Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

How To Become a Pharmacy Technician/Assistant

Pharmacy Technician

Cultivating a high attention to detail is important while becoming a pharmacy technician.

If you are patient, reliable and have good communication skills, with intrinsic decision-making skills, you should think of becoming a pharmacy assistant.

Cultivating a high attention to detail is important while becoming a pharmacy technician. Though, willingness to learn and problem solving skills are certainly the basic required ingredients in this field.

About 75% of pharmacy technicians are employed at retail pharmacies and about 16% of those jobs are in hospitals, with others working for mail-order or Internet pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, Federal Government or clinics.

Your day-to-day tasks will include:

  • Helping licensed pharmacists in giving medications and other health care products to patients
  • Verifying information on the prescriptions
  • Counting, calculating, labeling, weighing, measuring, mixing and preparing medication
  • Assisting clients regarding prescriptions, drug and medicine information, and other health matters.
  • Answering phones, money handling and record keeping
  • Medication delivery, updating patient charts and making sure that the environment is clean (If you are in a hospital).

What Do I Need to Start?

The minimum requirement for the pharmacy technician is to have good educational background, some general certificate of secondary education (GCSEs) at grade C or above, and A to C grades in English, Mathematics and science subjects.

Comprehensive communication skills, with the ability to read, write and follow instructions are key tools for any beginners. It is also important that a beginner pays attention to every detail and has manual agility towards work.

What Should I Study?

Proper training is the next step in order to become a pharmacy assistant. Training at vocational schools, community colleges and health schools is vital. These schools usually allow you to get trained in under a year, with curriculum that includes basic written communication and administrative skills, and other field related programs.

These schools include:

What else do I need?

One can work as a pharmacy assistant without any special qualification and certification after getting training from cosmetic houses and pharmaceutical companies, but with passage of time and increasing number of employees, certified technicians are preferred. So, National Pharmacy Technician Certification exams from The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) are required in order to becoming a more professional and complete pharmacy assistant.

Alexandria W
Author: Alexandria W
Alexandria is an educator from Southern California. She studied international education at Oxford, and is an avid traveler and student of languages including Spanish, French, Georgian and Russian.
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