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What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Updated on February 26, 2016

 A Pharmacy Technician is someone that is qualified to work with the public as well as many elements of helping them to get their prescriptions correctly filled. They are able to work with patient information including personal data and insurance information. They work directly with patients and with the medications that are going to be filled for them.

They take part in the actual filling of the prescriptions. This involves checking to make sure they have the right product and the right dose of it. Many forms of medications look similar. There are also different amounts of milligrams on them. For other medications they can be offered as a tablet, a capsule, or in a liquid.

 A Pharmacy Technician is an individual that assists with the work to be done in various types of environments relating to handling and filling prescriptions. There can be many elements that play a role in all of that. They include the insurance part of it that most people aren’t happy with or the personal data that has to be collected when someone brings in a prescription that they need to have filled.

For a Pharmacy Technician a big role involves actually placing medication for someone into a bottle. This may be tablets, capsules, liquids, or chewable depending on the type of medication. Great care has to go into making sure the right amount of it is offered and that the right strength of it is given. There are so many types of medications that can look similar to each other.

Details are always part of the equation when you work as a Pharmacy Technician. You have to be disciplined so that you are able to keep things in focus. You also have to be able to pay attention to what people want. If someone is upset over the insurance not paying for something help them out. If a patient is waiting for a prescription but the hospital hasn’t sent it over yet then call them.

 Mixing and packaging are both parts of Pharmacy Technician work. Some medications require several dry ingredients to be mixed with a certain amount of a liquid. It is always essential that the right tools are used for carrying out those measurements. If you aren’t on top of it then mistakes can occur. Someone may get the wrong medicine, take too much of it, or not get enough to really take care of their health situation.

A Pharmacy Technician has the option of quite a few different types of settings where they would like to work. Many like the small feel of a local pharmacy where just a few people work. They also like that this is typically day time hours only and they get their evenings and weekends free.

Others work for retailers that offer other items too. For example when you go to the grocery store and you can also go to the pharmacy located in the back of it. Many retailers that are chains and known well including Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Walgreens offer such services.

 Paying attention to details to get the right product every time is extremely important in the role of Pharmacy Technician. Counting is a big part of what this type of job entails. It is always important to make sure that the patient gets the correct number or the correct bottle size of a liquid.

Some types of medications require the Pharmacy Technician to be able to properly mix them and to measure the elements of what it consists of. The patient may not get the right benefits if the medication that they use is improperly mixed. Carefully measuring and weighing the products before they are ready to give to the patient is a way to ensure that things are being done correctly.

There are many different settings where someone can work as a Pharmacy Technician. Of course a pharmacy is the most common one. Yet many retail stores where people shop for food, clothing, and other supplies also have a pharmacy in them. Therefore there are plenty of places where someone could apply for this type of work. The hours and days of the week that they will have to work can vary based on the job and the location.

 Keep in mind that you will have some training that you have to take part in as part of staying certified. This includes you being able to add at least 20 hours during the two year period as continuing education. This type of training can be under the supervision of a licensed Pharmacist, through classes, and even through online materials.

If you are able to problem solve, to manage many tasks, and you love to help people than this could prove to be a very good career for you. If you want to be able to take a job that you enjoy showing up for every day then do what you like. Plus, Pharmacy Technicians get paid well for entry level. As your experience and abilities improve you will be able to climb the ladder and have even more money to show for your hard work.

There are many jobs out there waiting for someone to step into them in this field. It is believed that it will grow by more than 30% too in the next 5 years. That means that right how is the perfect time to get involved. Now that you know what a Pharmacy Technician can do it is time to get certified.



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  • Sun-Girl profile image

    Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

    Great and informative article which is well shared.thanks for sharing.

  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 6 years ago

    Pharmacy technician is a nice job. Thanks for the informative article. voted up

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Very informative article! Nice job!