Register Now
Why register?
Login
 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers September 19, 2014
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmacist Information - September 19, 2014

Pharmacy Technician Careers

Pharmacy Job Search Center
NATURE OF THE WORK

Pharmacy technicians help licensed Pharmacists provide medication and other health care products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. They also perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor’s office. They must verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities, including reading patients’ charts and preparing the appropriate medication. After the pharmacist checks the prescription for accuracy, the pharmacy technician may deliver it to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The packages are then placed in the medicine cabinets of patients until the supervising pharmacist checks them for accuracy, and only then is the medication given to the patients.

Pharmacy aides work closely with pharmacy technicians. They often are clerks or cashiers who primarily answer telephones, handle money, stock shelves, and perform other clerical duties. Pharmacy technicians usually perform more complex tasks than pharmacy aides, although in some States their duties and job titles may overlap.

Work environment. Pharmacy technicians work in clean, organized, well-lighted, and well-ventilated areas. Most of their workday is spent on their feet. They may be required to lift heavy boxes or to use stepladders to retrieve supplies from high shelves.

Technicians work the same hours that Pharmacists work. These may include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays, particularly in facilities that are open 24 hours a day such as hospitals and some retail pharmacies. As their seniority increases, technicians often acquire increased control over the hours they work. There are many opportunities for part-time work in both retail and hospital settings.

HOW DO I BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN?

In order to become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), you must pass the PTCB exam that is given 3 times per year. If you have no experience in pharmacy and want to get started, visit the Pharmacy Technician Certification Review section of the RxSchool.com catalog for information on your training options. Employers, often pharmacists, know that individuals who pass the exam have a standardized body of knowledge and skills. Certified technicians must be recertified every 2 years. Recertification requires 20 hours of continuing education within the 2-year certification period. At least 1 hour must be in pharmacy law. Continuing education hours can be earned from several different sources, including colleges, pharmacy associations, and pharmacy technician training programs. Up to 10 hours of continuing education can be earned on the job under the direct supervision and instruction of a pharmacist.

WHY PHARMACY AS A CAREER?

  • Health services are one of the largest industries in the country, with more than 11 million jobs, including the self-employed.
  • About 13 percent of all wage and salary jobs created between 2000 and 2010 will be in health services.
  • Nine out of 20 occupations projected to grow the fastest are concentrated in health services.
  • Most jobs require less than 4 years of college education.
Good job opportunities are expected for full-time and part-time work, especially for technicians with formal training or previous experience. Job openings for pharmacy technicians will result from the expansion of retail pharmacies and other employment settings, and from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012 due to the increased pharmaceutical needs of a larger and older population, and to the greater use of medication. The increased number of middle-aged and elderly people—who, on average, use more prescription drugs than do younger people—will spur demand for technicians in all practice settings. With advances in science, more medications are becoming available to treat more conditions.

Cost-conscious insurers, pharmacies, and health systems will continue to emphasize the role of technicians. As a result, pharmacy technicians will assume responsibility for more routine tasks previously performed by pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians also will need to learn and master new pharmacy technology as it surfaces. For example, robotic machines are used to dispense medicine into containers; technicians must oversee the machines, stock the bins, and label the containers. Thus, while automation is increasingly incorporated into the job, it will not necessarily reduce the need for technicians.

Almost all States have legislated the maximum number of technicians who can safely work under a pharmacist at one time. In some States, technicians have assumed more medication dispensing duties as pharmacists have become more involved in patient care, resulting in more technicians per pharmacist. Changes in these laws could directly affect employment.

Source - U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition



HOT PHARMACY JOBS

Pharmacy Manager
Safeway Companies
Glendale, AZ
Pharmacist Team Lead
Meijer
Marion, IN
Pharmacy Manager
Publix
Tifton, GA
Pharmacist
Indian Health Service
Winnebago, NE
Pharmacy Manager - Sandusky, MI
Kmart
Sandusky, MI
Pharmacist
Indian Health Service
Lawrence, KS
Pharmacist
Indian Health Service
Towaoc, CO
1,562 Pharmacy Jobs!
Search the largest database
of pharmacy jobs on the Internet in our Career Center!


Websites » RxCareerCenter.comRxSchool.comRxProHealth.comPharmacyPages.comNursingJobSource.comNurseZone.comRN.com
Copyright © 2009 Pharmacy Choice - All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement
888-682-4415