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Looking to become a pharmacy technician? What does a pharmacy technician do on a day-to-day basis? What skills are needed to be a successful pharmacy technician? What will you learn with a Pharmacy Technology Degree?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists calculate and dispense prescription medication to customers in hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:
There are many skills a pharmacy technician must obtain during and after they achieve a pharmacy technology degree. Here are a few of the most important skills:
Stamina. A pharmacy technician spends much of the day on their feet. Having the stamina to stand 8 hours a day is crucial for the pharmacy technician.
Customer-Service Skills. Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so having good customer service skills is a requirement of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.
Detail Oriented. Serious health problems can result from mistakes in dispensing prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians must have great attention to detail so that health issues are avoided.
Listening Skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists, doctors and patients when taking prescription orders. Good listening skills are important for pharmacy technicians to properly perform their duties.
Math Skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of basic college math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.
Organizational Skills. Working as a pharmacy technician involves multi-tasking many responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete pharmacy work while at the same time providing good customer service to patients.
All career colleges are not equal. Make sure the career college you attend offers the following pharmacy technology degree curriculum so you can be prepared for a new career as a pharmacy technician.
Public Speaking – Pharmacy technicians spend a lot of time interacting with patients and good public speaking skills should be taught in career college settings that offer pharmacy technology degrees. A pharmacy technician with good public speaking skills will be aware of what is going on and listen to the customer to decide whether they need to speak with a pharmacist. They show empathy to their customers and are aware of their feelings and emotions. The pharmacy technician will wait for feedback from the customer and engage with their customer to create a communal relationship with them.
Critical Thinking – Pharmacy technology degree instruction will help students not jump to conclusions since the pharmacy technician must collect the data, weigh the facts and think the matter through before dispensing medication or giving health advice to customers. The education will instill in the pharmacy technician a willingness to stay well-informed and have self-confidence in their abilities to practice pharmacology.
Medical Terminology – Pharmacy technicians will need to learn medical terminology to effectively dispense medication and talk with patients about medicine. Here are a few terms that the pharmacy technician must know to be successful in their role at a pharmacy:
Medical Law & Ethics – The pharmacy technician is held to high standards of medical law and ethics, as they are responsible for protecting personal information. The American Association of Pharmacy Technicians has a Code of Ethics that mandates that a healthcare professional who assists pharmacists provide the best possible care for patients. There are also many laws a pharmacy technician must learn to provide the best possible care. Here are a few medical laws a pharmacy technician needs to be aware of while performing their duties:
Pharmacy Technology & Calculations – The four main components in Pharmacy Math are weight, volume, temperature and time. Some of the math needed to prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT) exam include:
Pharmacy Operations & Claims – the pharmacy technician must be able to operate and submit claims for patients while performing duties. Here are a few terms that the pharmacy technician must learn during a Pharmacy Technology degree program:
Computer Applications – The pharmacy technician must be able to learn and use many different computer applications including insurance claims processing applications, record keeping and coding, medication dispensing machines and register interfaces.
If you're still searching for pharmacy technician training schools, make Daymar College your first choice. Daymar College offers campuses in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. Daymar College also offers an Online Pharmacy Technology Program. Upon graduation, our career services staff can help you find a place to apply your newly-learned skills and start your rewarding career helping others as a pharmacy technician.