What Does it Take to be a Pharmacy Technician?

//What Does it Take to be a Pharmacy Technician?

What Does it Take to be a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians are the people behind the counter that do much of the base work.  They prepare medicines to be dispensed by the pharmacist, stock shelves, and accomplish tasks assigned to them by a supervising pharmacist.  Since they are handling medicines that aid people living their daily lives, it is important that they are equipped with the proper skillset and legal qualifications.

Legal Requirements

The legal qualifications vary from state to state, so if you are considering taking this type of position, you can see your state’s legal requirements here.  Some of these potential qualifications include registering with the state’s board of pharmacy, passing a certification test, and passing on the job training with a licensed pharmacist.  States are slowly picking up more regulations.


As mentioned above, pharmacy technicians are handling patients’ important medications, so adequate understanding of math is very necessary.  It is important that a pharmacy technician can work well with fractions and percentages, adding and multiplication, and other generic math skills.  Patient safety is the highest priority, so it is important to avoid major blunders caused by simple math errors.

Be able to Learn Pharmacy Laws

Pharmacy laws are the governing laws that are issued by the Drug Enforcement Agency as well as federal and state laws that govern the pharmacy.  Being able to comply to rules that are there for the protection of both the patient and the staff is important.  One of the most important is not making any judgement calls.  If an issue that requires a judgement call should arise, have the pharmacist handle it.

Be able to Organize

Being able to organize the workspace effectively can lead to increased efficiency and a decreased number of mistakes.  A logical organization system benefits everyone.

Basic Computer Skills/Computer Literacy

We live in a modern age with technology that makes many jobs easier.  Being computer literate is important for ease of filling out electronic forms correctly.

Be Dependable

It is essential that a pharmacist be able to trust you to accomplish the tasks you are assigned.  Accomplishing tasks you agree to do in a timely manner helps the pharmacy run smoothly, and the pharmacist will not feel the need to be constantly looking over your shoulder and micromanage.

Be Patient-Oriented

Pharmacy technicians are usually the ones directly speaking with the consumers.  It is important that a pharmacy technician view them as patients before viewing them as customers.  It is a prevalent philosophy to satisfy a customer, but a pharmacy technician has to be patient-oriented over customer-oriented and do what is best for the patient’s health over what they directly want.

For example, if a patient mentions they have been non-compliant in the use of a particular medication, it is important that the pharmacy technician call over the pharmacist so that the issue can be properly resolved.

Be able to Communicate Effectively with Insurance Companies and Medical Personnel

At times, pharmacy technicians are going to need to communicate with other medical personnel and insurance representatives.  Understanding the lingo of both of these industries and being able to communicate with them effectively increases efficiency.  This skill decreases confusions caused by miscommunication and is seen as highly valuable.

Be Willing to Become Certified

]While not important to have done from the onset, most employers would prefer a pharmacy technician to become certified.  This is another aspect that can differentiate you while applying if you have it or state your desire to attain it.

Be Willing to Ask Questions

Understand why you’re doing something is important.  Be inquisitive.  It helps you gain greater amounts of information and understanding of why a pharmacist prefers things run a certain way.  While not wanting to undermine a pharmacist, respectfully questioning a pharmacist’s request can potentially prevent accidental mistakes.

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By | 2018-03-24T14:55:54-06:00 January 23rd, 2018|Tips|0 Comments

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