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What does a Pharmacy Technician Do?
The jobs that pharmacy technicians perform can vary based on the environment that they choose to work in. Hence, they may choose to work for a retail store such as Walgreens or CVS Pharmacy, or in a hospital while performing the duties and responsibilities that they are trained in. For instance, if the pharmacy tech works in a retail environment such as Walgreens, their duties can consists of taking a patient’s prescription by phone, walk-in or via the store’s drive-thru process.
To assist with filling the patients’ prescriptions, the technician must be trained in soliciting and recording their customer’s health insurance information. Once this information has been obtained, the next step in the process is to enter all of appropriate information into the retail store’s computer. The store’s software program will generate the label for the drugs, which contains the dosage information as well as the price.
Additional steps in the process include finding the right type of medication on the shelf and counting each pills for the patient’s order. When the order has been completely filled, the technician is responsible for taking the payment from the customer that placed the order. If the customer has questions about a specific prescription, the technician will refer the questions to the licensed pharmacist. (Based on the laws that govern this area, a pharmacy technician cannot respond to the patient’s prescription questions or related medical concerns.)
Sometimes people may have an interest in being a pharmacy technician at an early age. Which means, they can make the necessary preparations as soon as they know. While obtaining a high school diploma or GED from an accredited program is always the first step in this process, the student is also required to complete at least 2 years in an undergraduate program. The courses that the student takes must be specific instead of general (i.e. science basics like biology, anatomy and chemistry). Even though two-years is the initial requirement; many students complete their bachelor’s degree before enrolling in a pharmacy technician training program.
Pharmacy Technician Training Options
While each student may have an option of choosing the best program for their specific needs, there are a wide variety of alternatives available around the United States and abroad. From pharmacy colleges to accelerated pharmacy programs, the choice that is made will be depend on the individual and their specific circumstances. For instance, if the student is currently working in a related field, they may choose to expedite their career by choosing online pharmacy classes or an accelerated pharmacy program.
Pharmacy Tech Salaries
The salaries for a pharmacy tech can vary widely based on the environment that they work in (hospital vs. retail store), geographic location and level of experience. However, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for this position (after pharmacy technician training has been completed) can range from approximately $27,000 to $40,000 as of May 2011 figures.