If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy tech you may want a brief pharmacy technician job description to see if it is something you really want to do. There are many duties you may find yourself doing depending on where you work, but this will be a general overview.
You have likely been drawn to this profession because it is in the medical field and commands a high salary, but lets take a deep look into this profession. It is one thing to get a job that pays well, but before you start on this career path with schooling and pharmacy technician training, you want to know it is something you’ll enjoy doing long term.
Pharmacy Technician Job Description
There are two main employers your will find yourself working for once you have your pharmacy technician certification and start applying for jobs. One is to work for an larger institution such as a hospital. The other is what you may be more familiar with, working as a pharmacy tech in a retail pharmacy.
While you will gain most of the knowledge required for the job, there are certain characteristics that are important to work in this environment. One example may be if you work in a retail environment you will need patience when dealing with customers. They can often be cranky and ill which means they are not always in their best mood. You have to put aside you feelings and not take anything personal. Now let’s take a look at the hospital pharmacy technician job description versus working in a retail or community pharmacy.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Job Description
As a pharmacy technician your main goal is to assist the pharmacists with any tasks he needs. This may sound like you are just an assistant, but your role is just as important and essential. Some of the more menial tasks will include taking phone calls, ringing up customers, and entering in data such as patient history and medical information.
The more important side of your job as a pharmacy tech is when it come to providing medications. You will be responsible for filling prescriptions and it is imperative that you are familiar with all the different medications and what amounts to give. Any mistakes such as a wrong medication given to a patient can be fatal. This is one aspect of the job that makes it stressful. However if you follow protocol and you have been trained properly, you have nothing to worry about.
You will also work directly with patients if you work in a clinic or hospital. You will be preparing medications and prescriptions for people that order them, but you may also be required to mix dosages for use by surgeons. This would mean preparing an IV bag with the correct medications and can be stressful if need quickly.
Early in the day you may find yourself mixing numerous medications to then be delivered throughout the hospital. You prepare everything and then put them on a cart and make deliveries to the various rooms.
When you are not working directly with the pharmacists or customers you will be responsible for restocking supplies, ordering new medications and even organizing and counting pills. The more technical parts of the job will require your to mix compounds such as ointments and creams and preparing IV mixtures.
Mixing IV’s can be for medications such as chemotherapy and since IV’s deliver the drugs directly into the bloodstream, it is critical that they are prepared properly. You may not learn this aspect in pharmacy technician schools, but rather you will have on the job training. You may even be responsible for administering medications intravenously.
Retail Pharmacy Technician Job Description
The position in retail pharmacy technician jobs is very similar to working in a hospital setting but without as much patient interaction. You will not be administering medications but you will find your self still charging customers for medications and collecting all their information such as name, address and medical history.
You will be responsible for entering in prescriptions into the main system that come via, phone, fax, walk ups and the internet. Many people are using computers for filling prescriptions so some basic computer experience is recommended. You will also order and restock supplies need in the pharmacy.
You will be on the phone a lot when it comes to patients ordering over the phone, but you may also find yourself talking directly to doctors for knowing which meds to refill for a certain patients. You will also make calls to insurance companies to remit payment for prescriptions ordered by patients.
As with most careers, there is a lot of future growth and potential in this industry. You will usually start of in a general pharmacy technician position and then be moved on to a more specialized field such as a billing tech, compounding technician or lead pharmacy technician. You can also continue your schooling to become a pharmacists. With this background you will easily move up the ladder and increase your pharmacy technician salary. This can be a very rewarding career and with this brief pharmacy technician job description you should understand a little more about your duties as a tech.