The typical pharmacy technician is a patient advocate who answers questions, troubleshoots problems and is familiar with the challenges of various diseases. Pharmacy technicians must interact with patients, comply with regulatory laws, and help pharmacists with drug therapy and operation of the pharmacy.
Because they help patients with all their medication needs, pharmacy technicians need a well-rounded skill set. Some of the more important qualities they must possess include accuracy, attention to detail, dependability, integrity, mathematical proficiency and the ability to multi-task. Being able to calculate insurance coverage, entering medical histories, filling prescriptions precisely, stress management, quick problem-solving and teamwork also are in demand.
They must be able to work flexible hours, pass a drug test, maintain patient confidentiality and type at least 30 words per minute. Then, there are the physical demands of the job. These include lifting, pushing or pulling up to 10 pounds, picking or pinching small tablets with their fingers, and standing for long periods of time.
Pharmacy technicians can expect to be employed by drug stores, grocery stores, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. While not the most physical job in the healthcare profession, they still must be in good shape to handle the many elements the job entails.
And, since many employers only hire certified pharmacy technicians, program graduates can expect to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and complete several hundred hours of on-the-job training before being allowed to work one-on-one with the pharmacist.
It’s not the easiest job in the medical profession, but it is a critical and rewarding one. Helping ease pain and providing a path to good health for people are good reasons why qualified pharm techs often are in demand.
Fortis Colleges and Institutes offer pharmacy technician programs at several campuses in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and Tennessee. Visit our Medical Technology Programs page to find the campus nearest you offering the program and get started on a career in a great profession.