Pharmacy technicians perform tasks under the supervision of licensed pharmacists, with the main responsibility of dispensing medication for customers. They also need to ask specific questions regarding prescriptions or health conditions to pharmacists to help accomplish their daily tasks.
Pharmacy technicians will also be responsible for filling prescriptions and working with patients. Filling a prescription can encompass the counting, measurement, weighing, and pouring or mixing the medication.
Following evaluation by a pharmacist, the technician will then select a container and prepare and apply the label. Other duties may include filling out forms for insurance claims, maintaining inventory, and updating patient profiles.
While not all employers will require certification, you’ll be more prepared to get started at your first job if you go through a formal training process.
Pharmacy technicians should also have skills in organization, math, listening, and general customer service, along with a good attention to detail and the ability to operate certain pharmaceutical equipment including bottle fillers and labelers.
It may not be necessary in most cases to receive formal education as a pharmacy technician, but many employers prefer to hire new employees who have completed a training program. You can find training programs for pharmacy technicians at many vocational schools or community colleges.
Within a year or two of taking these courses, you can receive either an associate’s degree or certification. Throughout the training program, students will learn about the various medications, terminology, procedures, and laws associated with the industry.
Pharmacy technicians in training can also get involved in an internship, either as part of a training program or separately. Interns can work and learn while a professional licensed pharmacy technician supervises them and advises them on best practices through hands on experience.
Many states have specific regulations for pharmacy technicians, including the total number of hours required for continuing education and formal training, as well as any fees and exams.
Depending on the state’s specific laws, pharmacy technicians may be able to receive a license following the passing of an exam. Students can check with the state’s Board of Pharmacy to determine what they need to do to pursue training and employment.
Getting certification isn’t always required, but you may want to consider it when looking for work. You can receive certification from either the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) or Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
Going through proper pharmacy technician training can be invaluable to your experience in the field, helping you when seeking employment and ultimately preparing you for a secure future as a professional.