ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What it's like Working in a Pharmacy

Updated on July 15, 2015

Have you ever considered a career as a pharmacy technician? Maybe you want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives, or you simply want a better paying job then what you currently have. You have done some basic searches online about the field but aren’t sure you want to seek it further, without speaking with someone who works in the field. This is your article, I have worked in retail pharmacy for nearly a decade and have worked in busy retail locations as well as slow and know exactly what to expect. The main questions I get are what exactly do you do on a day to day basis? And, how much can you expect to make from working in a pharmacy? I will do my best to answer both of these questions

A day in the life of a Retail Pharmacy Technician

For the sake of this article we will assume that I am the very first technician to arrive for the day. The very first thing that must be done is check on any paperwork or counting that must be done. A constant inventory of the pharmacy is required for several reasons, to accomplish this most pharmacy systems will auto-generate a list of medications that must be hand counted daily. Our daily paper work prints out and is ready for us when we arrive. This paper work has tasks for us to do such as call the people who have had prescriptions ready for 7 days and inform them that if they are not there in the next few days the prescription will be put back to stock. This list can have anywhere from 5 to 30 people to call for a slow store, I worked at a busy store before that had 40+ calls every day on this list. Next we have to call the doctors for all the prescription refills that have been requested throughout the prior days and have not yet got back to us, these are not fun calls. Most of the time the nurse tells us they never received our fax, or that they did receive it and will get back to use when they can, I often feel like more of an annoyance on the office than anything else and from the tone of the voice of the nurse I probably am. We also have to call, fax, or both the doctors’ offices that we have questions for, such as "the strength of the medication the doctor wrote for doesn't exist. What does the doctor actually want?" or "The doctors handwriting is ineligible what does the prescription say?"

Later in the day our order comes in, this must be posted to our inventory then put on the shelf just like if someone were to stock anything else in the store. Depending on the size of the order this can take 20 minutes to a few hours to complete, also depending on how busy the store is the order could be smaller or larger. After all of those items are put on the shelf then we have to remove the exceptions in the computer for those items that were specifically ordered the day before for patients that the item was not in the store for.

Now if this doesn't sound like a lot it's because well it’s just the basics, there's much much more we have to do. The obvious is filling prescriptions which that process is not as simple as you would think. For instance when you hand me a prescription I have to make sure I have your correct information in the computer, then I scan the script in, type it, have it checked that I typed it correctly. If that goes fine (or is corrected to be fine) then the script prints out on a label for us to fill we then have to find the correct medication, scan the leaflet, the medicine and if its correct a label will print out. We then count the medication and recheck that it is the correct medication by verifying with the computer that we have filled what we should have. Then it is handed to the pharmacist who checks the work and will finally give their ok to then release, or sell the medication. Doesn't sound like much? Well try that same process times about 200 or more a day (which is what most would consider a slow store) and you kind of start to get the idea.

Pharmacy Technician Pay

At my company in my area a non-certified technician starts at $10.00 an hour and goes to $11.25 as soon as they get certified with a cap around $15. If they want to move up and become sort of like a manager of the technicians then they start at $12.25 an hour and can go to around $16.75 if they stay with the company for a rather long time. I am currently right around the middle ground of that pay closer to the cap then the bottom but still the middle. Looking at payscale.com for my area the average CPHT makes $12.00 whereas a sort of manager technician average is $15. So I would say if you're starting out expect to make $10 but quickly get up to at least $12 within a year or two especially after you get your certification.

Final Thoughts

Though I appreciate being able to write this article I feel it should be said that it is my hope to get out of this field sooner rather than later. Not because of the fact that I feel it is a bad field actually I think it’s a great field that is much needed and needs good people to continue in it. My heart just isn't in it anymore and that can sometimes be very bad when dealing with such an important thing as people's medications. I take my job very seriously and will continue to as long as I am there but maybe me leaving will open up the spot for one of you who are reading this who want to be there and can do so much more good then I can.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)