What is a Pharmacy Technician? - The RSS Blog
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Mon, 09 May 2011 14:54:18 GMT
What is a Pharmacy Technician?

As health care expands in the coming years, those who work in related fields have opportunities to find good careers. One of the careers that you can consider is that of pharmacy technician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle 50% of pharmacy techs earn between $13.32 and $15.88 an hour. Some pharmacy techs earn as much as $19.00 or more an hour, according to the U.S. government.  

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do? 

Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists in their work. A pharmacy tech can provide customer service, perform administrative duties, and get prescriptions for customers. They work under the direction of the pharmacist, and, depending on the state regulations, can usually receive prescription requests, label medication, and count out tablets.  

If a pharmacy tech works in health care facility, rather than in retail setting, he or she might deliver medications, and record information in a patient profile. These duties are usually performed in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, community clinics and hospitals. In some cases, pharmacy techs are required to work odd hours: Weekends, holidays and evenings might be required. Those working in retail settings may have more regular hours, though. 

Certifying as a Pharmacy Technician 

It is not always necessary to certify as a pharmacy technician. Some states do not require special training. However, if you want an edge, it can be helpful to earn the proper certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians are both organizations through which you can receive recognized certification. You usually have to pass an exam. You can improve your chances of passing the exam with the help of a formal training program, which can last between six months and two years. The longer programs include more  

Before you can take the exam, you do need to meet certain qualifications. You usually need to have earned a high school diploma (or GED) in most states before you can be a pharmacy tech. Also, you cannot have any felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions related to illegal drugs or pharmaceuticals. Once you are certified, you usually need to re-certify every two years to maintain your certification as a pharmacy technician. Some of the basic skills you need as a pharmacy technician include: 

* Good customer service 

* Oral and written communication skills 

* Phone skills 

* Basic computer skills 

* Basic math skills 

* Reading skills 

* Ability to follow directions 

Also, realize that the pharmacy environment is clean and orderly. You will be expected to maintain this cleanliness, as well as present yourself in a professional manner. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the outlook for this job is fairly good. So, if you are looking for a job that commands a degree of respect, and allows you to make a reasonable wage after a relatively small amount of education. Because the entire health care field is expected to grow in the next decade, pharmacy technicians should enjoy fairly stable jobs, and opportunities for advancement if they are willing to continue on with education, and if they do a good job. 

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