Hello, what brings you here? What got you interested in the life of a pharmacy technician? If it is the love for the career, you must be aware of the job roles of a Pharmacy Technician by now (I hope you did your research).
Do you wish to know what A Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician is like because you are pursuing the course? Or are you a Pharmacy Technician who is looking for some guidance on how to organize your day? I have it all listed here. So, let’s begin!
Usual Introduction – For the Uninitiated
Well, for starters, the life of a Pharmacy Technician is pretty interesting. First, let me tell you what a Pharmacy Technician is. Pharmacy Technicians assist pharmacists in their daily work and manage different aspects of the pharmacy. They are supporting pillars for pharmacists who have a lot of tasks to attend to. The tasks get split to Pharmacy Technicians who take care of the secondary line of work at the pharmacy.
In order to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician, you need to get a Pharmacy Technician Certification. This lays down the path for a fruitful career in Pharmacy.
Throughout this article, you will find quotes, information and insights into the daily life of a pharmacy technician. Feel free to check out these free practice tests if you wish to start a career as a Pharmacy Technician.
A Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician – For the Interested
A Day in the Life of a pharmacy technician typically starts with phone calls, handing out prescriptions, refilling medicines, and all such regular tasks. Along with this, they handle verification processes, in which they validate all patient data when dispensing medicines and completing refill requests. Of course, labeling bottles is also an added task.
Would you believe it? Pharmacy Technicians even keep stock of the medicines on the premises. They need to be pretty nimble on their feet and mind when it comes to getting medicines. Patients flock in all day with requests and prescriptions. It takes a lot of effort to arrange medicines so that they are easily accessible when required. And yes, there are innumerable medicines known to mankind.
Some Pharmacy Technicians work in the insurance sector (Even governmental agencies), where their people skills are tested. They need to maintain polite conversations with patients who call in for inquiries. This requires excellent computing skills.
Let’s list these responsibilities and a few more.
- Reading and handing out prescriptions to patients.
- Refilling prescriptions.
- Attending inbound calls.
- Data Entry and Validation (Patient).
- Medicine dispensing.
- Stock/Inventory management (Orders, delivery, and stocking).
- Patient profile creation and maintenance.
- Basic customer service.
- Submitting and validating insurance claims.
Be a change-maker in the pharmacy world and beyond.
Now that the technicalities are set aside, let me describe a Pharmacy Technician workday.
It’s 8 am in the morning, a bright sunny day and the shift begins. The hospital slowly starts filling in with the usual hustle-bustle of nurses arriving and the ones leaving for the day. The Pharmacy department is usually the quietest with people taking their respective positions all poised to handle another fast-paced day at work. Mild noises that filter through the glass don’t disturb them. They know that it is the hospital settling down for a typical day.
A telephone shrieks, breaking the silence. A Pharmacy Technician hurries over and picks up the call. He jots down the name of the medicine and hangs up with a smile. The first request for medicines for the day is here. The Technician cross verifies the medicines with the prescriptions along with the patient history on his computer.
Going through the list, he picks up an empty bottle and fills it carefully after confirming the dosage. This bottle is labeled and placed in the delivery area. It will be picked up later in the day. The day is finally setting in and tasks start pouring in.
Time runs fast and it is already noon by now. The Pharmacy Technician has by now attended multiple calls, made appointments, handled angry customers, helped the nurses clear out the requests from the doctors and read numerous prescriptions.
Meanwhile, the computer has been buzzing with the inflow of patient details forwarded by the information desk. These have to be recorded and profiled as per the data records. He sets this task for later as he goes through the stock of medicines calculating the amount dispensed since morning.
Once satisfied with the data, he moves on to the next task – delivering medicines to in-hospital patients. This task takes some considerable time by the end of which he is ready to focus on his desk job of data validation and profile creation.
Amidst all of this, patients keep coming in with medicine refill requests which he politely obliges. Documents such as medical records and insurance claims sit on his desk waiting to be verified. But he is not worried since his calendar accommodates them all. By the end of his shift, he is done with all of his work, ready to leave home after a busy day at work.
Pros and Cons of a Career as a Pharmacy Technician – For the Concerned
There are pros and cons everywhere. So, what does it mean in a dynamic and bustling environment? Let’s find out.
- Multiple shifts can be quite confusing if you don’t maintain a calendar.
- The nature of work requires you to be nimble on your feet and stand almost all day (free calisthenics, people!).
- Memorizing and reading out medicine names can be quite hard (Doctors usually don’t win any handwriting competitions).
- Handling insurance claims can be difficult (Exactly like baggage control at the airport).
- The career offers nice growth opportunities. You can grow into multiple facets of the pharmaceutical industry.
- The pay is good based on the organization, location, and type of field you work for.
- You develop excellent people skills (A must-have in this line of work).
- You get to organize and maintain multiple shelves of life-saving medications (that’s a gratifying thought).
- Following up on the above point, you get the satisfaction of helping hundreds of people on a daily basis.
Scope for the Future – For the Ambitious
So, what’s the scope of a career as a Pharmacy Technician? Let me put it this way. The scope depends on which career path you choose to follow. Some pharmacy technicians work in governmental sectors and even in prison bureaus on insurance plans, and this requires excellent communication skills. So, if you are a person who loves to be around people, you should choose this. Otherwise, there is hospital work where you would be assisting doctors, patients, and almost everyone else. Though this is a similar role, you would predominantly work on medicine and prescription handling.
The best choice of this is to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). To get started, I suggest that you try this Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Practice Test. This would help you start a career as a Certified Pharmacy Technician, which is an evolved version of a Pharmacy Technician course and offers multiple benefits.
Pharmacy is about making a positive difference in people’s lives.
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Wrapping Up – Do We Really Have To?
Well, it was nice going through A Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician. I want to give you some final pointers. If you really wish to start a career as a Pharmacy Technician, get a certification. It really helps. You can find more details here.
There are certification exams for which you need to prepare. This helps set down a firm foundation in your journey as a Pharmacy Technician. Certifications are the first steps towards getting a license and, with a license in hand, your career options are practically limitless.
There are options, such as Lead Technician or Pharmacy Affairs Manager, which offer excellent pay and great growth opportunities. Now that we are all set, let me throw in a nice PTCB exam prep guide to help you start your journey.
I am sure you will appreciate it years from now. Until then, keep going!