We’ve all seen them before: the friendly drugstore staff who assist us in picking up and paying for our medicines. You might have assumed they were pharmacists in the past. They are, however, pharmacy technicians, or pharm techs, as they are also known.
Sure, you might believe they’re really simply a cashier, handing out prescriptions and taking care of the register. But their duties go much beyond that. They do, in fact, play a critical role in maintaining patient safety.
If you’re interested in pharmacy technician duties and what to expect on the job, you’ve come to the right place. What exactly does a pharmacy technician do? Continue reading for a detailed breakdown of the tasks you’ll be doing as a pharmacy technician. We give you the important five pharmacy technician responsibilities to obtain a better knowledge of the job and decide if it’s suited for you.
In hospitals, drug and grocery stores, and other medical settings, a pharmacy technician assists pharmacists in the preparation and distribution of medications to patients. In many pharmacies, technicians are responsible for the following tasks.
Pharmacy technician duties list
- Receiving and confirming prescription orders
What does a pharmacy technician perform on a daily basis? Receiving and verifying medicine orders is a big part of it. In today’s digital environment, the majority of prescriptions are e-prescriptions. The pharmacy staff will not only need to utilize computer software to get these prescriptions, but they will also need to validate insurance coverage before the patient picks up their drug.
Obtaining and verifying the patient’s information when a written prescription is brought in is still an important aspect of the technician’s duty, even though there are more e-prescriptions than in the past. This includes verifying that the patient’s name, address, phone number, date of birth, medication allergies, and insurance information are all spelled correctly.
Because even the smallest mistake can have serious consequences, pharmacy technicians must pay close attention to every detail.
- Preparing and filling prescriptions
It’s more than just counting pills and labeling bottles when it comes to filling prescriptions. This pharmacy tech task is a very detail-oriented procedure with more variability than you may expect.
Most people associate prescription drugs with tablets or capsules, but there are several that require preparation, such as creams, ointments, and compounds.
Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and particular hospital units may be responsible for creating intravenous products such as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) solutions, drugs, and treatments, all of which are crucial to patient safety and recovery.
- Interacting with customers and answering questions
If you work in a retail pharmacy of any type, you may expect to engage with patients or customers on a daily basis. This might include assisting them with prescription purchases, identifying an over-the-counter drug, addressing basic medical questions, or directing them to a pharmacist.
Customer service abilities are, without a doubt, essential. The pharmacy technician must be capable of responding to technical questions concerning insurance coverage and copays in a straightforward manner. Strong interpersonal skills are also required because they are expected to be a kind, helpful presence behind the counter.
Many people who visit a pharmacy aren’t looking forward to being there—being sick and dealing with insurance isn’t nice. To make the encounter as enjoyable as possible, you must have the correct personality and attitude. One of the most important pharmacy tech skills you may have is customer service. (see more about pharmacy technician skills that you should know)
- Managing inventory and performing organization tasks
Consider the following situation: you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness and need to get your antibiotic before returning home and crawling back into bed. You go to your pharmacy only to discover that they are out of stock of the antibiotic you require to fill your prescription.
It’s a little inconvenience at best, and a major issue at worst. This is only one of the reasons why inventory management is such a crucial responsibility for pharmacy technicians.
Performing frequent inventory counts on particular prescriptions, stocking inventory, and checking for expired medications are all examples of inventory management. This procedure maintains the pharmacy supplied and avoids potentially disastrous problems caused by out-of-date medications.
- Various specialized roles
As you can see, pharmacy technicians are critical to running a very well, efficient, and safe pharmacy. In addition to the pharmacy technician job duties listed above, as pharmacy technicians acquire experience and advance in their careers, they may take on additional responsibilities.
Some pharmacy technicians advance to the position of pharmacy technician supervisor, in which they oversee and manage other pharmacy technicians.
In addition, pharma techs might specialize in a particular field, like compounding. Many of these advanced responsibilities will be highly influenced by the environment in which you work, as well as state rules and regulations.
Pharmacy tech skills you’ll need to succeed
As you can see, a pharmacy technician’s responsibilities involve a lot more than you may think. So, what skills will you require to succeed? Let’s look at some of the most important transferable skills and abilities you’ll need, as well as how they’re used.
- Communication: When taking prescription orders, pharmacy technologists speak with pharmacists and doctors. They must also pay close attention to the demands and questions of consumers in order to refer them to the pharmacist.
- Problem-solving abilities: Pharmacy technicians should be mature enough to interact with patients, insurance companies, and coworkers to address issues.
- Organization: Pharmacy technicians must combine activities assigned by pharmacists, such as stocking shelves and keeping an inventory, with patient and customer service.
- Mathematical skills: Filling prescriptions and mixing drugs need a thorough understanding of basic mathematical fundamentals.
- Detail-oriented: Mistakes with prescription kinds, dosages, or interactions can lead to serious health consequences. Despite the fact that pharmacists are directly responsible for the medication’s safety, pharmacy technicians are the first line of defense against these risks
Or if you want to get more information you can visit our blog about the pharmacy technician requirements.
Is a career in pharmacy better for me?
A career in pharmacy allows you to be a part of one of the healthcare industry’s fastest-growing industries. Pharmacy technicians collaborate closely with pharmacists (note these are two different jobs, for more information you can visit our blog to better understand the difference between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) to ensure that patients have access to the drugs they require.
Is it simple to work as a pharmacy technician?
Despite the fact that professions in pharmacy are rewarding, it is not easy work. Many pharmacy technicians are on their feet for the bulk of the day. Pharmacists may be required to work a range of schedules, including weekend and holiday shifts.
What legal requirements are there for working as a pharmacy technician?
State-by-state standards for working as a pharmacy technician vary. Contact the state board of pharmacy for particular criteria in your state.
Could you see yourself in this job now that you have a better understanding of pharmacy technician duties and responsibilities? If that’s the case, you’re ready to go on to the next phase. If you want to get more information about PTCB, visit our website and take our free PTCE practice test to easily pass your exam, or download it for your IOS or Android devices now![Sassy_Social_Share]
Pharmacy Sig Codes
It is critical to understand and retain pharmacy sig codes. We've included a master list of these abbreviations in this blog.
List Of Drug Suffixes And Meaning
In this article, we give you the way to remember the top 200 drugs easier with drug suffixes and meaning. Let’s get started!
Top 200 Drugs You Should Remember
Let's look at the top 200 drugs list, each of which includes a list of all active chemicals as well as the drug class to which each ingredient belongs.