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A Pharmacy Technician assists licensed pharmacists in the day-to-day operations of filling prescription medication orders. They often work for retail pharmacies, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Pharmacy Technicians work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, who must review all prescription orders before they are handed to patients.

When customers have questions concerning medication, Pharmacy Technicians inform the pharmacist so they can answer their questions. Some Pharmacy Technicians in hospitals may prepare intravenous medications as well as make rounds in the hospital and provide medications to patients.

Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician:

  • Collect information from physicians and other health professionals
  • Measure and count tablets and pills for prescription orders
  • Mix and compound medications
  • Process payments and insurance claims
  • Maintain pharmacy inventory
  • Keep a safe and clean pharmacy by complying with rules, procedures and regulations
  • Answer phone calls and perform additional pharmacy-related tasks

Pharmacy Technicians are typically required to have a high school diploma. Additional requirements may vary by state, but most states require aspiring Pharmacy Technicians to complete a training program or pass an exam. On-the-job training is an important part of becoming a skilled Pharmacy Technician as training covers a variety of subjects, including arithmetic, record keeping, insurance, ways to prepare medications, and pharmacy regulations. They also learn about the medications that get prepared, such as the name, action, use, and proper dose.

Pharmacy Technicians need good communication skills as they spend a lot of time talking to customers and health care professionals. Mistakes are costly when working with pharmaceuticals so it is imperative to be detail-oriented. Pharmacy Technicians balance many responsibilities and must be organized as multitasking is often part of the job.