National Pharmacist Day is January 12, 2021. While you probably know that pharmacists play a key role in healthcare by dispensing medication to patients, you may not know that one of the important members of their team is a pharmacy technician.
A pharmacy technician assists the pharmacist, working under their supervision. The role requires precision and attention to detail. Technicians are responsible for preparing and filling prescriptions. In addition, they will make sure the medications are reviewed and approved by the pharmacist on duty to check for possible drug interactions and accuracy.
Pharmacy technicians are often in charge of managing the pharmacy’s inventory and will review the stock and order any medications that are needed. Technicians are also be tasked with checking the inventory to remove expired medications.
Pharmacy techs routinely play an important role in providing customer service, interacting with patients while processing transactions and assisting them with insurance forms. Pharmacy technicians are also responsible for checking patients’ insurance eligibility and coverage before filling a prescription. Once the prescription is entered, the tech will submit it to the insurance company for payment electronically. If a claim is denied, the technician will need to troubleshoot the issue, looking for errors to determine the reason it was rejected. At times, this may even require a call to the insurance company.
Pharmacy technicians work primarily at pharmacies, but they’re also employed by hospitals and working hours will vary depending on where they work. For example, hospitals and some drug stores have pharmacists onsite 24 hours a day. The wide range of available hours could be a good fit for someone who needs a flexible schedule, working nights or weekends.
As more medications are developed and approved and a large portion of the population ages, the career outlook for pharmacy technicians is positive over the next 10 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow over the next decade.
Becoming a pharmacy technician requires training and the program includes the basic aspects of pharmacy practice, including reading and filling prescriptions, pharmaceutical calculations, medications, common drug interactions and their side effects, and pharmaceutical agents and their uses. You’ll also learn about a pharmacy’s legal responsibilities for maintaining records and the handling of various categories of drugs.
If the role of pharmacy technician sounds interesting to you, Fortis can get you started on the path. We offer a pharmacy technician program at many campus locations across the country. To learn more, please visit our website.