For those who want to work in healthcare but do not want to provide direct patient care, becoming a pharmacy technician is an excellent career path. It’s a rapidly growing and rewarding field where you can assist patients in obtaining the medications they require to stay healthy. However, in order to be qualified to perform this duty, you must have extensive pharmacy technician schooling.
As the population ages, older individuals often consume more prescription drugs than younger individuals. All age groups will experience a higher incidence of chronic diseases like diabetes, which will raise the demand for prescription drugs. More prescription medications will be able to be utilized to treat disorders because of advancements in pharmaceutical research.
Additionally, as pharmacists do more patient care tasks like administering flu shots, pharmacy technicians will be required to play a bigger part in pharmacy operations. Previously performed by pharmacists, technicians will now be required to complete activities such as gathering patient data, preparing more types of medications, and examining the work of other technicians.
If you are thinking about pursuing a fulfilling career as a pharmacy technician and want to learn more about pharmacy technician schooling, duties, education, and salary this article is right for you.
Who Is A Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy technicians are medical professionals who work alongside pharmacists to help and support patients and make sure they get the best care. Pharmacy techs are also known as pharmacy assistants. They work in pharmacies, including those found in drugs, general merchandise, grocery stores, and hospitals. Most work full-time, but many work part-time.
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
Pharmacists oversee pharmacy technicians. They are in charge of ensuring the overall effectiveness and security of pharmacy operations. Both customer service and using their technical expertise to write prescriptions typically take up most of their time.
In addition to working with the pharmacist to address any issues, they assist patients in filling or ordering medications. The flawless running of the pharmacy’s phone and technical systems, customer service, and inter-staff communication are other things they ensure.
Duties of Pharmacy Technicians
- Obtain the data required to fill a prescription from clients or medical professionals.
- Calculate the appropriate dosage for prescriptions.
- Label and package prescription drugs
- Organize the inventory and inform the pharmacists of any supply or medicine shortages.
- Accept prescription payments and handle insurance claims
- Enter client or patient data into a computer system, along with any taken medications.
- Respond to consumer calls on the phone
- Make arrangements for customers to speak with pharmacists if they have queries regarding prescription drugs or other medical issues.
Qualities Of A Pharmacy Technician
- Communication skills.
- Detail oriented
- Analytical skills
- Customer service skills
- Organizational skills
Communication Skills: When taking medication orders, pharmacy techs must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors. Technicians must pay close attention to what customers are saying to understand their needs and decide whether they need to speak with a pharmacist.
Detail-Oriented: Mistakes made when filling medicines might have a serious negative impact on one’s health. Pharmacy technicians should pay close attention to detail to prevent complications even though the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications prescribed.
Analytical Skills: In this profession, it’s essential to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.
Customer service skills: Since pharmacy technicians spend a lot of their time engaging with consumers, they must be kind and polite when working in a retail environment.
Organizational skills: Working as a pharmacy tech involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. They need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.
Pharmacy Technician Schooling
Pharmacy technician schooling options range from a high school diploma to an associate’s degree in the field.
While becoming a pharmacist requires extensive education, becoming a pharmacy technician, or pharmacy tech, typically requires little to no postsecondary education. These technicians assist pharmacists in preparing medications for patients in hospitals and pharmacies.
Pharmacy Technician Schooling Option
A high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED, is required for all pharmacy technicians. Those who do not pursue post-secondary education usually require on-the-job training in addition to their high school diploma.
Students in high school who want to become pharmacy technicians should take additional courses in chemistry, anatomy, and biology. Some students may wish to attend pharmacy technician school and earn a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in the field.
Pharmacy technician schooling online
Pharmacy technician schooling online allows students to enroll in pharmacy technician training from anywhere in the world.
When you enroll for pharmacy technician schooling online, you’ll have access to either digital or physical textbooks to help you understand, and you’ll be expected to complete tasks by a certain deadline.
At the same time, some programs may require students to log on to the computer and “attend” class alongside other students. You can finish your courses and papers whenever you want, as long as you finish them before the deadline.
Many educational institutions allow students to communicate via Internet discussion forums, and the majority of online programs allow students to communicate with instructors, tutors, and advisors.
Pharmacy technicians can gain three levels of certification online, which are as follow:
- Associate degree
Pharmacy tech schooling near me
If your thought is on pharmacy tech schooling near, simply go to your google search bar and set your google map location at the area of your interest and the Pharmacy tech school that is close to you will all pop up.
How long is the school to be a pharmacy tech
It’s a fairly extensive timeline. “ The length and mode of delivery of programs can vary, and the timing can range from months to one or two years.
Pharmacy technician school cost
The majority of Pharmacy technician school costs range in price from $500 to $5,000. Associate’s degrees in the field range in price from $10,000 to $25,000. However, unless you intend to become a pharmacist, an associate’s degree is unlikely to be required.
