
  3. Pharmacy Technician Melrose, MA Melrose-Wakefield Hospital
    Under the supervision of the pharmacist, assists with the functioning of the unit-dose distribution system, assists with the preparation of intravenous admixtures and delivery of medication to patient units. Selects medication for Pyxis Med...
  4. Pharmacy Technician Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    High School Diploma/GED Current State license or certificate Are you able to lift 50 lbs? Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Summary: Provides world class Pharmacy services while assisting the...
  5. Pharmacy Technician Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    High School Diploma/GED Current State license or certificate Are you able to lift 50 lbs? Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you comfortable using a computer? Summary: Provides world class Pharmacy services while assisting the...
  6. Pharmacy Technician St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    Supports the pharmacist in the dispensing of medications to the patients. Duties of this position may include, but are not limited to, the accurate charging of medications in the Pharmacy computer system, reading medication orders for...
  7. Pharmacy Technician Mattoon, IL Sarah Bush Lincoln
    Reporting to the Pharmacy Supervisor, is responsible for assisting pharmacists in all aspects of pharmaceutical care including processing and distribution of all drug and IV orders. Pharmacy technician license in the state of Illinois required...
  8. Pharmacy Technician Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Multiple Positions Available. Under the direct guidance and supervision of a licensed Pharmacist(s), and following all Federal and State regulations, prepares and distributes medications and maintains drug inventory and patient records....
  9. Pharmacy Technician Rock Island, IL UnityPoint Health-Trinity
    Under the immediate supervision of the Manager of Inpatient Pharmacy Operations and Registered Pharmacists, the Pharmacy technician will assist registered pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical services to patients within the medical center...
  10. Pharmacy Technician Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Healthcare
    Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 450 physicians, 4,700 employees, and 1,100 volunteers, Cape Cod Healthcare operates two-acute care hospitals, the Cape's...
  11. Pharmacy Technician Oklahoma City, OK St. Anthony Hospital
    DescriptionRole Purpose:Prepare and deliver medications, monitor and maintain stock levels, and perform various technical and clerical duties as required. Responsibilities: Assist the Pharmacist as a Pharmacy Technician in receiving, processing...
  12. Pharmacy Technician Oklahoma City, OK St. Anthony Hospital
    DescriptionRole Purpose: Prepare and deliver medications, monitor and maintain stock levels, and perform various technical and clerical duties as required. Responsibilities: Assist the Pharmacist as a Pharmacy Technician in receiving, processing...
  13. Pharmacy Technician Oklahoma City, OK INTEGRIS Health
    The Pharmacy Technician assists the pharmacists with the preparation, labeling, and delivery of medications in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy and adheres to the policies and procedures...
  14. PHARMACY TECHNICIAN Dunn, NC Harnett Health System
    High School/GED PTCB (Pharmacy Tech) 1 year of experience preferred Responsibilities Maintains proper storage and security conditions for drugs. Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. Assists customers (inpatient and/or...
  15. Pharmacy Technician Oklahoma City, OK INTEGRIS Health
    The pharmacy technician assists the pharmacists with the preparation, labeling, and delivery of medications. The technician attends work as scheduled and is expected to complete assigned duties within time constraints and in an efficient and...