Pharmacy Technician – What Exactly Do They Do

Choosing the job you want is not like choosing what course to take in college or what dish you want to be served. It’s definitely much harder. At least in college, you only need to sacrifice four to five years of your life, unless you’re inclined to take it further and get a master’s degree. But choosing the right place of employment can potentially affect you for a lifetime so one must choose wisely before making a decision.

In this article, we are going to explore the job description, specifications and qualifications needed to become a pharmacy technician.

The first question one should ask is… what is a pharmacy technician and what does a pharmacy technician do? First of all, a pharmacy technician is not a pharmacist. A pharmacist must have a degree in pharmacy. On the other hand, a pharmacy technician isn’t burdened with the same requirements and responsibilities.

In a nutshell, a pharmacy technician is an assistant pharmacist but has job responsibilities one step higher than that of a pharmacist aide.

Let’s break down the official definition of pharmacy technicians’ job title into two parts. The pharmacist or pharmacy aspect of the job requires you to have a working knowledge of drugs and medicine. A pharmacy technician must also know the difference between cough tablets and aspirin and have the knowledge to navigate the fine line between headache pills and tablets to help relieve PMS and they must also be able to handle the basic operations of a pharmacy if the pharmacist is on vacation or nowhere to be found.

The technical aspect of the job also requires the pharmacy technician to have exemplary organizational skills and they may be also be required to label medicine bottles and categorize them under the correct name or group – the 100 mg label must go on the 100 mg bottle. Just one error, one tiny oversight could result in very negative consequences for a patient.

Other tasks include being able to work under pressure because there will be days that the drugstore or pharmacy where you work has people lined up to get their prescriptions filled.

As a pharmacy technician, you will also be responsible for supplying aid to licensed pharmacists as they provide patients with medication and other healthcare products. A well trained, competent pharmacy technician must therefore be knowledgeable enough to suggest alternative brands for off the counter medication but alternatives for prescribed medication is solely the responsibility of licensed pharmacists.

A pharmacy technician is sometimes required to perform certain manual tasks like labeling bottles, counting pills or doing inventory. In some areas of the country, the tasks of a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist aide overlap so don’t be surprised if on occasion, you end up being asked to complete tasks meant for the latter. This could include acting as a cashier, answering phone inquiries, stocking shelves and other clerical duties. While there are several pharmacy technician duties that a pharmacist aide can never perform, there are few pharmacist aide tasks that a pharmacy technician cannot perform.

The job responsibilities of a pharmacy technician can vary depending on the type of business the pharmacy they work at is located in. For example, a pharmacy technician is usually assigned to handle orders sent through courier or even email in a mail order pharmacy and upon verification that the order is correctly and properly filled up, the pharmacist technician is then required to do the actual counting, weighing and mixing of the prescription.

On the other hand, in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and so forth a pharmacy technician may have the added responsibilities of record filing and the updating of patient files – especially those related a patient’s medication.

If the allure of a pharmacy technician career appeals to you, check out the links below.

Pharmacy Technician Job – Three Strategies For Getting A Job

As I searched on EzineArticles for pharmacy technician jobs, I found many good articles written on how to become a pharmacy technician, or various reasons why you should become a pharmacy technician. In general, they all make good points and provide useful information. It has made me think about what we are missing. I do not want to simply rehash the same topics and then add a few of my own thoughts. Then it occurred to me, I have a perspective that few people who are writing articles for pharmacy technicians have. I am the person who sits on every interview for pharmacy technicians in my institution’s inpatient pharmacy. Over the course of just one year, I probably interview about 50 to 60 technicians for about 10 to 12 openings. So here it is, what are three things you can do to get a job when you have just obtained your license/certification/registration (depends on your state), still working on your license, or maybe just moved to a new area and want to find a job (this happened to me as a pharmacy tech, and I will share one of my biggest mistakes when looking for a job)?

