While pharmacy technicians work in a diverse number of healthcare settings, many of the basic job functions generally remain the same. Even though this is true, every day is likely to present a unique set of experiences and challenges. Here’s an overview of what it’s like to be a pharmacy technician.
Working directly with people.
People come in with varying levels of diseases and medical conditions that require special attention to detail. For example, it’s up to a pharmacy technician to pay attention to what medications a person is taking and consider possible negative reactions.1
In addition to getting direction from the managing pharmacist, you may need to call the patient's primary care doctor to verify prescriptions and ensure the correct dosages.
As a pharmacy technician, it's your job to accurately fill prescriptions and present them to the patient. You'll count out a certain number of specific pills or possibly use an automated machine, which doles out the desired medication at the touch of a button. You’ll also input the data into a computer and print out a label for the bottle.2 It will be complete with the patient's name, address, condition, doctor's information, warnings, and directions on how and when to take the medication.
Part of your day as a technician may include clerical tasks around the pharmacy itself. You’ll update health information for patients' medical records, take stock of the medicinal inventory, and alert the pharmacist of any potential shortages. Technicians typically operate the cash register regularly. You may also be required to know about the different insurance billing procedures associated with prescriptions.
Learning new medications.
Each day, researchers are working on new, advanced medicine that may eventually make its way into the pharmacy. Being a technician, you may have morning meetings where the lead pharmacist discusses new medications to the marketplace.3 When shipments arrive, you may be asked to handle stocking and updating the pharmacy database.