We are all familiar with the people who help pick up our medication at the pharmacy. Most of us might confuse them with pharmacists. But in reality, they are pharmacy technicians, also known as pharm techs. Now you might ask, “What does a pharmacy tech do?”
Now that you have come up with the question, an answer should be given. You might wonder if there are cashiers and other helpers to assist with making pills and picking medicines then why a pharmacy technician? The most simple answer is that the role of a pharmacy technician is more in-depth than theirs. Pharmacy technicians are largely important in maintaining patients’ safety.
Now that we know pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are different. Let’s now see what a pharmacy technician does daily.
Job Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians
Now, let’s discuss what can a pharmacy technician do in a pharmacy. Is billing and arranging medicines for customers the only job for pharm techs? No. The roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians depend on the place they are working. But the typical work responsibilities for pharmacy technicians are:
One of the most important parts of your daily work will be receiving and processing prescriptions. The world is becoming more digital with each passing day. E-prescriptions are becoming more common. In a pharmacy, receiving and confirming the medications is very important.
The starting of e-prescriptions demands pharm techs to learn basic computer skills and software knowledge too.
Although there may be more e-prescriptions than in the past, it is still a vital part of the technician’s role to obtain and confirm the patient’s information when he or she brings in a written prescription.Barthels
The prescription analysis includes:
- Correct entry of names.
- Date of birth.
- Residential address.
- Phone numbers.
- Any other health problems
- Details about medical insurance.
Communicating with Customers
Being a pharmacy technician will give you a wide array of job locations to work in. If you are working in a retail pharmacy, you will interact with a lot of people. To ace your role, customer skills are an important part of your job.
You will be responsible for assisting patients and customers in buying medicines, and getting their bills settled. You will implement both your clinical knowledge and people skills to help facilitate a smooth experience for your customers.
Upgrading to Managerial Roles
With experience, you might grow into a pharmacy technician supervisor. You will play a crucial part in the proper operation of a pharmacy. With years of experience from being an entry-level pharm tech to becoming a pharm tech supervisor, you will know every part of the role.
Your primary role will be to oversee every process. From the organization of medicines and prescriptions to maintaining a safe pharmaceutical practice in your workplace. For this role, profound knowledge of the laws and ethics of pharmacy practices is also very important.
Apart from these responsibilities, you will have many other responsibilities as well. Some of them can be small while others can grow with more experience. A few more responsibilities of pharmacy technicians are:
- You will be responsible for performing inventory counts on different stockings.
- You will be responsible for organizing the medicines and checking their expiration dates.
- Calling doctors or registered nurses for prescription clarification.
- In experimental drug trials, you can also assist the management.
Now that you are familiar with what does a pharmacy tech do, you should also know about the skills a pharmacy tech must have.
Qualities of Every Pharmacy Technician
Here are some of the top skills you must have:
- Good customer service and people skills.
- Good academic and clinical knowledge.
- Retail industry expertise.
- The laws and ethics of the pharmacy industry and patient rights.
- Prescription filling.
- Good communication skills.
- Computer knowledge.
- Quality control and quality assurance.
- Inventory management.
Is a Pharmacy Technician a Good Career Choice?
Now you know what your job responsibilities would be as a pharmacy technician and what skills you need. But you might still wonder if being a pharm tech is a wonderful career for you.
Well yes! The medical industry is a rapidly growing industry. The job opportunities for both full-time and part-time jobs are in demand. Pharmacy technicians are in high demand in hospital pharmacies, private pharmacies, or retail stores.
Some interesting statistics about pharmacy technicians are:
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 2022, the median pay of pharm techs is $37,790. The average pay per hour is $18.17.
- You do not need any prior experience to start with a pharmacy technician job.
- The number of jobs as of 2022 is 459,600.
- The Job outlook for the next 10 years is a 6% increase.
If you have been wondering what a pharmacy tech does daily, this article would have answered your question. The medical field is a growing field. The pandemic extensively contributed to the growth of the medical field. Being a pharmacy technician will help you set your foot in the medical industry.
You can grow from there by continuing of education and opting for higher degrees. To start with your pharmacy technician journey, take our free PTCB practice test to help you ace your exam.
Frequently asked questions
Which cities offer higher-paying pharmacy technician jobs?
Pharmacy technician is a rapidly growing field giving rise to job opportunities across the U.S. But the top cities with the highest pharmacy technician jobs are:
- San Francisco, California
- Sacramento, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Seattle, WA
- San Diego, CA.
How to become a pharmacy technician?
You can become a pharmacy technician by:
- Completing a diploma or certificate course– It takes around one year to complete
- Associate’s degree program- The duration is around two years
Do you wear scrubs as a pharmacy technician?
It depends on the organization you will be working in. Based on your location you may have to wear a scrub, a white coat, or a white vest. To know more about pharmacy technician uniforms read our blog here.