How to get a Job as a Pharmacy Technician
by John Gary
It might seem easy to help a pharmacist dispense medication from the prescription. But, it requires extreme precision and accuracy to do so. The pharmacist has to deliver all the medicines in a specified time frame. One of the major challenges of this profession is to keep a track of changes that keep occurring in the field. New drugs and generics are introduced in the market almost every week. Another major challenge is to deal with patients who are not in their best moods at your counter. It takes immense sympathy and compassion to deal with patients who have a minor cold or a major illness.
The duties involved include interacting with patients and filling prescriptions. While filling a request for prescription, the technician has to measure, count, pour, mix and weigh the medication. After the validation and verification comes from the pharmacist, the technician has to prepare a label and affix it. Other duties include completing the forms for insurance claims, maintaining profiles of the patients and stocking inventory.
You will need to go through a few milestones to enter the pharmacy technician field and secure a job for yourself.
You must complete an education program at post-secondary level. You can find out about the program here or also from the college you are seeking. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists or ASHP authorizes programs for technician programs. The programs certified from ASHP are offered by many community colleges or some vocational schools. The program usually takes one whole year or sometimes less. But, the degree programs take at least two years for completion. The coursework of the program includes practical and technical training in the areas mentioned below:
- Pharmacy law
- Pharmacy ethics
- Healthcare systems
- Pharmaceutical calculations
- Medical terminology
Complete the training on job
Usually, the programs permit students to procure clinical experience while they are gaining their training. While the state laws differ, students can choose to procure on-job training, even without taking admission in an education program at post-secondary level. One more option is also there to procure the hands-on training by an approved medical center or pharmacy.
Many states have stricter norms for technicians. The technicians in these states must gain certification to start practicing. Even the states which do not necessitate certification, reputed employers hire only those pharmacy technicians who procure certification from Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or National Health career Association. The PTCB necessitates the applicants to clear an exam. The NHA necessitates its applicants to accomplish a training program, else, have a minimum of one-year pharmacy technician experience.
There are many pharmacy technicians who prefer to work for an exclusive chain of retail drugstore and thus, accomplish specific training to give their services as technician at central pharmacy jobs, community pharmacies, or in a general pharmacy.
Even the certified pharmacy technicians have to maintain their certification for life by acquiring recertification from time to time. The technicians are required to pass an exam for recertification every two years. But, before that, they need to accomplish minimum 20 hours of regular education before they sit for the exam of recertification.
It is not easy to take on the pharmacy technician job, because the norms are quite strict. But, if you wish to make a career in this field, it is not very difficult either. A little patience and sometime of hard work will pay its rewards in the end.