What Do Pharmacy Technicians Do?

Pharmacy Technicians are essential for getting customers their prescriptions and keeping the pharmacy organized and running smoothly. They are the customer-facing workers who communicate with the pharmacist to make sure you’re getting the service you deserve. Not only do they work where we can all see them, but they hold important roles behind the scenes making sure the pharmacy is running smoothly and safely

If you’re an organized, detail-oriented person whose customer service skills are perfected, then a career as a pharmacy technician might be a good career path for you.

Career Options

Pharmacy technicians have the chance to work in a variety of locations, so there are bound to be openings near you. Hospital pharmacy techs will work with IV medications and even be responsible for sterilizing laboratory equipment to prep for IV meds. On top of in-person prescription filling, they will also be responsible for filling and maintaining the inventory of the drug-dispensing vending machines that have become popular in hospitals. 

Retail pharmacists work in grocery stores, traditional pharmacies, and other one-stop-shops. They help answer basic questions about medications and fill prescriptions. However, there’s one more route pharmacy techs can take. With the convenience and popularity of mail-order pharmacies, this route will have techs working in offices and filling prescriptions while still keeping patient information up-to-date in the database. 

Prescriptions

No matter the route you take, as a pharmacy tech, you’ll be helping the pharmacist fill prescriptions. That’s why training is so important and why individuals who are great at paying attention to details are ideal for a role like this. Even though techs work directly with and under a pharmacist’s supervision, the majority of prescriptions are filled by the techs behind the counter. Being efficient and precise is important when someone’s health is on the line. 

The Last Line of Defense

Another really important role for pharmacy techs is as the last person to go over a patient’s understanding of their medication. Often, patients are taking multiple meds from a variety of specialist doctors. Pharmacy techs check in the system to make sure it’s okay for patients to use multiple medications at once. Sure, doctors and pharmacists do this, too, but because the tech’s eyes are usually the last one looking at the patient’s files, they are tasked with catching mistakes that others missed. Because of that important job factor, pharmacy techs are essential workers, keeping patients healthy and safe.

Order and Organization

A pharmacy has to be kept in order, and patient records need to be kept up-to-date. That means that organization is a big part of any pharmacy tech’s day. While they’re taking prescriptions called in by doctors and interacting with customers, they have to keep the computer databases current, take inventory of available medications, and notify the pharmacist if any problems arise. 

Training is important for this work because you have to know the rules and regulations of the medical community, and because a careless pharmacist tech can mean the difference between life and death for some patients. Record-keeping might seem like just a bunch of paperwork to some people, but for a pharmacy worker, that record-keeping is an important part of helping patients get and stay healthy so that they can go about their daily lives.

Professional Organizations

Pharmacy technicians who have received training and have some work experience can become members of important organizations who can keep you up-to-date on current trends in the pharmaceutical industry, help you continue your education and training to become a more valuable asset in the pharmacy, and help you become a certified pharmacy technician. Below are some of the few agencies and organizations available for pharmacy techs to join to elevate their pay and ability to find the best possible job:

Education and Training

Pharmacy technicians can get training on-the-job, but if you want to earn higher pay and qualify to join professional organization, then some additional training is required. Different states and different organizations have a variety of requirements to work as a pharmacy tech, but most require a clean background check and a high school diploma.

Washington Technical Institute

Washington Technical Institute’s Pharmacy Technician Certificate along with the required externship working directly under the supervision of a pharmacist can be completed in a matter of months, with daily start dates. We offer a 5 month, 5 credit program for individuals who want to begin a career as a pharmacy technician. Our online coursework and flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. 

Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start your training to enter a high-paying career without a college degree, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702. Our admissions specialists will be happy answer whatever questions you have.

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Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning