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Pharmacy Technician Duties: What to Expect

September 10, 2014 Pharmacy Technology, General 0 Comments

Though your pharmacy technician duties will vary somewhat depending on your work setting, they will primarily consist of preparing prescriptions, doing clerical tasks and assisting customers. Regardless of whether you work in a retail area or a hospital, the pharmacy technician role is valuable to the healthcare system. As you consider entering this exciting field, the following are some of the responsibilities you can anticipate:

Pharmacy Technician Duties: What to ExpectPrescription Preparation in Retail Pharmacies

Filling a retail prescription consists of several detail-oriented steps. First, you'll check the information to ensure it is complete, and then you will collect the medications for counting, weighing, pouring and measuring. The drug-packaging process involves making the label, including material for the patient to read and preparing the price. Once a licensed pharmacist reviews the filled prescription, you will dispense it to the customer.

Prescription Preparation in Hospital Pharmacies

The prescription-filling process will be different in a hospital or nursing home since it may involve unit dose dispensing and a little additional documentation. Based on the doctor's orders in a patient's medical chart, you'll package each medication separately and label it, including the prescribed dosage. You also will ensure adequate supplies are available and update the patient's chart to show that the medicine has been delivered. Drugs will then be safely placed in the patient's storage unit until a licensed pharmacist verifies their accuracy. Aside from these responsibilities, you may also compound prescriptions and prepare sterile products for intravenous delivery if you are certified to do so.

Clerical Tasks

Pharmacy technician duties also involve miscellaneous clerical tasks that encompass varied aspects of drug retailing. You will maintain medication inventory, place drug orders and keep patient profiles up to date with a complete record of medication regimens. Other duties include accepting payment, processing insurance claims and maintaining proper storage and security for drugs.

Customer Assistance

Another important part of your role will be customer assistance. This includes answering questions, responding to requests on the telephone, helping patients locate items and referring them to a pharmacist for drug information. You may also occasionally need to lend a sympathetic ear to customers who will want to tell you about their illness.

As a pharmacy technician, your work in this field is vital to the operation of any pharmacy and enables it to work like a well-oiled machine. Enrolling in a pharmacy technology program is the first step on your path to this interesting career.

Photo credit: Flickr

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