If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a pharmacy technician, then knowing what it’s like to work in your chosen field is important. You want to make sure that you enjoy your future career, and that you feel fulfilled by the work you do.
So what is a day in the life of a pharmacy technician really like? Unfortunately, many people don’t know.
Because customers don’t usually go behind the pharmacy counter when they get their prescriptions filled, they only ever really see a small part of all the hard work technicians do. Pharmacy technicians help prepare medications, check inventory, process prescriptions, and count pills for prescriptions – but many people incorrectly think that they’re just “pill counters”.
Here’s a look at what you can expect if you work as a pharmacy technician, and what a day at your future career would really be like.
Work Hours for Pharmacy Technicians
As a pharmacy technician, your work day might start at 8 or 9 a.m. Many pharmacies open at this time, and might stay open until 5, 6, 8, or even 10 p.m. If you want to work a flexible schedule and would rather work later during the evening or on the weekends, then you might apply to work at a 24 hour pharmacy, or one with extended hours.
Because of the incredible flexibility that comes with a career as a pharmacy technician, your work day could start in the morning or afternoon – the choice is yours to make!
Filling Out Prescriptions and Greeting Customers
Once you start your day, you might begin by greeting your first customer. You’ll pull up their patient file on your computer, and double check that they haven’t moved, developed any new allergies, or have any new information that would need to add.
You’ll then enter in their information, and let them know how long it will be before they can pick up their prescription.
Counting Pills and Preparing Medications
In addition to providing excellent customer service, pharmacy technicians also help count pills and prepare medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. During this hypothetical day, you’ve received a prescription for a cream that you need to prepare. You’ll go find the ingredients you need, and the pharmacist will verify that you have the correct ingredients and have measured the correct amounts for each.
Next, you’ll mix together the cream. Throughout your day, you might also make personalized dispill packs and other medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. This is known as “compounding,” and requires precision and good math skills, as well as specialized pharmacy technician training from an accredited college.
Preparing Prescriptions for Seniors
Some pharmacies offer extra help to seniors who need to keep track of their many medications. When they prepare prescriptions for these patients, they might dispense their medications into individual pill cups organized by date and time of day. By creating these personalized pill boxes, pharmacy technicians under the supervision of a pharmacist help seniors make sure they take their medications on time and don’t miss an important dose.
Of course, the work of pharmacy technicians has a lot of variety. They also check inventory, manage stock, and prepare insurance claims, making it a diverse and always exciting career path.