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About 422,300 pharmacy technicians are working in the U.S. at the moment. Some work in community pharmacies and hospitals. Others work in prisons and military facilities. (BLS as of August 2021)
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a pharmacy technician, you may have asked yourself the question, “What does a pharmacy technician do?” As it turns out, they do more than greet you when you walk into a pharmacy and help you get your hands on a prescription.
The average pharmacy technician has quite a few responsibilities. Their jobs are critical and affect the health of millions of Americans daily.
Let’s take a closer look at the duties that a pharmacy technician has while working.
A Pharmacy Technician Provides Medications to People
One of the most important jobs a pharmacy technician has is providing medications to people who need them. You will most likely work with a pharmacy technician anytime you need to go on a new medication or reorder existing medication prescribed by your doctor.
When you walk into a pharmacy, a pharmacy technician will welcome you and ask you what you need. Pharmacy Technicians can provide you with both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications.
Pharmacy technicians work underneath a pharmacist and carry out many of the same tasks a pharmacist would. It’s their job to make sure that you leave a pharmacy with the medications prescribed to you.
Pharmacy technicians are becoming more and more important with all the medications people are taking these days. Studies have shown that about 70 percent of people take at least one prescription medication, and that number will likely grow as people get older.
Pharmacy Technicians Put Together Prescriptions Ordered by Doctors
When your doctor calls in a prescription for you, that prescription will likely be ready for you in a matter of just an hour or two. In most cases, you’ll be able to pick it up and be on your way in no time.
This is possible because of pharmacy technicians. Working directly for a pharmacist, they take prescriptions called in by doctors and fill them so that they are ready to go when a person comes in to pick them up.
In some cases, that might mean putting together a bottle of the right number of pills. In others, it might mean getting the right amount of cough medicine into a bottle so that a person can take it home.
Pharmacy technicians need to be trained to put together prescriptions properly. They need to know how to fill dosages and how to create labels for prescriptions so that people take them the right way.
Pharmacy Technicians Make Sure Errors Aren’t Made When Administering Medications
In many ways, pharmacy technicians are a last line of defense for those who need medications. When someone is seeing several different doctors and taking more than one medication at a time, there’s always a chance that certain medications could counteract one another.
There is also always a chance that a doctor, nurse, or another health professional could make a costly mistake when prescribing medication in a hospital setting. Pharmacy technicians are trained to catch mistakes and point them out so that medical facilities can avoid them.
Because pharmacy technicians are usually interacting with patients right before they take their medications, it’s their job to do a final check to make sure it’s okay for a patient to use them. This helps bring down the error rates in hospitals and ensures that people are using the proper medications at all times.
As you might imagine, this can make the life of a pharmacy technician difficult at times. But it also proves how invaluable pharmacy technicians are when it comes to providing quality health care to those who need it most.
What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do? Learn More About Becoming One Today
Have you thought about becoming a pharmacy technician one day? Then you may have wondered, “What does a pharmacy technician do?” on at least one occasion.
Now that you have a better idea about what pharmacy technicians do when they’re on the job, you should learn more about becoming one. It’s a rewarding career that can really make you feel good about what you do.
Contact us to find out more about the adult education and career certificate programs we have to offer.
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.