A Overview of the Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician

With the rise in demand for healthcare due to an ageing population, pharmacies are popping up everywhere and becoming a substantial part of the retail sector.  And with this phenomenon, there is a corresponding rise in the demand for pharmacy technicians to handle a wide range of tasks – from handling inventories to compounding medications for patients to meeting specific and specialised prescription requirements.

Here is an overview of the work that a pharmacy technician is required to do.

The primary work of a pharmacy technician is to be a link between the pharmacist and the patient or customer and performing other duties as mentioned above. However, the specific role of a pharmacy tech will largely depend on the environment that you will be working in. Given here are some of the more common ones.

Retail pharmacy

As a retail pharmacy tech, you will constantly be in the public eye with direct dealings with patients or their representatives. Your role will be crucial as customers will trust you explicitly to dispense the correct medications and you should be able to live up to that. Often patients will ask you drug related questions like correct dosages and how it should be taken – with food or on an empty stomach – and you should be able to answer the queries correctly, whether from your own knowledge or from the prescription. When it is beyond your capability, you can always fall back on the pharmacist to guide you. You will also have to keep a tab on the inventories to ensure that the pharmacy never runs out of stock of a drug.

Hospital-based pharmacy

This work is quite unlike the retail sector environment. You will be required to carry out extensive lab work and ensure that all equipment is well sterilized and the environment is clean and safe. Pharmacy techs can also be entrusted with maintaining drug dispensing machines and they have to do it well, as doctors and nurses will be relying on them to issue medications at a moment’s notice, especially in emergency situations.

Mail order pharmacy

Working in a mail order pharmacy is like being in an office environment. You will be working with many other pharmacy technicians filling prescriptions, maintaining patient database and preparing compounds and medicine vials. You will also be required to maintain inventories. Just because you do not have to cater to direct customer service does not mean that you can take it easy. Meeting dispatch deadlines by itself can be a very hectic task.

These are some of the many responsibilities of a pharmacy technician.