Volunteer or complete your required hours (depends on your state requirements for licensure/certification) in a pharmacy practice site you would like to work. Many states require you to obtain practice hours before you become a pharmacy technician. If your state does not require hours prior to becoming a pharmacy technician, then pick a set number of hours (40 to 80 hours should do it) and volunteer at a pharmacy. The pharmacy you choose should be a place you would like to work. If you know you want to work in a hospital pharmacy, then do not obtain your hours or volunteer at a community/retail pharmacy. Next, take advantage of this time by showing your practice site how good of a pharmacy technician you are. The traits I look for the most are someone who is a team player, proactive about taking on any work that he/she sees needs completing, and gets a long with other staff. I am looking for is a good fit, not necessarily the smartest tech, but the one who will be a good team member. What this time really amounts to is a trial period where the pharmacy gets to see how you work and you get to see if you really want a job there. I have had a few students who goof off or text for a large portion of their time in my pharmacy. Unfortunately, they will not even make the interview list for the next open position.
Obtain national certification, BLS/CPR, and be active in one of your state’s pharmacy organizations; and make sure you have these items on your resume. Regardless if your state requires you to get nationally certified or not, you should do it. The two major national certifications that are most recognized are the PTCB and the ExCPT. BLS/CPR (basic life support/cardiopulmonary resuscitation – for the most part it is the same thing) is a good additional skill that most pharmacy managers will consider a bonus. It tells them that the applicant is engaged in healthcare and will more likely be engaged as a pharmacy technician. State pharmacy organization (either the state ASHP affiliate or APhA affiliate) participation is another way to show your commitment to the pharmacy profession. In most states, it cost very little to be a member as a technician. Once you are a member, look for the Website link on joining a committee. If you have options, join the committee that sounds like the most fun (I personally like advocacy or legislative). Now be active in your committee, this is a great way to network with pharmacists and other technicians. Pharmacy is a small world, the more connections you make, the better off you will be. Once you have done some or all of this, make sure your update you resume.
Look on company Websites for job openings and not just the local newspaper or online newspaper site. This was my big mistake. After living on the east coast for many years I moved out to the west coast. I began looking for jobs in the local newspaper and there were a few, but not the ones I was most interested in (I was a sterile compounding tech and wanted to work in a hospital or IV infusion setting) were never open. Fortunately for me, a large health-system (the one I currently still work for after 11 years) was hiring a graveyard technician and didn’t get enough applicants from their internal site so they placed a newspaper ad. After I got a job, I found out about the company job postings Website, and I was seriously bummed that I had wasted months not looking in the right place. While you are on the company Website, do some homework about the company so that you can speak about the company during your interview. I will typically ask applicants why they want a job with my company or pharmacy, if you can respond with an answer that shows you have done some homework on the company, that will impress most interviewers (do not over do it or be cheesy, find something you genuinely like about the company).
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or topics for additional articles, please send them to me by submitting a comment on my Website listed in the author box.

A Little Guide On Sauna Products And Usages!

Sauna is a sort of bathroom or building made for a special purpose of the steam bath. The steam bath is the main activity of a Sauna Bath. Sauna causes sweating which gives many health benefits. Sauna detoxifies the body and promotes immunity of the body. However, Saunas should be avoided by blood pressure patients.

Currently, steam baths or saunas are used all over the world. Till recently, saunas were generally commercial, but now so many people prefer to install the saunas for their residences for personal use, which shows the increasing popularity of the Saunas. And also they prefer to install the best sauna heaters in their pre-installed bathrooms.

Although outdoor saunas are also employed, yet Indoor Saunas are more popular. If you build your personal/residential sauna, build it near your bathroom, this will be more convenient to use both facilities. But you have to make sure before installing the electric sauna heater in your sauna that the floor is plain and proper electricity supply of 120 V. or 240 V. is available for sauna installation.

Commercial Saunas:
If you are going to build a commercial Sauna, then before investment, you may consider all its business aspects, although Sauna installation does not involve higher investment. Most of the gyms and health clubs have sauna installation in their business establishments.

Sauna Heaters:
It should be known well that the sauna heater and stoves can be bought in Gas, wood burning or electric sauna heater. But since this is a consumer society, Electricity and gas are preferred fuels for the saunas. Recently Infra-red saunas are also available in the market. But they need more precautions in their use. Choose freestanding heaters mounted on the floor if you plan to build a larger sauna bath; otherwise compact saunas mounted on walls are installed in average sauna installments. 110 Volts electric current is sufficient for them. They are meant for 1 to 3 persons. For larger sauna heaters ignited with 220 V. are required. Their size may vary from 2 KW to 18 KW. For a space of every 45 to 50 cubic feet, One KW electric energy for its heater is required.

Sauna Installation is not a costly affair. Radium Sauna for 4 persons costs from US$ 3300 to US$ 7000 which is a moderate amount as per USA standards or even as per standards of other countries of the world.

Saunas in hot countries and regions:
You will be glad to know that Saunas are also used even in hot countries including the countries of South Asia. However, Sauna bath is generally in more demand in cool countries.

Infrared saunas versus traditional saunas:
Both of these types can have a few advantages as well as side effects. Persons with high blood pressures should avoid sauna bath. More care should be taken in the use of radiant saunas as they have infra-red rays, so more care in using them.

Reasons I Hate Pharmacy Technician

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