What does a pharmacy technician do and what skills are required?

Pharmacy Technician

Also known as a pharmaceutical technician, this job entails working directly under a licensed pharmacist, performing pharmacy-related functions. That can be anything from dispensing prescription medications and other medical devices to patients and advising on the proper use, to administrative duties such as reviewing prescription requests with doctor’s offices and insurance companies ensuring that the correct medications are provided to patients and payment is received.

Pharmacy technicians can also be called upon to complete numerous administrative tasks including taking stock of inventory and tracking medication supply orders and following up with payments.

Pharmacy technicians are now regulated by their provincial college of Pharmacy because they have a greater scope of practice and are in stronger demand than ever before. The field is also expanding to include such specialties as narcotic destruction technician, pharmacy events coordinator, software specialist and medication reconciliation technician.

Language proficiency is an essential skill since a pharmacy technician’s ability to communicate is critical in the delivery of safe and effective patient care. Other important skills include a strict adherence to protocol, precision and critical thinking as well as well developed communication skills.

Other important skills include accuracy in calculations and weighing and measuring chemicals, timely and accurate completion of records, good vision and hand/eye coordination, ability to take initiative and handle responsibility and the ability to follow directions and work independently.

Published on December 14, 2011
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