A pharmacy technician’s job requires him to help pharmacists in the preparation and selling those medicines which are prescribed to a patient by his doctor. By appointing such technicians, the health care cost gets reduced to a great extent in any pharmacy company. The everyday work is handled by these technicians, allowing the pharmacists to concentrate on other duties like supervising and taking care of their patients.
Nowadays, many grocery stores along with a few retail stores offer services related to pharmacy so that their customers can get all that they need under one roof. There is a huge demand for pharmacy technicians in grocery and drug stores, hospitals, medical centers and other such institutions. This career is sure to touch great heights in the coming years with more and more companies looking out for pharmacy technicians.
In order to become a pharmacy technician, you should be swift and diligent in your work. You will have flexible work timings and may have to put in extra hours of work sometimes. There are certain tips and guidelines which an individual must follow if he wishes to become such a technician and help pharmacists in several ways.
Ways To Become A Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician should be 18 years or above, possess a bachelor’s degree in science and have a sound knowledge of mathematics, biology, chemistry, health sciences or life science. However, a master’s degree is not required. You should be fully aware of the various types of medical terminologies and have a firm knowledge about the usage of over-the-counter drugs and herbal medicines.
He should also be able to provide the adequate information about alternative medicines that patients may enquire about and should possess good communication skills. It is necessary for him to complete a 1 year college certificate program in Pharmacy Technician.
An official pharmacy technician training program must be completed by each individual who wishes to become a pharmacy technician. You can also enroll for an on-the-job training program where you work for a pharmacist and get trained under him.
A normal training program can last anywhere between 4 months to a year, depending on your completion of the training and understanding all that is expected from a pharmacy technician. If you have a proper certification and have completed your official training, you are much more likely to be hired by an employer as compared to those who have not.
Formal Technician Program
Individuals who complete this kind of a program are sure to get hired almost immediately and can also expect a higher salary as compared to those who do not opt for this type of a program. The duration of the program varies from 6 months to 24 months. The students are trained in laboratories along with theory subjects like techniques of pharmacy, pharmaceutical terminology, law and ethics of pharmacy and related calculations and recordkeeping.
After an individual completes the program successfully, he is given a certificate or a diploma, depending on the kind of program he has enrolled for. You may have to register yourself with the specific state’s pharmacy board you wish to work in.
While you complete your certification program, gain a little bit of experience as a pharmacy assistant under a known pharmacist. This will enable you to get a better practical knowledge of what you are currently studying and you will be able to understand your job profile in details.
As a pharmacy assistant, you will be required to carry out simpler responsibilities as compared to pharmacy technicians. You can slowly build your way up to get a grasp of more complex and difficult tasks and observe other pharmacy technicians as they work.
Criminal Record Check
A Criminal Records Check must be completed by every individual who wishes to become a pharmacy technician. A TB skin test and x-ray of the chest will be performed on the individual and he should test negative for it.
Along with the official training that an individual gets, many pharmacy technicians are required to do an internship in a pharmacy which is working for the benefit of the community or public hospital for a minimum of 2 months. After the internship gets completed, a basic examination is held for the individual that he must pass.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam
After having completed your graduation, it is recommended to appear for this examination. Though this examination is not compulsory, it gives a complete professional outlook to your education. It also helps in conveying the fact to possible employers that you have a thorough knowledge in this field and are fully skilled to do all the jobs that a pharmacy technician should do.
A pharmacy technician is there to make the job of a pharmacist much easier and reduce his burden of work. The work environment for a pharmacy technician includes well-illuminated stores and laboratories and may require them to stand for long hours continuously.
They may have to help in lifting huge supply boxes and carts and move them around from one place to another. Many a times, a pharmacy technician may have to deal with a patient in the absence of a pharmacist and should be able to solve all the queries and questions that he asks.
It is a good idea to re-certify yourself once in every 2 year so that you keep up with the education and do lack behind in any way. This will keep you a step ahead of those competitors who haven’t re-certified themselves lately.
Pharmacy technician is a job profile that is gaining immense popularity lately and more and more people are opting for this job nowadays. The reason behind it is that becoming a pharmacy technician is a much easier job than becoming a pharmacist himself and along with the kind of knowledge that a person gets of the medicine world; it is also a highly paying and reputed job.
The individual may not be highly qualified in terms of education but gets a job which is permanent in nature and gives him a lot of exposure in a short span of time.