Pharmacy technicians typically do the bulk of the work in a pharmacy, including processing and filling prescriptions, measuring medications, and organizing inventory. The position of a pharmacy technician requires responsibility and specialized training.
Pharmacy technicians are a critical profession in the healthcare industry. Pharmacy technicians can find work in many settings, including hospital pharmacies, retail, long-term healthcare facilities, or in pharmaceutical firms. Generally, the pharmacy technician is the first point of contact for customers, including doctors, caregivers, patients, or other healthcare providers.
Tasks and Responsibilities of Pharmacy Technicians
The setting a pharmacy technician works in can impact their tasks and responsibilities, but generally, pharmacy technicians are greeting customers and filling their prescriptions. There are several regular responsibilities that all pharmacy technicians will complete on the job, including:
- Receiving orders – process and retrieve prescriptions through computer software.
- Confirming prescriptions – pharmacy technicians need to verify that the information on the medicine is correct, such as name date of birth, etc.
- Submit insurance claims – a pharmacy technician will confirm the prescription then submit it to the patient’s insurance coverage for payment.
- Customer service – pharmacy technicians working in a retail setting can expect to be providing customer service to customers and patients on a daily basis. Customer service interactions involve referring patients to the pharmacist or helping locate an over the counter medication.
- Stock medication and supplies – an essential aspect of a pharmacy technician’s job Iis keeping track of inventory and stock.
- Obtain prescription approvals – another responsibility for a pharmacy technician is to make sure prescriptions are reviewed and approved by the pharmacist. Also, disposing of patient’s information when the order is complete.
There are many accredited online pharmacy technician programs and on-campus colleges for students to choose from. Below are five pharmacy technician schools that students who attended loved.
1. Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson Community College offers pharmacy technician certification through three semesters of full-time study. Online courses at Hutchinson Community College are self-directed and can be completed at the student’s pace. Through the pharmacy technician program, students learn theory, gain hands-on experience, and work in clinical settings. Students also have the option of choosing a new series of two classes offered that focus on developing customer service skills. To earn your certificate from Hutchinson Community College, students must write and pass the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE).
2. Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA)
UMA has a pharmacy technician school where students can earn an associated degree. In the associate’s degree program, for pharmacy technicians, students learn how to use medical terms, prepare insurance claims, make dosage calculations, and much more. In the program, students receive 24/7 tech support and guidance from instructors. Students taking the pharmacy technician program will receive 180 hours of hands-on experience under the supervision of a pharmacist at a pharmacy. Through the hands-on experience, students learn the various day to day tasks that are common for a career as a pharmacy technician.
3. North Seattle College
The pharmacy technician program at North Seattle College consists of 53 credit hours and takes students approximately nine months to complete. In the program, students get hands-on externship experience. Experienced pharmacy professionals run the pharmacy technician program. The section quarter is made up of course work, and a combination of on-campus coursework, and two days externship in a pharmacy. North Seattle College pharmacy technician certificate program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
4. Altierus Career College
The pharmacy technician program at Altierus Career College offers students a streamlined approach for those ready to enter the workforce and start their career quickly. The pharmacy technician program is eight months and provides a flexible structure that gives students the opportunity to take course three days a week in a combination of on-campus and online courses, through the pharmacy technician program at Altierus Career College student complete 48 credit hour through general sessions, including health care, pharmacology, ethics of pharmacy, pharmacy operations in retail and hospital settings, and medical calculations. The curriculum of the pharmacy technician program is designed to prepare students for an industry certification through its practicum and hands-on learning.
5. Central Louisiana Technical College
The Council on Occupational Education recognizes central Louisiana Technical College offers student work-ready programs for students who want to enter the workforce quickly. The pharmacy technician certificate program provided by Central Louisiana Technical College is designed to allow students to finish the program in nine months by completing two semesters of 29 credit hours of coursework. Coursework for the pharmacy technician certificate included classroom and lab instructions and clinical externships where students work with professionals in settings such as hospitals, retail pharmacies, and community sites. Courses that students will take at Central Louisiana Technical College are an introduction to computers, pharmacology, pharmacy technician fundamentals, and professional for pharmacy technicians.
A career of a pharmacy technician can be hectic, and duties and responsibilities can change day-to-day, but it can also be a rewarding job and a great jumping-off point to enhance in the medical field. Depending on the state you live in, requirements to become a pharmacy technician can change, but typically a pharmacy technician needs to complete a certificate program and on-hands learning.