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News & Info

Healthcare In Five: Pharmacy Technician

Do you ever wonder who prepares your prescription medications at the pharmacy? Chances are, it’s a pharmacy technician. Behind the scenes, pharmacy technicians work every day to prepare, package, and distribute medications while also assisting in other day-to-day pharmacy operations. Continue reading to learn more about the pharmacy tech scope of practice and how you could become one today:

 

What Is A Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians are certified healthcare professionals responsible for preparing, packaging, and dispensing prescription medications in healthcare or retail settings.

 

What Does A Pharmacy Tech Do?

Pharmacy technicians provide support and assistance to the pharmacist in assisting with the day-to-day operations of a retail or hospital pharmacy. While each job description is different, technicians must be knowledgeable and proficient in preparing, packaging, and dispensing procedures for prescription medications, including knowledge and understanding of general and specific pharmacy guidelines. Some common job responsibilities for pharmacy techs include:

  • Receiving shipments of medications
  • Tracking and managing pharmacy inventory
  • Packaging and labeling medications
  • Preparing intravenous and injection-based medications
  • Processing patient insurance and payment information

 

Where Does A Pharmacy Technician Work?

There are two primary work environments for pharmacy technicians, hospitals, and retail pharmacy locations. Pharmacy technicians who work in hospitals are more likely to work with professionals from across the healthcare spectrum and may have additional responsibilities specific to a hospital setting. Retail technician can find employment working for local drug stores or supercenter drug stores. These technicians often have more interaction with patients picking up their medications.

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Retail Pharmacies
  • Long-Term Care Centers
  • Pharmaceutical Companies

 

How Do You Become A Pharmacy Tech?

Those interested in becoming a pharmacy technician are required to earn a combination of post-secondary educational certificate and national certification and licensure depending on which state the technician is seeking employment through. While some states do not require technicians to earn national certification, it can help candidates stand out amongst the competition. Explore these steps if you’re considering a career as a certified pharmacy technician:

  • Earn a high school diploma.
  • Receive post-secondary educational certificate or associate degree.
  • Gain real-word experience through internship, practicum, or work-study experience.
  • Receive national certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certificate Board

 

What Is The Career Outlook Of A Pharmacy Tech?

Those who become pharmacy technicians can choose to continue their education to pursue a more advanced career in pharmacy or an adjacent field in healthcare. Many pharmacy technicians use their experience as a pharmacy technician to pursue opportunities as a licensed pharmacist, registered nurse, or healthcare administrator – three different unique career choices in healthcare.

Whether you’re considering a career change or interested in entering the healthcare field out of high school, becoming a certified pharmacy technician can provide a strong roadmap for motivated professionals seeking to enter the healthcare field. Additionally, pharmacy technician can choose to continue their education through distinct and unique opportunities for advancement within field.

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