Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of duties. They answer phones, stock medication and handle money. In addition, they have the responsibility to assist pharmacists. They are knowledgeable about all medicines but do not answer customers’ medical questions. In some states, pharmacy technicians are certified or receive formal training, but most receive on-the-job training. Employment for pharmacy technicians is as varied as their work responsibilities.
Whether they work for drugstores, retail pharmacy chains or mail-order companies, pharmacy technicians’ duties are similar. After they receive prescription requests, they must verify the information is correct and accurate. To fulfill the prescription, pharmacy technicians prepare the medication. This means they must count, pour, mix or measure the medication before it is checked by the pharmacists. In addition to prescription requests, they maintain records like patients’ profiles or insurance forms.
Pharmacy technicians are employed in facilities like nursing homes or hospitals. They have many of the same responsibilities as technicians who work for pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions that are used for one day instead of a 30-or 90-day supply. Also, they may have to deliver prescription to patients after the pharmacists check them.
Technicians spend most of their workday on their feet and have to lift heavy boxes. They can work part time orand work similar hours to pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians work days, evenings, weekends or holidays depending on where they are employed. Experienced pharmacy technicians may train less experienced technicians or become supervisors. They may work as technician specialists in chemotherapy.
Although new technology, such as machines that dispense, count and package prescriptions, may eliminate some pharmacy technician positions, it will not decrease the need for people. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technicians will be in demand because more people are taking medication and the the elderly population is increasing.
Although pharmacy aides and pharmacy technicians work closely, sometimes the positions are similar. Like pharmacy technicians, pharmacy aides handle money, stock medicine and other clerical duties. However, pharmacy aides do not fill prescriptions or handle other technician responsibilities. Customer skills for pharmacy technicians are a requirement since they will be working with the public. Certified pharmacy technicians earn more than those with on-the-job training.