It’s no secret that there are some pretty demanding jobs out there. Pharmacy technicians are one of them. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for all the administrative duties in a pharmacy, including inventory management, filling prescriptions, and customer service. They must be knowledgeable about all different types of drugs and what they do.
They must also know how to deal with uncomfortable patients who need help understanding their prescription or can’t afford it. But they also have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day. Here is a look at what a typical day is like for this type of technician.
What a Pharmacy Technician Does
Pharmacy technicians are responsible for maintaining the drug inventory of a pharmacy, checking prescription records, filling prescriptions, and helping customers.
One of the most important tasks that pharmacy technicians have is ordering new drugs. They also help the pharmacist with packaging, labeling, and other administrative tasks. Pharmacy technicians usually work under a manager who ensures that they get a wide variety of experience.
Overall, the most basic pharmacy technician duties involve:
- Checking prescription records and medication lists.
- Make sure that all orders are filled properly.
- Running inventory and ordering new drugs.
However, these are only the basic tasks of a pharmacy technician, and day-to-day work can vary. Remember that pharmacy technicians are also dealing with customers and a wide variety of characters. A pharmacy technician needs to be able to resolve issues such as angry customers, fraudulent prescription requests, and people unable to afford their prescriptions.
For example, imagine a scenario where a patient is unable to afford the refill on their pain medication and is very upset. Even worse, their medication is something highly addictive, such as an opioid or oxycodone. The pharmacy itself will have a policy on dealing with these situations, but it can still be challenging for a technician.
Fortunately, they are given many tools and training to help them deal with difficult situations. There is even a degree program for this field of work to help ensure that these technicians will have the resources to handle these situations in the most professional way possible.
The Challenges of the Job
What makes the role of a pharmacy technician simple is also what makes it so difficult. Inventory errors aren’t as simple as a loaf of bread gone missing in a supermarket – you’re dealing with expensive medications, many of which may be strictly regulated by the federal government.
So if a box of Schedule 4 controlled drugs goes missing, there will be consequences. Questions will certainly be asked to make sure it was an inventory error and not an employee who was trying to make off with a bit of extra cash. And who is the employee responsible for tracking inventory? A pharmacy technician.
Aside from potential severe consequences of mistakes, the job is also challenging in that you need to be familiar with all the drug types, and their required storage conditions. You must be able to correctly identify drugs to dispense for prescriptions, as mistakes can cause serious problems, especially if the wrong drugs are dispensed to patients.
Another issue is that a pharmacy technician needs to be very familiar with drug dosing. The prescription guidelines are pretty stringent, and if you’re unaware of the instructions or how to properly dose a drug, you can potentially cause dangerous side effects, including death. So it’s important to be familiar with how dosing works.
The Rewards of the Job
On the plus side, a pharmacy technician can usually expect to earn a decent wage, and they can probably expect to work on a career path that has a lot of advancement options. By pursuing various certifications, you can branch out into different specialties, such as administration and management, or even health sciences.
A pharmacy technician can also be a great asset for a hospital if they become well versed in medication dosing and dispensing. Experienced pharmacy professionals are highly trusted by doctors, and are able to network within the healthcare industry, gaining experience and knowledge in different areas.
This makes a pharmacy technician a strong candidate for employment within a hospital setting, as they have a strong knowledge of how hospitals operate and can fill the gaps in any department that they are in. Therefore, a pharmacy technician is an essential asset to any hospital, and one of the top employees a hospital will want to hire.