If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, you may be wondering what a pharmacy tech is and what they do. Keep reading to learn more about this important role in the medical field.
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Curious about what pharmacy technicians do? They play an important role in filling and dispensing medications. A pharmacy tech job description includes preparing medications for patients, maintaining pharmacy inventory and keeping records. Let’s take a closer look at what pharmacy technicians do on a day-to-day basis.
Duties of a pharmacy tech
Working alongside licensed pharmacists, pharmacy technicians help to fill and dispense medications prescribed by doctors and other healthcare professionals. Tasks typically involve receiving and verifying prescription orders; measuring, compounding, and labeling doses; entering patient data into computers; answering phones; and maintaining inventories.
Most pharmacy techs work in clean, well-lit hospitals or retail pharmacies. They usually work 40-hour weeks, although about 1 in 4 worked part time in 2016. Because many pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, some techs may have to work evenings or weekends.
Pharmacy techs must pay attention to detail when performing their duties. They also must be able to stand for long periods of time and lift heavy boxes of medications. Those who work in retail pharmacies may have to deal with angry or irate customers.
Qualifications to become a pharmacy tech
In order to become a licensed pharmacy technician you will need to complete a Pharmacy Technician program that has been accredited by the National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). Once you have successfully completed an accredited program, you will then need to take and pass the national certification exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Once these qualifications have been met, you will then need to submit an application for licensure to your state’s Board of Pharmacy.
A pharmacy tech is a health care professional who works closely with pharmacists and other health care providers. They prepare and dispense prescribed medications and provide other pharmacy-related services. A pharmacy tech career can be a great option for those interested in health care. Let’s take a look at what pharmacy techs do and how to become one.
Where to get training
There are many ways to get training to become a pharmacy technician. Some community colleges and career schools offer certificate or diploma programs that typically last one year or less. These programs usually include both classroom and laboratory instruction, as well as externships or internships in which students gain hands-on experience. Some employers also provide on-the-job training for entry-level workers.
Types of training
There are several ways to get the training you need to become a pharmacy technician. You can attend a formal training program at a trade school or community college, or you can get on-the-job training from a retail pharmacy. There are also online pharmacy tech programs that can give you the skills you need to start working in this rewarding career.
If you decide to go to a formal training program, you can expect to take courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, and other medical subjects. You will also learn about the different types of drugs and how they are used to treat different medical conditions. Once you complete your training, you will be prepared to take the national certification exam so that you can start working as a pharmacy technician.
If you decide to get on-the-job training, you will be working under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist and learning all of the aspects of the job. You will learn how to fill prescriptions, how to process insurance claims, and how to provide customer service. On-the-job training is a great way to get started in this career, and many retail pharmacies offer this type of training to interested candidates.
Online pharmacy tech programs are also available and can give you the skills you need to begin working as a pharmacy technician. These programs usually take between six and twelve weeks to complete and include coursework in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, pharmacology, and other medical subjects. After completing an online pharmacy tech program, you will be prepared to take the national certification exam so that you can start working as a pharmacy technician.
There are many benefits to becoming a certified pharmacy technician. With certification, you will have the opportunity to earn a higher wage, have access to more job opportunities, and be able to work in more pharmacy settings. Let’s look at the details of what certification entails.
Why get certified
Reasons to Get Certified
Earning your certification shows that you are committed to your career and have the knowledge and skills needed to do your job well. This can give you an edge when applying for jobs and can help you advance in your career. In some states, certification is required to work as a pharmacy technician.
Being certified also means that you are staying up-to-date on the latest information and developments in the field. As new medications are developed and new technologies are introduced, certified pharmacy technicians need to know about these changes so that they can properly advise patients and dispense medications. Certification exams cover the latest information on new drugs, dosages, and delivery methods, as well as other topics such as pharmacy law and operations.
How to get certified
To work as a certified pharmacy technician, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a formal training program or apprenticeship. Once you have completed your training, you must pass a certification exam to earn your credential.
There are several ways to become a certified pharmacy technician. You can complete a formal training program at a community college, technical school, or hospital. You can also complete an apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Once you have completed your training, you must pass a certification exam to earn your credential.
The most common way to become a certified pharmacy technician is to complete a formal training program at a community college, technical school, or hospital. These programs typically take 1-2 years to complete and include classroom and laboratory instruction in pharmaceutical calculations, drug names and classification, prescription filling, pharmacy law and ethics, and other topics. Upon completion of the program, students must pass a national certification examination to earn their credential.
Apprenticeships are another way to become a certified pharmacy technician. These programs typically last 1-2 years and include on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Apprenticeships are often sponsored by organizations such as the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) or the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Upon completion of the program, apprentices must pass a national certification examination to earn their credential.
If you are interested in a health care career that does not require a four-year degree, consider becoming a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to help fill prescriptions. They also may be responsible for answering customer questions, handling insurance claims and processing orders.
The job outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive. Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. aging population will continue to increase demand for prescription medications.
As large numbers of baby boomers age, they will need more medical services for conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. This increased demand for prescription medications will require more pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions. In addition, the increasing use of computerized systems in hospitals and pharmacies will require workers who are comfortable using computers.
The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $46,610.
In May 2019, the median annual wages for pharmacy technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Hospitals; state, local, and private: $34,430
Pharmacies and drug stores: $31,750
Grocery stores: $29,040
Federal executive branch (OES designation): $53,750