Being a pharmacy technician is not just about dispensing drugs and preparing IVs. A large part of a pharmacy technician’s job is helping patients and customers, explaining products and prescriptions, and outlining how to administer medication using specific devices. If you have a passion for healthcare and the ever-evolving world of pharmaceuticals, read on to get an inside look at life as a pharmacy tech…
A Range of Workplace Options
Pharmacy workers are more sought-after than ever as the pharmaceutical healthcare sector continues to grow. With growth comes different pharmacy specializations, which are being offered by pharmacy technician colleges across the country. For example, a pediatric pharmacist will specialize in children’s health, often working at a children’s hospital. As a pharmacy technician, you would assist the pharmacist as they do rounds at the hospital, monitoring children on high risk medications or those who are undergoing chemotherapy. Working in a pharmacy at a pediatric hospital is a great career option for those who truly enjoy working with children.
For those who prefer a more traditional setting, there is the option of working in a standard hospital or a community pharmacy. Working as a pharmacy technician in a hospital will often mean providing IV medication and the stocking of automated dispending cabinets (ADCs). In a community drugstore, you’ll serve a diverse range of patients, and the workday will often be very busy.
A Pharmacy Technician’s Everyday Duties
The majority of a pharmacy technician’s day involves filling prescriptions and independently checking prescriptions for release to the patients. Another important duty is ensuring that the inventory in the pharmacy is stocked and monitored regularly.
On the other end of the spectrum, being a pharmacy technician also involves using your excellent people skills! You will greet customers, provide them with information concerning their prescription and you will also process medical insurance claims forms and maintain patient files.
You may not have undergone front-line paramedic training, but it’s important to note that pharmacy technicians provide an essential service – and there is a real sense of pride in knowing that patients depend on these professionals for their everyday healthcare needs. For this reason, a pharmacy technician must be diligent about ensuring each prescription is correct, that outdated drugs are removed from stock, and that the medicines people need are always available in the inventory.
What Makes the Job Great
Like a community service worker, a pharmacy technician is rewarded with a career that helps change people’s lives every day. Modern medicine is constantly evolving, and pharmacy technicians get to be a part of that evolution – of bringing new therapies to patients in need. For example, it was only recently that HIV/AIDS drugs were made available for prescription, and in Canada these drugs are actually provided to HIV patients for free. Likewise, there are more cancer treatments than ever before, and pharmacies provide an essential service in connecting these live-saving medicines to patients, supporting their return to health.
What draws you to a career as a pharmacy technician?