Pharmacy Technician Roles and Benefits - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Pharmacy Technician Roles and Benefits

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If you’re looking to make money doing something new, interesting, and important, look no further. A pharmacy technician career is exactly the kind of thing you’ll want to try out. So, whether you’re starting out on a first-time career, looking for a small change of pace, or even completely switching to the healthcare industry after a lifelong career in other areas, you’ll likely want to know some things about the job in question. With that in mind, it’s time that you learn what you can about the roles that a pharmacy technician can take on, as well as what the benefits are for those who choose this career — so keep reading!

The Roles

A pharmacy technician is a professional in healthcare whose primary purpose is to support the pharmacist with various crucial tasks, some of which are very technical in nature. However, there are many, many things that might be asked of a pharmacy technician within the pharmaceutical environment, so it’s important that you’re aware of such specifics when it comes the time for you to start taking on different roles. Of course, keep in mind that every state has different laws when it comes to how a pharmacy technician’s role plays into the work at hand — with some states strictly defining certain tasks that can or can’t be performed in that role.

Preparing Prescriptions

One of the most important tasks that a pharmacy technician learns and performs on a daily basis is the preparation of prescriptions. This, of course, first requires the technician to look over the prescription and to screen it for accuracy — and while this can be done after a medication has been prepped, the care and precision required in a pharmacy setting means that fact-checking is always something that’s best to perform first. Once these “scripts” have been verified, a pharmacy technician will proceed to retrieve the requested medications, counting out dosages and pouring them into the bottles that are apportioned to patients. For this job, measurements are key, and being able to properly count and measure dosages is how you ensure the right amount and the right help for every patient in kind.

Calculation Duties

One of the more intricate and sensitive duties a pharmacy tech must perform is calculation. This sounds easy, of course, but the fact is that drug calculations are complex and varied: concentration of a medication, or the dilution of one, make for two of the most important factors that go into this type of math; individualized drug dosing based on these two factors is the type of calculation one can expect to perform when working in this capacity, and as always within the pharmacy, accuracy is of the utmost importance.

Medication Reconciliation

Pharmacy techs are also charged with the duty of reconciling all the medications that a patient takes — in other words, they are commissioned to take medical records and compare them to other accounts from the patient or elsewhere to identify the drug names, dosage, frequency, and so on that are being used by a patient currently. This is a process that aids in keeping medical records up to date, and in doing so, helps avoid serious medical mishaps.

Aiding The Pharmacist

While there are many things a pharmacist will have to do, some of those duties are easily delegated to the pharmacy technician. In addition to handling such delegations, pharmacy techs also sometimes will aid a pharmacist in clinical studies of investigative drugs (otherwise known as experimental drugs). Such experience can aid in not only benefiting the medical field and patients in need, but it also helps those who want to learn more by putting them close to the action, assisting the pharmacist in such studies with great interest. If you have such interests, there’s really no better place to be than at the side of your pharmacist.

The Benefits

Being a pharmacy technician means that you have quite a few perks to look forward to, as an industry-established role — and as a person with a lot of things to learn.

On-The-Job Learning

While much of what’s required of you to become a pharmacy tech is up to the state you live in, you do need to train somewhat regardless. By starting a degree program which offers pharmacy technician classes online, you can minimize your lack of initial skill and increase your chance of being chosen for the position. However, on the job, you will still learn a great deal in various situations as you become more familiar with the responsibilities of a pharmacy technician.

Good Starting Position

Not only is it great to start at this entry-level position to learn things about pharmaceutical work, but it’s also great for its expandability. From being a technician, you can work to hone other skills and work your way up the ladder of the healthcare industry, be it in pharmacies or elsewhere.

Flexibility

Schedules for pharmacy techs can be relatively lax depending on where you’re located — with many 24-hour pharmacies obviously having need for people that can work nights, early mornings, weekends, or anything else. With so much to consider, it’s no wonder that pharmacies are welcoming people with non-conventional schedules in mind.


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