It seems that the more sophisticated that people become scientifically and technology will as people get older, the more they require prescription medications. It’s the primary job of the pharmacy technician to fill all of those prescriptions for medication.
Pharmacy technicians assist the licensed pharmacist. Their primary job is to help provide health care products to their patients such as medication. In order to accomplish this, the pharmacy technicians must file and price the prescriptions, prepare prescription containers and labels, prepare the medication, and verify the information about the prescription. In addition, they also prepare insurance claim forms, maintain profiles for the patient, take inventory, stock shelves, and answer the telephone.
The pharmacy technician is required by law to refer all of their patients’ health questions to a licensed pharmacist. Also, all prescriptions are required to be checked by a licensed pharmacist prior to being provided to their patients.
In 2006, approximately 71% of pharmacy technician jobs were in retail pharmacies, as part of a mass retailer, grocery store, drug store, or either as part of department store or independently owned. Approximately 8% of pharmacy technician jobs were in pharmaceutical wholesalers, the federal government, doctor offices, online pharmacies, and mail order pharmacies and approximately 18% of pharmacy technician jobs were in hospitals.
Currently, there aren’t any federal requirements for the certification or formal training required for pharmacy technicians. However, employers do want applicants for the position of pharmacy technician who have the certification by Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board along with formal training. Formal programs for pharmacy technicians can be found in technical and vocational collages, proprietary schools, the military, and community colleges.
The formal programs for pharmacy technicians lead to either to an associate’s degree, a certificate, or a diploma. Theoretical and practical and courses are required such as record keeping for the pharmacy, pharmacy ethics and law, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmaceutical and medical terminology. Pharmacy technicians also have to memorize the uses of medications, their doses, actions, and the names of medications. The pharmacy technician programs that work the best are those internships in a real work environment that offer hands on experience.
It is anticipated that pharmacy technician jobs will increase by 32% between 2006 and 2016. This represents a much larger increase than the average of all occupations. Job opportunities for pharmacy technician are anticipated to be good, particularly for those who have previous experience, formal training, or certification. In 2007 the average hourly salary of a pharmacy technician was about $13.00.