- Receive prescription requests from patients
- Measure, weigh and mix medications
- Assist pharmacists in providing health care products
- Pursue voluntary certification
A pharmacy technician's primary job is to receive and fill prescription requests for patients. These prescription requests can come from hospitals, physicians, nurses, or directly from the patient. Pharmacy techs generally work in hospitals, medical stores, health and personal care stores, and retail or mail-order pharmacies, and typically work alongside a pharmacist who oversees their work.
The preparation of a prescription requires the pharmacy technician to retrieve, count, pour, measure, weigh and occasionally mix the required medication. They select the proper type of prescription container, and create and affix the labels. After the prescription is filled, they price and file it. The pharmacist then checks the completed prescription before it is given to the patient.
Pharmacy technicians may also be required to prepare insurance claim forms, maintain patient profiles, complete cash register transactions, and take inventory of over-the-counter prescription medications. They must be aware of the latest medicines and their availability. At times, they also advise the patient about diet and health requirements.
Pharmacy tech education, certification
Pharmacy techs may become certified by passing a national certification examination, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. The exam is held at various examination centers nationwide.
Candidates are required have a high school diploma or GED, and cannot have a criminal record. Once certified, pharmacy technicians apply to be re-registered every two years.
As reliance on pharmacy technicians continues to grow, more states and employers require pharmacy technicians to be formally educated and certified. Some employers offer to reimburse the cost of the examination as an incentive.
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Requires a degree in:
- Pharmacy Technician
- Customer service
- Equipment use and maintenance
- Pharmacy math
- Computer file maintenance
- Reports and record keeping