Pharmacy technician completing everyday tasks

Everyday Tasks of a Pharmacy Technician

If you are considering learning to be a pharmacy technician, then understanding the occupation’s daily tasks is important. Pharmacy technicians work in retail establishments and medical facilities, assisting pharmacists and other pharmacy technicians. A pharmacy technician works in a supportive role under the authority of a licensed pharmacist. While an individual may be trained on-the-job to understand the tasks involved in the pharmacy technician occupation, most receive training at an online or brick-and-mortar college. Each region has its own regulations concerning the proper pharmacy tech training, but the job duties are similar everywhere.

Interact with Others

The majority of pharmacy technicians work in retail establishments that may require working extended hours during the evenings or weekends. Communicating professionally with customers, insurance companies, and physicians is necessary on the phone and in person. Pharmacy techs are required to write information on ordering invoices or computer software programs after talking to customers and physicians, and therefore need strong communication skills.

Maintain Accurate Records

When a customer arrives at the pharmacy, they hand in a prescription for medication. This document is necessary for a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to legally prepare medication for the customer. In many cases, the pharmacy technician must contact the physician’s office where the medication was prescribed to determine if the prescription is valid. This precaution is necessary for highly addictive or previously stolen medications. The government requires careful recordkeeping for many drug categories through both written and online documentation.

Guarantee Confidentiality of Customer Information

Pharmacists are usually responsible for handling medication. However, experienced pharmacy technicians might help with mixing or measuring medication ingredients. Preparing medications requires accurate labeling of customer and medication information. While preparing prescriptions, pharmacy technicians are required by federal law to keep this information completely confidential.

Prepare Intravenous Medications

A pharmacy technician may also work in a hospital or nursing home, providing medications to infirm or elderly patients. Patients in medical facilities are often unable to ingest capsules or tablets due to injuries or old age. Therefore medications need to administered intravenously, meaning the medication must be in a liquid form and placed in IV bags attached to a patient’s veins. Alternatively, pharmacy techs prepare syringes of pharmaceutical drugs before they are administered by registered nurses. Pharmacy technicians working at a medical facility might need to measure doses under high-stress, life-threatening situations.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015