Have you considered starting a new career as a Pharmacy Technician?
Starting a career in pharmacy is a great choice but maybe you’re not certain what it really means to be Pharmacy Technician or what your role will be in the Pharmacy?
As a Pharmacy Technician you’ll have the opportunity to work in the growing and expanding medical industry. You can enjoy stability in a field that is in high-demand and one of the best things about this career choice is that you’ll have the ability to work almost anywhere in the world!
Pharmacy Technicians play a crucial role in patient care and pharmacy management but there is much more to this career than meets the eye. That’s why we have created this guide below detailing your role as a Pharmacy Technician.
1. Customer Service & Patient Care
As a Pharmacy Technician you’ll be the face of the Pharmacy.
You are often the first and last people the patients will engage with when ordering and picking up their prescriptions. You’re also the first person in the pharmacy to assess their care needs and determine if they need additional assistance from the Pharmacist.
Interacting with patients will be a large and fulfilling part of your career. Patient care is not only about making sure that the patient gets the right medication. You’ll also need to ask the right questions and ensure that each patient gets the care and information they need regarding their medications.
Reviewing a patient’s medication history, allergies, drug-drug interactions, and possible side effects will be a part of your daily routine.
Prescription preparation has many moving parts, that all start with the patient. When the patient approaches the drop-off counter you begin the prescription preparation process by gathering pertinent information such as their date of birth, address, phone number, allergies, insurance information. Lastly you collect the prescription.
Now the data entry begins as you input all the information you gathered into the pharmacy’s software and run the prescription through the patient’s insurance. At this point you will review the patient’s current medication list and check for any drug allergies or interactions. This ensures that the patient has the best medical outcome possible.
Assuming everything runs smoothly with insurance, you can begin filling the prescription. However, if there are problems with the insurance coverage, you will then need to try to determine the cause of issue and what you can do to remedy the situation.
After data entry is complete, you’ll begin filling the prescription order by printing the label, medication information leaflet, and by selecting the correct medication from the pharmacy shelf to be counted and bottled. The prescription is then passed over to the Pharmacist for review and approval, once bagged it then goes to the checkout window to await patient pick up.
IBMC College offers an entire class dedicated to pharmacy office procedures which ensures that you are proficient in data entry, understand how to input prescription orders, deal with inventory management, and insurance billing all in a simulated pharmacy software system!
Compounding is the process of combining medications and chemicals to make specific medications as prescribed by a doctor for their patient. This includes ointments, creams, suppositories, suspensions, syrups, capsules, tablets, IV solutions, IV medications, total parenteral nutrition solutions, to name a few.
Compounding in pharmacies is quite common, however, the type of compounding depends on the setting.
Retail pharmacies commonly mix suspensions and topical medications that are pre-packaged, whereas hospital pharmacies compound and mix IV medications and TPN (total parenteral nutrition) solutions.
There are even compounding pharmacies solely dedicated to creating compounds upon request, based on physician prescription orders. If you enjoy detailed work or cooking and baking, you may enjoy working in a compounding pharmacy where you will be tasked with measuring, mixing, and combining medications to achieve unique customized medicines.
Many Pharmacy Technician courses at IBMC College include hands-on compounding activities to ensure that you have the necessary compounding skills needed to succeed in any setting of your choosing.
In the past, it was uncommon for Pharmacy Technicians to administer immunizations, however, since the COVID19 pandemic, more pharmacies are beginning to rely heavily on their Pharmacy Technicians for immunization assistance.
To help meet this new demand in job responsibilities many pharmacies are training their employees while they’re on-the-job. They may also offer paid training certifications to their Pharmacy Technicians that are interested in assisting with or administering immunizations.
If helping with immunizations is something that interests you, you will find that employers will be eager to add you to their team. Possessing these skills prior to employment will put you at the top of the hiring pool. With this reason in-mind, IBMC College believes that our Pharmacy Technicians students should be equipped with injection and immunization skills prior to graduation!
5. Inventory & Storage
A major component of a well-run pharmacy is its ability to manage the inventory and storage of medications. It takes an organized, well-managed pharmacy to thrive and as a Pharmacy Technician you will play an integral role in maintaining the inventory and storage of medications.
You will be responsible for checking medicine expiration dates and rotating medications closer to their expiration dates to the front of the shelves. You also might be responsible for disposing of any medications that are expired. You will do a regular inventory of the controlled substances stored in the pharmacy as well as assisting with the returns of expired controlled and non-controlled substances.
Lastly, you will be responsible for assisting the Pharmacist with ordering and will share the responsibility of stocking newly received medications on the pharmacy shelves with the entire Pharmacy Team.
Now that you’ve been familiarized with many of the duties that you’ll be doing as a Pharmacy Technician, why wait to get started? Find out more at ibmc.edu or schedule your appointment to tour the Longmont campus and start training for your rewarding career now!