Difference Between Pharmacists and Pharmacy Techs
Pharmacists and pharmacy techs are healthcare professionals who work in clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals. Both positions work to provide medications to patients safely and efficiently. Despite these similarities, they have very different roles and job requirements. If you’re interested in pursuing either role, read on to learn about the major differences between pharmacists and pharmacy techs.
Pharmacist and Pharmacy Tech Education
One major difference between pharmacists and pharmacy techs is the education needed for each career path. Pharmacists are required to first earn an undergraduate degree, which may take two to four years, then a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which generally takes another four years of schooling. If you want to be a pharmacist, you may need to complete additional work too, such as a residency program, depending on the field you’re interested in.
Pharmacy techs on the other hand need a high school diploma and can benefit from training programs. Enrolling in a trade school or community college program, for example, will make you a stronger applicant in the job search. Depending on the state, pharmacy techs may also be required to pass a certification exam, which can take 42 weeks to prepare for.
The Role of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Techs
Another significant difference between pharmacists and pharmacy techs are the roles they fulfill. Both pharmacists and pharmacy techs perform vital functions but their exact day-to-day responsibilities differ considerably.
Pharmacists inform patients about their prescriptions, instruct them how and when to take their medications, and administer vaccines. Additionally, as a pharmacist, you will monitor a patient’s medications for potentially harmful interactions and side effects. You are expected to have a strong understanding of pharmaceuticals and to interact with patients often. More recently, pharmacists are even expected to carry more patient care responsibilities, such as prescribing medications and conducting wellness screenings.
As the responsibilities of pharmacists expand, pharmacy techs will likely perform more duties as well, particularly in patient care. In addition to handling tasks like organizing inventory, labeling and packaging prescriptions, and taking payments, as a pharmacy tech, you may need to review patient charts or screen medical records.
Start Your Pharmacy Career
If you are interested in pursuing your career as a pharmacist or pharmacy tech, then contact HealthCare Support. A premiere, national staffing resource for the healthcare industry, HealthCare Support helps healthcare professionals find a career they love. Our dedicated team of experts and recruiters provide customized staffing solutions, dedicated advocacy,, and highly responsive support to place you exactly where you want to be.
To learn more about our open jobs and services, please give us a call at 888-219-6285.