Schools Training

The Growing Importance of Pharmacy Technicians

11 APR 2014
Career Path : Pharmacy

While working in a pharmacy, pharmacists rely on pharmacy technicians to for a number of activities that all aim to keep the pharmacy running smoothly. They help each other in ensuring that patients receive the right amount of the correct medications, provide information on pharmaceuticals and perform a number of administrative duties.

Pharmacy technicians play an increasingly important role in ensuring that patients are able to pick up their prescriptions. They take care of operating cash registers, stocking shelves, answering phones, counting out tablets, labeling bottles and more. As more people acquire prescriptions, the amount of work that technicians do will only increase.

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

Pharmacy technicians are the front line when it comes to ensuring that the customers are able to pick up their medications, pay for them and completing any other tasks that are required to make this exchange work. They can work in small clinics, behind the pharmacy counters of stores or in large hospitals, which means that their volume of work can be anything from leisurely to intense.

It’s possible to find pharmacy technicians employed for large drug companies, wholesale drug corporations and more. They may work at nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or in other places where their services are needed. Their use is not limited to behind a store counter.

What Are Their Responsibilities?

The responsibilities of a pharmacy technician vary greatly depending upon local regulations, laws and rules. They may be restricted to performing administrative duties like answering phones and stocking shelves, or they may be able to fill prescriptions under the direct supervision of a qualified pharmacist. They may even be able to count out pills and tablets before filling them for a patient, but only if the pharmacist in charge of the technician verifies that the prescription is safe for the patient to take.

Regardless of local regulations, technical pharmacists needed to be trained to know the effects of prescriptions, what classes these drugs fall under and when they will interact negatively with a patient due to health conditions or the interaction with other medications. This makes pharmacy technician training an invaluable part of their education.

When they are allowed to do so, pharmacy technicians will be required to count out pills, weigh prescriptions and assure that the correct amount of medication can be given to a patient for however many days their prescription is valid. The technician may then deliver the prepared prescription to the patient, guide them through the payment process and answer any questions that the patient has about their medicine. If the pharmacy technician encounters a question that they are unable to answer, then they will direct the question towards the resident pharmacist.

Why Are Pharmacy Technicians Becoming More Important?

Pharmacy technicians are becoming more important because more people are being prescribed medications. They’re also needed in new places, such as nursing homes and other facilities where they work closely with a handful of patients to deliver their medications. In a broader sense, pharmacy technicians are vital because they ensure the accuracy and safety of prescriptions.


Visit Thompson Career College for more information on pharmacy technician training.