Top 12 Duties of a Pharmacy Technician

If you are considering this career, below are the most common duties of a pharmacy technician. Your exact job duties may vary based upon the pharmacy in which you work, but most pharmacy techs do most of the following:

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#1 Collect Information to Fill Prescriptions

Pharmacy technicians serve as the front line workers in a pharmacy. One of their primary jobs is to collect vital information from patients and health care professionals to fill prescriptions. It is very important that proper and accurate information is collected in every case so that the pharmacist can fill the prescription accurately.

#2 Measure Amounts of Drugs

Some pharmacy technicians may work under the supervision of a pharmacist and measure how much medications are going into each prescription. It is very important that this be done accurately, and attention to detail is essential.

#3 Packaging Prescriptions

After the prescription has been prepared and checked by the pharmacist to ensure the right amount of drugs are there, the pharmacy technician needs to package and label the prescription properly. It is important to have all of the required information in the package about how to use the drug, as well as side effects.

#4 Organize Inventory

Pharmacy technicians need to keep track of what the inventory is for medications in the pharmacy. If there are any shortages of drugs or various supplies, they need to be ordered immediately. Common drugs need to be kept in stock; otherwise patients will not be able to get their needed drugs on a timely basis.

They also need to become skilled at anticipating what the future level of need for common drugs will be; they also may place and expedite orders for new drugs; verify the receipt of the drugs; and throw away drugs that are outdated.

#5 Accept Payments

Pharmacy technicians are the workers who work with patients to pay for their prescriptions at the front of the pharmacy. They also need to process insurance claims for the patients.

#6 Enter Customer Information

Pharmacy technicians also need to accurately enter customer and patient information. This includes any prescriptions that were taken, and putting the data into a computer system. It is very important that this information be entered accurately as mistakes can lead to medical errors and other problems.

#7 Answer Phones

Customers call pharmacies regularly to check on prescriptions and get all types of information related to their prescriptions. You will spend much of your day on the telephone talking to customers about their medications.

#8 Generates Revenues

Pharmacy technicians are often responsible for generating revenues for the pharmacy by doing calculations, recordings and issuances of charges to customers and healthcare providers.

#9 Prepare Reports

Pharmacies often deal with thousands of prescription drug patients every month. Each pharmacy, depending upon the company, will need to prepare a certain number of reports each month or quarter. These will typically detail the number of transactions, and various other information. These reports are critical to help the company to understand what its profit margins are on various transactions.

Pharmacy technicians may play a role in the collection of data and the generation of these reports for the individual pharmacy.

#10 Maintain the Pharmacy

Pharmacy technicians normally are responsible for maintaining the order and cleanliness of the pharmacy. They do so by staying in compliance with the procedures, rules and regulations that have been established by the pharmacy company.

#11 Adhere to Safety Policies

Pharmacy technicians are dealing with prescription drugs, and it is very important to ensure that patients and employees in the pharmacy are carefully following infection control policies and protocols. This is critical when handling various drugs because contamination can lead to serious health consequences.

#12 Transfer Customers to Pharmacists

Pharmacy technicians cannot discuss with patients how various drugs may interact. Nor may they answer questions about the best type of drug for a given medical condition. Any of these types of questions have to be referred to the pharmacist on duty.

However, it is important for pharmacy technicians to have a reasonable level of medication and medical knowledge so that they can answer basic patient questions about drugs. Each pharmacy tech should have a good grasp of the most commonly prescribed drugs, including their composition and the types of side effects they can cause.

Reviewing the included prescription drug information that is included with each prepared prescription is a good idea so that the tech can answer the most common questions.

Summary

Becoming a pharmacy technician is an excellent way to get your foot in the door in the pharmacy and healthcare field. Some pharmacy technicians eventually earn their PharmD degree and become a licensed pharmacist. Others may eventually pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field. Whatever you decide, being a pharmacy technician is a great start for your health care-related career.

References

  • Rasmussen University. Pharmacy Technician Duties You Can Expect. (2015, March 30). Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/pharmacy-technician-duties-you-can-expect/
  • Pharmacy Technicians. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm
Robert Sanchez
Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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