A career as a pharmacy technician begins with obtaining the right training. Most pharmacy technicians work in retail pharmacies where they assist pharmacists to complete various duties. Some work in medical care facilities such as hospitals, clinics and senior care homes.

Duties

Those who have completed pharmacy technician courses are fit to perform various duties. The main duty that you will perform as a pharmaceutical technician is filling prescriptions. After you receive an order, you must verify that the information contained in the prescription is correct and then weigh, measure or count the right dose of medication to give to a patient. You may also prepare patient insurance forms, enter data in patient profiles, stock shelves and answer calls from patients.

Training

As the job market for certified technicians becomes more competitive, most employers require that technicians acquire formal training. They seek to hire employees who know much about the pharmaceutical industry, which is becoming increasingly complex. Formal training programs combine classroom and laboratory work.

Students usually participate in internship programs that allow them to obtain hands on experience in this field. Students can choose obtain a certificate, associates degree or bachelors degree. The courses are there mainly to prepare students for entry level positions. Students learn about the following:

  • Human diseases and their symptoms
  • Medical terminology
  • Alternative medicine
  • Drug interactions and classifications
  • Retail and hospital procedures
  • Pharmacy ethics and laws
  • Prescription processing
  • History of pharmacy and medicine
  • Label preparation
  • Pharmaceutical calculations

After taking these courses, you will be provided with the opportunity to sit for the National Certification Exam. You have to pass this examination in order to become certified. In order to take this examination, you need to have a GED or high school diploma and a clear criminal record.

Pharmacy technicians are required to be re-certified every two years. They are also required to complete at least twenty contact hours every year by completing coursework, attending lectures and acquiring specialized training on the job. You can take most of these courses at community and vocational colleges or online.

Before your sign up for pharmacist technician courses, you should decide if this profession is ideal for you. For example, consider if you will not have problems with working in the nights, weekends or holidays since some positions may require you to do so. If you want to train in this field, you should be a person who enjoys precise or detailed work and one who has good math and reasoning abilities.

As a pharmacy technician, you also need to have good eyesight, manual dexterity and typing skills. You also have to be able to communicate well with pharmacists and patients and able to work under pressure.

Career Outlook

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that opportunities will continue increasing as the population ages. This means that this is a stable career field. If you are looking forward to working in the medical field, in a rewarding career, you should definitely consider getting a pharmacy technician certificate.