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How Do I Become a Pharmacy Technician? Education & Career

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist and have responsibility for all stages of the prescription medication fulfillment process.

To get the best start, most applicants complete formal training at a pharmacy technician school. Most opt for a one-year certificate or diploma program, but associate degree programs are also available.

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

Working alongside the licensed pharmacist, the pharmacy technician dispenses medications to clients or patients, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The dispensing of medicines is a fundamental function of health care. It requires an understanding of prescriptions, a familiarity with the drugs in question, an understanding of drug dosages and safety, and the ability to follow strict procedures.

To dispense a medication, the pharmacy technician must:

1. Collect the information necessary to fill the prescription from the health professional or client.

2. Measure the amounts of medication prescribed.

3. Package and label the completed prescription.

4. Pass the prescription for review by the pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians can also be expected to provide helpful information to the customer or patient regarding medication administration.

Your daily interactions are with the pharmacist, with customers or patients, and sometimes with pharmaceutical representatives or salespeople.

They are also expected to perform administrative tasks such as answering the phone, record keeping, inventory control, pharmacy billing and reimbursement processing, and scheduling appointments for the pharmacist to speak with customers. If they work in a pharmacy, they are also expected to handle payments.

What Types Of Pharmacy Technician Programs Are There And How Long Do They Last?

The most common type of program is a certificate or diploma program that takes less than a year to complete.

Some schools also offer associate’s degree programs that typically last two years.

Diploma programs teach the core subjects needed to take an exam to become a CPhT. These include basic pharmacology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacy laws and regulations, sterile and non-sterile compounding, medical terminology, pharmacy calculations, drug safety, pharmacy quality assurance, drug order entry and filling process, pharmacy inventory management, pharmacy billing and reimbursement, and use and application of computer systems.

A completed associate’s degree will also include basic requirements in general studies and more advanced studies in pharmacy and administration.

Both types of programs will generally include internships that provide the student with hands-on experience in a professional setting.

Where Do Pharmacy Technicians Work?

Most pharmacy technicians work behind a pharmacy counter, but many also work in healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes.

Pharmacy technicians in hospitals typically work preparing a wider variety of medications, including IV medications. They may also make rounds around the hospital, delivering medicine to patients.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 52% of pharmacy technician jobs are in pharmacies and drug stores, while about 13% of pharmacy technicians are employed in general medical and surgical hospitals and nursing homes. elderly. The rest have jobs in grocery stores, department stores, and other general merchandise stores.

How Much Do Pharmacy Technicians Earn?

According to the most recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for pharmacy technicians nationwide is around $36,000, or more than $17.00 per hour. However, salaries can be much higher: Pharmacy technicians in the top 25% of wage earners average more than $41,000 10 per year.

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