Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists fill prescriptions. They usually have basic duties such as counting pills and placing labels on containers. Pharmacy technicians also have administrative responsibilities. They do not answer questions about mediations.

The responsibilities of pharmacy technicians working at pharmacies located in stores vary by state. Most technicians take patient prescription orders over the phone or through a computer. Before a prescription can be filled, pharmacy technicians must ensure the order is accurate. To fill an order, they must accurately count, measure, or pour medication. After this is completed, technicians prepare bottle labels. The prescription is then inspected by a pharmacist before the patient receives it. The administrative duties of technicians include: marinating records, filling out insurance claims, and reviewing inventory to determine when to restock supplies.

Technicians working at health care facilities have the responsibility to review medication orders for patients and then fill the order. The order is still reviewed by a pharmacist, and then the technician records information about the medication order in a patient's file. Many are also responsible to prepare a day's worth of medication for patients. Once it has been prepared, each day's supply of medication is individual marked and properly stored, but before it is administered to a patient, each dosage of medication is reviewed by a pharmacist.

Pharmacy aides assist pharmacy technicians. They usually have clerical duties such as operating cash registers or answering phone calls. Pharmacy technicians often have more complicated responsibilities, but techs and aides sometimes perform the same duties in certain states.

Work environment. Pharmacy technicians perform their duties in brightly-lit, properly ventilated environments. They spend the majority of their days standing, and they are frequently required to lift heavy loads from shelves.

Technicians and pharmacists work similar hours during the week. At health care centers operating around the clock, they often work nights, weekends, or holidays, but as they gain more experience and seniority, they usually are given the option of selecting their hours. Many part time pharmacy technician positions exist at hospitals and store pharmacies.

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