Top Skills Needed to Succeed as a Pharmacy Technician

Updated on April 6, 2023

Pharmacy technicians play a critical role in ensuring that the medical needs of patients are met promptly and accurately. These professionals are trained to perform a variety of tasks in a pharmacy, including preparing and dispensing medications, processing prescriptions, managing inventory, and providing excellent customer service. To succeed as a pharmacy technician, certain skills are necessary to excel in the field. In this blog post, we will discuss the top skills needed to succeed as a pharmacy technician to provide anyone with better access to pharmacy technician career information.

1. Knowledge of basic pharmacology and medical terminology.

As a pharmacy technician, you will be responsible for understanding the names of the medications, dosage forms, routes of administration, and drug interactions. Having a solid foundation in pharmacology and medical terminology is vital because it helps ensure that medications are dispensed accurately and safely. Furthermore, this knowledge can help you communicate effectively with patients, physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

2. Attention to detail and the ability to accurately measure and dispense medications.

Attention to detail and the ability to accurately measure and dispense medications are essential skills for any successful pharmacy technician. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Pharmacy technicians need to have an eye for detail and be able to measure accurately and package medications, as well as label and organize them appropriately.” 

A single error in measurement or dispensing could have serious consequences, including harm or even death in some cases. Comprehending complex dosing instructions and accurately following them is of utmost importance. Additionally, as the role of the pharmacy technician often involves a significant amount of record-keeping, maintaining accurate documentation is equally crucial.

3. Strong communication skills to interact with patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.

As a technician, you will interact with diverse people, including patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, strong communication skills are essential to ensure you can communicate and understand important information effectively. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) provides resources and information on communication skills for pharmacy technicians, including effective patient counseling techniques. As a pharmacy technician, you will be responsible for receiving prescriptions, dispensing medications, and providing adequate instructions to patients regarding their proper usage. Additionally, you will need to collaborate with physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure the best patient care.

4. Familiarity with pharmacy software and technology to manage patient records and inventory.

Pharmacy technicians are expected to be familiar with various software and technology tools, including electronic health record systems, pharmacy management software, and inventory management systems. Navigating these tools effectively ensures that patient data is accurately recorded and processed and that inventory is managed efficiently. In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, proficiency with pharmacy software and technology is essential to providing quality care and maintaining the compliance and organization of a pharmacy.

5. A commitment to professionalism and ethical behavior in handling confidential patient information.

Pharmacy Technicians handle highly sensitive information regarding a patient’s health, prescription history, and insurance details. They must maintain the highest level of professionalism and ethical behavior when handling this information. This includes maintaining patient confidentiality, not discussing patient information with unauthorized individuals, and ensuring all information is stored securely. Adherence to ethical guidelines protects patients’ privacy and establishes trust in the healthcare system.

Becoming a pharmacy technician is a great career path for those interested in healthcare and helping others. The top skills needed to succeed as a pharmacy technician include attention to detail, excellent communication, organizational abilities, problem-solving, and customer service. With these skills and the right education and training, pharmacy technicians can play an essential role in ensuring patients receive the medications they need safely and efficiently. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.