What Do Pharmacy Technicians Do?
A pharmacy technician’s primary job is to receive and fill prescription requests for patients. These prescription requests can come from hospitals, physicians, nurses or directly from the patient. Their work is typically overseen by a licensed pharmacist. (Click to see Pharmacy Technician Training).
The preparation of a prescription requires several tasks. The duties carried out by pharmacy technicians can include:
- Retrieving prescription orders
- Counting, pouring, measuring and weighing tablets and medications
- mixing medications
- Selecting the proper prescription container
- Creating prescription labels
After the prescription is filled, the pharmacy tech prices and files it. A licensed pharmacist then checks the completed prescription before it is given to the patient.
Other Pharmacy Tech Responsibilities
The pharmacy tech’s job also extends to the daily operation of the pharmacy itself, including interactions with hospitals and patients. Some other, non-medication-related duties include:
- Preparing insurance claim forms
- Maintaining patient profiles
- Completing cash register transactions
- Answering phones
- Taking inventory of over-the-counter medications
- Being aware of the latest medicines and their availability
At times, pharmacy techs also advise the patient about diet and health requirements. For this reason, many employers prefer that pharmacy technicians be certified. (See info on certification.)
Where do Pharmacy Techs Work?
Pharmacy techs work in clean, organized environments and spend much of their day of their feet. They may work in places such as:
- Medical stores
- Health and personal care stores
- Retail or mail-order pharmacies
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
Pharmacy technicians can work either part-time or full-time, and depending on where they work, they may sometimes be required to work evenings or weekends.