What are the responsibilities of a Pharmacy Tech?

More often than not, after seeing a doctor, our next stop is usually visiting our local pharmacy. If you are feeling really rotten, that is usually when the lines are the longest. While standing in line with all the other sick people, you may notice those behind the counter working diligently to fill prescriptions, answering the phone and checking out customers at the cash register. The employees that are personally waiting on customers are called Pharmacy Technicians. Although assisting customers is at the top of their responsibilities list, they do much more. Here, we will look at the job description for a Pharmacy Technician.

The Pharmacy Technician, also called a Pharm Tech, works very closely with the Pharmacist. Typically Pharm Techs do not fill prescriptions, however, they must work under the supervision of a licensed Pharmacist, therefore, if needed, a Pharm Tech may be asked to count pills, measure medications or to mix medicines. The Pharm Tech’s involvement with assisting in medication preparation is often mandated by the state’s regulations. They also must be familiar with a variety of over-the-counter medications, just in case Mrs. Jones has a nasty cough and would like some cough syrup or Mr. Williams needs some hemorrhoid cream. Clients will value your recommendations, no doubt. Pharm Techs also help with preparing labels to go on pill bottles.

Exceptional customer service should be the Pharm Tech’s main goal. Every day, you will spend time on the telephone talking to customers or healthcare professionals. You must have a pleasant speaking voice and pay great attention to details. Your primary goal is to act as a liaison between the customer and the Pharmacist. You may advise the customer on a variety of matters such as, if their prescription has been filled, what the Pharmacist may recommend for certain ailments, as well as, relaying pertinent information to the Pharmacist, when needed. You must be a good listener and be well organized, as you assist customers and the Pharmacist on duty.

In today’s high-tech world, most prescriptions are now sent to pharmacies through some sort of digital means. You will need to know the proper way to retrieve the prescriptions and verify the customer’s insurance coverage. In these situations, you will also work closely with insurance companies to ensure coverage is in effect and that the customers are being charged accordingly. You will also receive written prescriptions, in which you will need to verify the patient’s name, address, contact number, date of birth, insurance coverage and inquire about any known allergies. You will be tasked with maintaining customer profiles and data (and keeping it all confidential), in addition to, other administrative duties, as well. If details are overlooked, mistakes in the information could result in major repercussions, such as, illness or death.

Often, Pharmacy Technicians are tasked with the huge responsibility of maintaining inventory. When you feel bad, the last thing you want to be told is that they are out of your prescribed medication. Although going to another pharmacy may be an option for the patient, sometimes the inconvenience may cause your pharmacy to lose a loyal customer. And, in other cases, it may be an emergency in which the customer needs their medications immediately. Your duties will include making sure that all medications are adequately stocked and that your drug store in not selling medications that are out-of-date.

So, as you can see, a position as a Pharmacy Technician can be a busy one, as you work to balance your attention between the customer and the Pharmacist. If you think this career field is of interest to you, please see our list of the Best Online Pharmacy Technology Certificate Programs.