A pharmacy technician is someone who is supervised by a licensed pharmacist, and assists him or her in a variety of ways. The job normally involves filling prescriptions by counting pills, packaging and labeling them; entering a patients records into a computer and keeping the records current. They may also wait on customers. Pharmacy techs work in pharmacies that may be located in hospitals, clinics and drug stores.
Although an individual can be hired with nothing more than a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training, it is becoming more necessary to go to school for formal education and training as the field becomes more and more competitive. There are a variety of ways to accomplish training which include options such as getting an associate of arts degree at a two year community college or going to a tech school, which usually does not involve quite as much time.
Courses differ from school to school but the subjects that are commonly taken in pharmacy tech school include pharmacology, anatomy, chemistry, physiology, pharmacy terminology, pharmacy administration, pharmacy law and medical billing. Other courses involve learning how to fill prescriptions such as dosage, pharmacy calculations, drug preparation and compounding medications. Much of the coursework is hands-on and accomplished in labs.
Many schools have programs where you go out into the work force and practice skills learned. Pharmacy technician schooling can take from six months to one year to finish. Once you have completed pharmacy technician schooling, you must take the national test administered by either the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Passing either of these two tests gives you certification as a pharmacy technician.
There are many different tech schools all over the country, which offer Pharmacy Technician programs. Online research can help you decide which route you want to pursue. Graduating from a pharmacy technician school and receiving certification does not guarantee a job; however it can definitely help increase your chances of finding a job in this field.
Becoming a pharmacy technician can be a fulfilling job and some technicians enjoy their careers so much they eventually decide to go on with their education and earn a degree as a licensed pharmacist. If you are interested in this line of work, going to tech school is a step in the right direction. With an increasing demand for healthcare services and with the population growing older, the career outlook for pharmacy technicians is a good one. Pharmacy technician schooling can start moving you down the path toward a successful career. Why not get started today?