Planning on improving your pharmacy technician skills, but are confused about the essential skills required to become the best pharmacy technician?
This article is all about the top 7 pharmacy technician skills you should have and how you can improve yourself in those skill sets. Read on to learn more about the essential skills and tips to equip yourself to become the best pharmacy technician in the country.
The Role of a Pharmacy Technician
The job responsibilities of a pharmacy technician are as follows:
A pharmacy technician performs medication-related tasks at a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist. They also perform customer-related services and administrative tasks.
- Mix, measure, and count medications as per the patient’s prescription.
- Label and pack medications for delivery.
- Record medical information of the patient using pharmacy management software.
- Verify the patient’s insurance information.
- Receive payment from patients.
Now that you know the responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, let’s discuss about some of the essential pharmacy technician skills you need to shine in the industry.
Top 7 Pharmacy Technician Skills You Need
It is important to possess the required skills to be a successful pharmacy technician. As a healthcare professional, you need to have the right set of pharmacy technician skills to be the best in your industry.
Having the right skills helps you manage the pharmacy and offer good customer service to the patients. Here are some of the pharmacy technician skills you may need as a pharmacy technician.
GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS
The first on the list is to have good communication skills. Having the ability to communicate both verbally and written helps you to offer excellent customer service to the patients.
As a pharmacy technician, you need to communicate with doctors, nurses, co-workers, pharmacists, insurance people, and patients. If there’s a lack of communication, it could lead to medication errors. It also helps you to perform your task in a more efficient manner and minimizes error by saving your time.
To become a successful pharmacy technician, you will also need strong communication skills. You will use these skills every day when talking to patients. You will also need them when you communicate with physicians, answer the phone, and update records.
Many pharmacists become experts in conflict resolution as well. You’ll need to know how to efficiently express yourself with patients and co-workers.
Apart from being good at verbal and written communication, it is equally important to be aware of the technical terms used to communicate with pharmacists and other technicians, as well as adapt to communication on layman’s terms with patients.
PROBLEM-SOLVING AND CRITICAL THINKING
As a pharmacy technician, it is important to improve your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Pharmacy technicians work in a fast-paced environment.
You must know to prioritize your tasks and deal with mistakes if there are any. You should have the ability to efficiently solve conflicts that may occur with coworkers, insurance companies, or patients.
As a pharmacy technician, you will be approached by your customers with a problem, who will expect a clear outcome from you. That’s when problem-solving and critical thinking will help you to find the right solution.
EXCELLENT MATHEMATICAL SKILLS
As the role of a pharmacy technician requires measuring, mixing, and counting medications as per the patient’s prescription, it is good to have excellent mathematical skills. Though the tasks might be performed under the supervision of pharmacists, it is important to have good mathematical skills.
It is a skill that you will inevitably use on a daily basis in the pharmacy. A pharmacy technician will also use math when stocking, ordering, packing prescriptions, and maintaining inventory records. Working with numbers helps you ensure accuracy.
Another pharmacy technician skill you may need is to be familiar with different software programs. These software programs help you to keep track of customers’ prescriptions and records.
These programs are used to maintain the following records:
- Receive prescriptions.
- Medication profiles for patients.
- Insurance claims for patients.
- Ordering medications online.
As a pharmacy technician, you must know how to use many application programs, different platforms, and operating systems. Pharmacy software programs help pharmacy professionals to process bills, handle patient prescriptions and history, keep track of drug inventory, and file insurance claims.
The ability to multitask is another skill that helps pharmacy technicians work in a fast-paced environment. Performing tasks based on their priority improves your multitasking ability. It is also important to maintain accuracy when multitasking.
They not only deal with filling prescriptions but also handle calls with patients or insurance companies while attending to patients waiting for service.
CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS
Pharmacy technicians also require customer service skills to become the best pharmacy technician. Generally, pharmacy technicians fill medication orders based on the patient’s prescription either on the phone or in person.
Pharmacy technicians interact with customers differently based on where they practice. It is important to be aware of the tone and language you use when you interact with customers.
It is good practice to remember and welcome your regular customers. This practice can help you improve your strong connection with the people you meet on a daily basis. Providing the best customer service makes you seem like a reliable pharmacy technician in your locality.
As a pharmacy technician, it is very essential to have organizational skills. You will handle records of medications in hand, required supplies, and a lot of paperwork.
Most pharmacies will have an organizational system in place, and you must make sure to stick to them to help you keep things on track. Pharmacy technicians will keep track of inventory, maintain records, and maintain patients’ prescriptions.
Good organizational skills will help you when you pack and label prescriptions for patients. This skill also helps you work in a fast-paced environment like a pharmacy.
As you are now aware of the essential skills you require, it is now time to analyze and equip yourself in the areas you lack. Let’s now discuss some of the tips to improve your pharmacy technician skills.
Tips to Improve Your Pharmacy Technician Skills
The first step to improving your pharmacy technician skills is to set achievable goals. These goals will help you to improve your skills in the workplace. Write down the skills you need to work on and the efforts required to improve those skills.
DESCRIBE USING REQUIREMENTS
Listing the skill sets employers are looking for in a pharmacy technician can help you learn the skills you need to work on. Identify those skills and check how you can improve yourself in those aspects and become the best pharmacy technician in your locality.
You can also look through different pharmacy technician job descriptions and list the common words that appear.
TAKE RELEVANT COURSES
As a pharmacy technician, it is important to equip yourself with the necessary education and skills. The best way to do that is to enroll in a program relevant to pharmacy technicians that can help you improve your skill set. These courses help you gain the necessary skills and stay updated with the recent trends in your field.
GET A CERTIFICATION
As a pharmacy technician, you might need certifications to practice as a pharmacy technician in some states. Earning a certification benefits you in many ways. Pharmacy technician programs educate you on pharmacy equipment, medications, and commonly used pharmacy management software programs. You can also list them as skills on your resume.
Earning other certifications relevant to your field can also add value to your resume and help you stand out from other pharmacy technician professionals.
Apart from gaining theoretical knowledge, it is important to gain practical knowledge as well. To gain hands-on experience as a pharmacy technician, you can apply for internships, volunteer for organizations, or opt for courses that offer hands-on experience to improve your practical skills.
You can opt for exercises or practice drills to improve your problem-solving or critical thinking skill sets. You can also seek help from your friends and family to help you practice and improve your skill sets.
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE IN THE PHARMACY TECHNICIAN FIELD
Connecting with people from the field of pharmacy technician can help you gain information about how they worked on improving the skills they feel are essential for a pharmacy technician.
You can connect with people and build your network by joining online communities or groups for pharmacy technicians or by attending events or conventions for pharmacy technicians.
SEEK ADVICE FROM MENTORS
It is always a good idea to seek help from seniors at school or work, or from your teachers on the skills you can improve on and how you can work on improving those skills. You can also talk to professionals in the field, which also paves the way to connecting with people from your field.
Having the necessary qualifications and the required skills can make you stand out as the best pharmacy technician. It is important to analyze and work on improving your pharmacy technician skills with proper mentoring.
You can seek help in this process to make sure you are going in the right direction. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, you can start your preparation for the PTCB exam by taking our practice test. You can also use our PTCB guides to learn more about the certification exams.