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Pharmacy Technician Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings -
Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
Overview PowerPoint - Overview Podcast


Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other health care products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. They also perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on state rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor's office. They must verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container.

Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities, including reading patients' charts and preparing the appropriate medication. After the pharmacist checks the prescription for accuracy, the pharmacy technician may deliver it to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient's profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The packages are then placed in the medicine cabinets of patients until the supervising pharmacist checks them for accuracy, and only then is the medication given to the patients.

Pharmacy Technician Resources

Online

Overview:
Overview of the work of Pharmacy Technicians
Preparation:
Programs, Degree Fields
Day in the Life:
The Workplace
Earnings:
Salary Ranges, Statistics
Employment:
Employment Options
Career Path Forecast:
Predictions for the field
Professional Organizations:
Resources, Networking, Support
Podcast:
Overview of the field of Pharmacy Technician
Internet Resources:
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists

National Pharmacy Technician Association

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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