Pharmacy technician school san diego
The Pharmacy Technician program at San Diego Community Training Center is a highly specialized program designed to prepare adults to assist pharmacists with prescription dispensing.
Students will learn the role and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, personal and professional ethics in practice, the difference between the roles of a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician and the regulations imposed on both, pharmacy operations such as drug dispensing, record keeping, aseptic operations, record keeping, classification of drugs, and patient profiling, and the classification of drugs, their side effects, routes of administration, and other information.
They will also learn how to interact with pharmacists and customers, as well as how to practice professionalism and ethics.
Difference Between Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are both skilled professions that ensure pharmacies run how they are supposed to and patients receive their proper prescriptions.
Pharmacists are well-trained in biology, chemistry, physics, and other sciences. This knowledge comes into play when insuring it’s safe for patients to take a certain medication. Pharmacy technicians work hand in hand with pharmacists and are the ones who handle most of the prescriptions. It takes a team effort to keep a pharmacy running.
Recently, pharmacists have been performing more patient care tasks, such as administering flu shots and providing other patient care services. Because of this, the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that pharmacy technicians could be in bigger roles, picking up additional responsibilities pharmacists may no longer be able to cover alone.
For this reason, pharmacy assistant is key cogs as far as the vitals of a pharmacy is concerned.
Types of Pharmacy Technicians
Hospital-based pharmacy technician
In a hospital, pharmacy technicians may work with IV drugs (medications given through a tube and needle inserted in a patient’s vein) and do additional laboratory preparation, such as sterilizing equipment (deep cleaning).
In addition, pharmacy techs might look after the automated vending machines that automatically dispense medications to nurses for use with patients.
Retail Pharmacy Technician
In a traditional pharmacy, such as one found in a grocery store or drugstore, pharmacy technicians are primarily responsible for customer service and consultations with clients in need of prescription or guidance. They will often answer questions about taking medications, like dosage and timing.
Mail Order Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy assistants carry out prescriptions from a workstation while working in an environment akin to an office. In addition to taking inventory, they can be in charge of filling prescriptions and managing patient information.
Community Pharmacy Technicians
In a community pharmacy, technicians assist community pharmacists with prescription orders and provide patient assistance over the phone or at the counter. Additionally, they might be in charge of maintaining inventory, stocking shelves, and doing daily administrative duties.
Central Pharmacy Operations Technicians
Refilling and replenishing medication requests in a central fill center or central pharmacy location is their responsibility. Deep knowledge of pharmacy operations and distribution activities to various pharmacies is necessary for this position.
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician?
Here’s a guide on how to become a pharmacy technician:
- Earn a high school diploma
- Earn An Associate’s Degree Program
- Complete Pharmacy Technician Training
- Obtain Certification
- Gain related work experience
Earn a High school diploma
The fastest route to becoming a pharmacy assistant is through a diploma program. These take around two semesters, or one year to complete.
Earn An Associate’s Degree Program
Pharmacy technician associate’s degree programs provide a greater depth of study in the pharmaceutical sciences and management and customer service, as well as gen ed classes.
Complete A Pharmacy Technician Training
Most programs allow students to gain clinical experience during their training. Depending on state laws, students may also choose to gain on-the-job training without enrolling in a postsecondary education program. Clinical experience may take the form of a structured training program at a retail drugstore that has partnered with the school.
Some states require pharmacy techs to become certified. Even in states where certification is not required, most employers will only hire pharmacy techs who are certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Pharmacy techs need to pass a recertification exam, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or National Healthcare Association (NHA) every two years.
Gain related work experience
When pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician, look for employment opportunities that will enable you to develop relevant experience and transferable abilities. You can get ready for working with the public by working in retail and customer service. You will be exposed to medical words and gain a greater understanding of the significance of pharmacies if you work in a medical setting, such as a hospital, doctor’s office, or lab.
Pharmacy Technicians Salary
The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians in the United States is $36,740, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This can vary depending on your experience and location.
With experience and more training, a good pharmacy tech can make more money. Pharmacy techs can progress to become pharmacists, doctors, or other medical specialists.
Some pharmacy technician training programs last as little as 15 weeks. The most common however, are one-year diploma or certificate programs and two-year Associate Degree programs.
If you look to be a healthcare provider but don’t want to be on the frontline cleaning blood and stitching wounds, then this is the right career path for you. This is one of those professions in which change is constant, requiring its practitioners to learn about the new drugs and generic brands that are always entering the market.
The average hourly wage for a Pharmacy Technician in the United States is $18 as of June 28, 2022, but the range typically falls between $16 and $20.
One of the most demanding aspects of being a pharmacy technician comes down to maintaining knowledge of all the changes that occur within the field since pharmacy practice changes every week with new generics and new drugs. In many countries, both developed and developing, the importance of pharmacy techs within the pharmacy workforce has grown in recent years due to pharmacist shortages, and an increase in their numbers and responsibilities.