Pharmacy Technician Job Description
A pharmacy technician is one who works under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. His or her role is to perform many pharmacy related tasks. The technician often handles the routine tasks in the pharmacy including preparation of prescribed medications, which will be checked by the licensed pharmacist before giving it to the patient, selecting the proper prescription container, creating prescription labels, medication compounding, expense and medication orders, take verbal prescriptions and calls from doctor’s, handle returns and expired credits and non licensed pharmacy management.
The technicians also handle other pharmacy tasks including the preparation of insurance claim forms, maintenance of patient profiles, answering the telephone, taking inventory of over the counter medications, recommending over the counter medications to customers, completion of cash register transactions and being aware of the latest medications and their availability, as well as their side effects. The pharmacy technician also advises the customer on health and diet issues, the proper foods and liquids to take with their medication and how to offset side effects of the medication. The pharmacy technicians will also advise customers on non medication, but medical related items such as the proper height a cane should be, or the best ace bandage to purchase.
Pharmacy technicians work mostly in retail pharmacy’s independently owned or part of a chain, while others work in hospitals, mail order or internet pharmacy’s or pharmaceutical wholesalers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Pharmacy technicians often work evening and weekends as well as a day time shift, including holidays.
Pharmacy Technician Training Program
Pharmacy technicians are required to complete a pharmacy technician training program. Some states require a pharmacy technician to be certified while other states do not. The pharmacy technician is well advised to be certified even if the state they work has voluntary certification. Obtaining a certification demonstrates the national standards for pharmacy technician has been met.
There are two organizations that offer pharmacy technician certifications. They are the PTCB, Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and ICPT, The Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Both certifications are accepted by most pharmacy employers.
When the technician is certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, the pharmacy technician will have the official title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). The certification must be renewed every two years and requires attending 20 hours of continuing education.
When the technician is certified by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, the pharmacy technician will have the official title of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT). The certification must be renewed every two years and requires attending at least 20 hours of continuing education, with at least one hour in pharmacy law.
The pharmacy technician must have people relationship and communication skills, have the ability to be very accurate at all times and have an eye for detail. Pharmacy technicians who work in patient care facilities are also responsible for reading patient charts and then preparing the medication and delivering it to the patient. They also update patient files and change a patient’s medication when so directed by a doctor or other medical specialist or the licensed pharmacist.