What Do Pharmacy Technician Jobs Entail?
Pharmacy technician jobs are not glamorous jobs. They may seem easier compared to other lines of work in the allied medical professions because a whole lot of it is desk work. However, never make the mistake that the job of a pharmacy technologist is a stroll in the park. It can be very stressful work and you need to possess a certain set of skills to thrive in your work as a pharmaceutical assistant.
What exactly do pharmacy technician jobs entail? In the simplest of terms, a pharmacy technologist is a licensed pharmacist’s gopher. They help the pharmacist run the shop, so to speak, and do a number of tasks that the pharmacist may assign to them. The pharmacy assistant can act as the pharmacist’s secretary and respond to phone calls, fax messages and emails. They can be asked to review the pharmacy’s current stock and order items they may be running out of. They fill in prescriptions for patients. More often than not, they also fill out forms and communicate directly with health insurance companies.
Pharmacy technician jobs can also vary according to the type of pharmacy the technician works in, whether it is a drugstore or an institutional pharmacy. Drugstores are retail outlets where both prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs are sold. In these places, the pharmaceutical assistant may be required to take care of orders, handle the checkout, and keep the customers calm. On top of these, they will also have to deal with the tasks listed above.
Institutional pharmacy technician jobs, on the other hand, are an entire ball game altogether. In addition to the general gopher chores that a pharmacy technologist must do, they must work closely with the nurses and the operating room technicians in keeping the nurses’ stations well-stocked. It’s typical for them to deliver two or three days’ worth of medicine to the nurses’ stations, medicine that the nurses will dispense to the confined patients.
The institutional pharmacy technician is also called upon to work in tandem with the surgical technician to keep the operating room well-stocked. They’re in charge of providing the chemicals and anesthetics the surgeons will use during operations. If the pharmacy technologist has the training for it, they may also be assigned to create IV admixtures.
As you can imagine, the work of a pharmacy technologist is not an easy one. You need a keen eye for detail and a passion for precision to be able to work as an assistant in a pharmacy. So many things can go wrong if a pharmacy assistant doesn’t pay close attention to their work. Stocks of much-needed medicine can run out. Prescription orders can be mishandled. Insurance information can be misplaced. All of these will result in serious consequences for the patient, and sometimes these consequences can mean life or death.
If you want to be a pharmaceutical assistant, you have to get used to working with high levels of stress in a fast-paced environment. Whether you’re employed by a drugstore or a hospital, you will be surrounded by customers who want their prescriptions filled and paid for in five minutes tops, by doctors or nurses who want to get this or that drug stat, and other agents that can make your life at work a nightmare. You’ll need to learn how to cope and deal with these people.
People seem to think that just because pharmaceutical technicians typically work desk jobs, they’ve got it easy. They couldn’t be any further from the truth. Pharmacy technician jobs have their own challenges, and you need to be able to face these challenges down to survive in this line of work.