Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Working as a pharmacy technician opens a career route for both administrative and technical positions in healthcare. In the past, a pharmacy technician might serve as an assistant to a certified pharmacist, helping them in the stock count or deliver drugs to patients. However, in recent years, the use of technology and advancement in pharmacology has increased the role and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician, and made it a profession of its own. Pharmacy technicians now are may be required to undergo a certification program to ensure they comply with legal and ethical policies while also reducing errors and mistakes in medication compounding that can cause injury or death to a patient.
Role of the Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician can work both in a hospital setting, as well as a drug store. Depending on the environment they work in, their roles and duties may differ. The primary responsibility of a pharmacy technician can be drug compounding and pill counts for prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians may also be required to inform the patient how to take medications. For example, the prescription maybe once a day, twice a day, before bed, or after a meal. Pharmacy Technicians should be familiar with the common acronyms on prescription bottles so they can correctly inform the patient how to appropriately take the drug.
What You Will Learn From A Pharmacy Technician Program
Process prescriptions and check their validity with patient medical record and history
Instruct patients on dosage and the use of medication
Weight, measure, count and retrieve the right mix of medication (Drug Compounding)
Monitor pharmacy inventory and assist in medication management
Maintain accurate patient medical records and prescription data
Process insurance claims and collects reimbursements
Pharmacy Mathematics and Measurement Systems
Calculation of Dosages
Pharmacy Technicians and Electronic Health Records
Depending on the facility you want to work experience or a certification in Electronic Health Records (EHR) may be required. With the introduction of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and all associated laws related to health information technology (HIT) and electronic health records, pharmacists also need to move towards robust real-time prescription and data management processes as other medical industry practitioners. It increases the role of the pharmacy technician, who is also tasked by many pharmaceuticals to ensure patient data is protected and shared only with network insurance providers.
Pharmacy Technician School and Salary
A pharmacy Technician certification is usually required for positions as a Pharmacy Technician. A pharmacy technician training program on average lasts around 6 months. The time frame with vary when picking between class schedules or on-campus and online options. The income potential for pharmacy technicians varies across state data as well as the work environment. Hospitals typically have high-income potential and better access to benefits packages. The average income of pharmacy technicians is over $30,000 as reported by the bureau of labor statistics.