Example Career: Pharmacy Technicians
Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.
What Job Titles Pharmacy Technicians Might Have
- Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)
- Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech)
- Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech)
- Senior Pharmacy Technician
What Pharmacy Technicians Do
- Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
- Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
- Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
- Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
- Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
- Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
- Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
- Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
- Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
- Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
- Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers.
- Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods.
- Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records.
- Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques.
- Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers.
- Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication.
- Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer.
- Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery.
- Price stock and mark items for sale.
- Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services.
What Pharmacy Technicians Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
What Pharmacy Technicians Should Be Interested In
- Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
What Pharmacy Technicians Need to Learn
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.