Pharmacy Technician

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Pharmacy technicians assist in the technical, non-judgmental functions related to pharmacy such as processing of prescription orders and performing inventory management under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.
  • Pharmacy technicians are essential to the workflow of a pharmacy, because with the increase activities of the pharmacist, pharmacy technicians are taking on more responsibility in the pharmacy.
  • Many of the technical, non-judgmental functions of a pharmacist (such as counting medicine and running a cash register) are being given to pharmacy technicians.
  • This allows pharmacists to focus on patient care and service.
  • Similar to the pharmacist, pharmacy technicians’ jobs depend on their work location.
  • In community and clinic pharmacies, technicians are often the first people the patients see or speak to on the telephone. These technicians may spend much of their time entering prescription and patient information into a computer. They also spend much of their time selecting and counting medicine, answering telephone calls and dealing with insurance companies. They may also run a cash register, order drugs and put them away, check for drug outdates, and repackage medications into unit-dose packaging for nursing homes.
  • Technicians who work in hospitals enter prescriptions orders into a computer database, fill the medication charts, deliver the carts to the floor pharmacies, and clean and sterilize pharmaceutical instruments and equipment. They also may prepare IV bags (training required) and perform drug calculations per physician’s orders.
  • Pharmacy technicians primarily work in retail pharmacies (drug stores), clinic pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Pharmacy technicians enjoy helping people and they like the variety of their work. They need strong communication and people skills.
  • They dislike having to work nights and weekends, and for some the pay is low for the amount of responsibilities they have.

 

Getting Started

Career Outlook