Becoming a pharmacy technician is a fantastic opportunity if you are thinking about a career in the medical field. The pharmaceutical industry is an integral part of the overall medical industry, and it is a business that is continually growing. As people continue to live longer and medicine is becoming more and more advanced, the outlook for a career in the medical field is phenomenal. Since pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will always be in high demand, narrowing your choice down to becoming a pharmacy tech may be a good fit for you.
Pharmacy Technician Job Description
What does a pharmacy technician do? As a pharmacy tech, you will not have the same education and responsibilities that a pharmacist has, but you will play an integral role in the preparation and distribution of medications. Pharmacy technician duties include a variety of tasks that assist the pharmacist with keeping the pharmacy running efficiently. There will always be a licensed pharmacist on duty and some of the ways you will assist him are her will be:
- counting and bottling pills
- labeling prescription bottles
- entering patient information into the pharmacy computer
- helping to keep pharmacy records up to date
- coordinating information with insurance companies
- waiting on customers
Since you will not have the advanced training and education that a pharmacist has, you will not be expected or permitted to answer questions about specific medications nor can you offer medical advice to a patient about any conditions they may have. Even though pharmacists and pharmacy technicians perform many of the same duties behind the counter, pharmacists go through extensive training to be able to give information and advice to patients about their prescription medications. This does not in any way devalue the importance of a pharmacy technician because without pharmacy techs assisting them, pharmacists would not be able to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Pharmacy Technician Career
There are numerous benefits to pursuing a career as pharmacy technician. Most pharmacy techs will tell you that one big plus is that the position requires a moderate amount of education. Even though some pharmacies may not require a formal education and will do on-the-job training when filling pharmacy tech positions, in order to make yourself more marketable, obtaining a pharmacy technician certification is advisable. With a proper education and training, you put yourself in a better position for more responsibilities, higher wages and substantial growth potential.
As a pharmacy technician, you will also have many options of workplace settings, such as retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and even mail order pharmacies. Even though your duties will not vary greatly regardless of the setting you choose, having different options available is what makes a pharmacy technician career appealing.
Pursuing a pharmacy tech career will require you to have good people skills since your job will entail interacting with the public. You should also have a good eye for detail and not be easily distracted by what is going on around you. The work does require you to be alert, organized and efficient. Teamwork is also an important aspect of being a pharmacy technician as you will not only be working with the public, but with pharmacists, pharmacy aids, and various healthcare professionals as well.
Your Career As A Pharmacy Technician
There will always be a high demand for pharmacy technicians, however, it is not unusual for people who start out as pharmacy techs to decide to go back to school and become pharmacists. Even if that is not a career choice you think you would make, being a pharmacy technician is a very rewarding job. You have the opportunity to help people on a daily basis and whether you realize it or not, it has a very positive impact on the people you are helping. A good number of your customers will be the elderly and to them, having someone take an interest in their health and well-being, even if only for a moment, means so much.
As the healthcare industry continues to grow and expand, the outlook for employment for pharmacy technicians with the proper training and education is extremely positive. Whether you are a student looking for a job to get you through college, someone who is looking for a career change, or someone who is researching careers for the first time, you may want to give serious thought to a pharmacy technician career.