You cannot deny a passion for science, and medicine. You want to help patients in need. It sounds like being a pharmacy technician is a good job fit.

You will give the health of others a boost with your knowledge of medicine, and become a valuable professional in the healthcare industry.

As with any profession, you will need certain personal qualities and obtain required certification.

A burning question you may have on your mind is how different this career is from a pharmacist. It’s hard for customers to tell them apart when they are working side by side.

The difference lies in their responsibilities. You assist pharmacists by:

  • Filling out prescriptions.
  • Counting pills and labeling bottles accurately.
  • Providing customer service.
  • Alerting a pharmacist to oversights when filling out prescriptions.
  • Answering basic questions. Unlike pharmacists, you cannot dispense medical advice and information.

If you work in a hospital, you will:

  • Fill in prescriptions.
  • Assemble medication for nurses to dispense to patients.
  • Record medication given to patients.

Your high school diploma should have good grades in biology and chemistry. Knowledge of the human anatomy is helpful. Though some organizations do not require formal training beyond a high school diploma, many more may require you to be certified by a professional organization like the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

Courses are also available to help upgrade your skills. You should take certification courses in biology, chemistry and anatomy if you wish to progress in a health care career.

Salary packages are also attractive. Data from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics as of 2012 shows that career growth in the health care industry is the greatest compared to other occupations. A pharmacy technician earns slightly over $30,000 annually.

In addition, certain personal qualities are essential.

Since you will be providing customer service, you will inevitably encounter demanding patients. Good interpersonal skills are essential. Provide assurance for their concerns. You will need to answer patients’ basic questions about medication.

You should also be able to communicate well with others. You will interact daily with diverse groups of patients, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, Being able to relate to them is a must.

You should be a good team player. You will work closely with groups of pharmacists and other professionals. Be willing to cooperate with them to solve problems and assist patients.

You will need tact and a good level of compassion to work in the healthcare industry. Avoid making references to patients’ illnesses if you know they are offensive. Be on hand to provide assistance to patients if they have needs.

It is a must for you to be alert to potential problems with prescriptions. Be aware while filling them out. Be ready to alert doctors, nurses and pharmacists should you notice any oversights.

There will be many obstacles on the job daily, be they with difficult patients or demanding pharmacists. Taking on this job means being willing to work them out. Be aware of why you want to pursue this career path and do not let anything deter you.

If you have the interest, necessary qualifications and personal attributes for the job, it will be your cup of tea.