If you are thinking of becoming a pharmacy technician, you may find yourself wondering what these workers do every day. You might want to know more about the most common tasks you will be performing, and you may need to determine whether or not you feel comfortable handling pharmacy technician work, too.
Below, you will find information on five of the most common tasks performed by pharmacy technicians every day. By reading through this information, you can better inform yourself of these roles and understand how you might be able to fit into a pharmacy setting after completing your training.
As a pharmacy technician, you will spend a lot of time working with prescriptions. The first step of the prescription process is to accept new prescriptions from doctors and patients. Doctors and nurses frequently call in or input prescriptions digitally themselves, making it easier to verify where the information comes from and how accurate it is.
Sometimes, however, patients will bring in written prescription forms from doctors instead. This version can be a little trickier, but with practice, you will learn how to decipher these written documents and verify that they are accurate too. Until you get the hang of it yourself, you will work with a head pharmacist for this step.
After you complete the prescription intake process, you will then move to fill the prescription. Depending on where you work, this process may vary. For the most part, however, the prescriptions will be filled in the order they are received. They will be stored until they are ready to be filled, and then they will be handled in a timely fashion when they come up in the list.
Smaller pharmacies may not get too much of a prescription backlog, but big pharmacies will. For this reason, many routine medications may be filled several days after they are called in or dropped off.
Cashiering and Prescription Dispensing
Another major component of pharmacy technician work is cashiering and dispensing prescriptions to patients. You will likely spend part of every day working the cash register and checking out customers. You will need to be able to handle money, count back change, and answer some customer questions—although only the head pharmacist can give advice or information about drugs and interactions.
When dispensing prescriptions, you will need to verify the patient’s name, date of birth, and address. You will likely also need to ask the patient if they have taken this medication before and if they need to speak to the head pharmacist with any questions or concerns.
Insurance Claims Processing
On the back end of pharmacy technician work, you may sometimes need to interact with insurance companies to process insurance claims. You will need to file medication claims properly using the right computer program, and you might need to call and verify patient information with certain insurance companies as well.
Sometimes you will also need to work with customers who are dealing with insurance claims processing. This may involve answering questions from customers who do not understand the process of calming down irate customers who don’t like the price of their prescriptions.
Finally, most pharmacy technicians will spend at least some part of every shift handling inventory and stocking it for use. This inventory usually includes a variety of medications, but it may also include items needed for pharmacy technician work, such as prescription bags, bottles, and labels.
When you stock medication inventory, it is crucial to pay very close attention to which medications you have stocked and how many of each type you have available. You will need to keep detailed records through your pharmacy’s preferred method, which is almost always digital these days.
Did you learn something useful about what is expected of most pharmacy technicians? Remember that some states and countries have different regulations on pharmacy technician functions than others, but this list comprises a good general idea of what you will face when you have this position.
If you feel like the pharmacy technician career is right for you, don’t hesitate to research options for your training and education. This field is a fast-growing one and continues to hire entry-level workers who are certified to work as pharmacy technicians. All you need to do is complete an Associate degree and earn your certification, and you’ll be well on your way to landing the job of your dreams.
There are plenty of great options out there in terms of schools and programs. You can even find several pharmacy tech programs online and earn your certification from the convenience of your own home. Many of these programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, making them ideal for students who want to get started working as soon as possible.