9 Skills Every Aspiring Pharmacy Technician Needs to Develop
January 28 2020 - In 2018, there were about 397,000 pharmacy technicians employed in the United States.
This job is predicted to grow, and more people will be needed to fill those jobs.
If you want to work in a pharmacy without having to do as many years of school as an actual pharmacist would have to, maybe being a pharmacy technician is right for you.
But are you wondering whether or not you have what it takes to become a pharmacy technician? Well, here are nine skills of a pharmacy technician in the industry, that you'll need as well.
1. Attention to Detail
Are you good at paying attention to every little detail? Some things you'll be able to learn in pharmacy technician training, but attention to detail is a very important part of the job.
When you're handling prescription medication, you'll need to know exactly how much to give patients. You want to make sure that you are giving them the correct medication and dosage.
The pharmacist will likely tell you how much to measure, mix, dose, and dispense of the medications for customers. You'll need to make sure you follow their directions closely though.
You need to make sure that you are completely accurate because even the smallest mistake could ruin a patient's health.
You'll also need to watch out for things like drug intolerances, mixing drugs, and making sure you don't give them any drug they're allergic to when you check their prescriptions.
In any job, you'll need some level of problem-solving skills.
As a pharmacy technician, you'll have to resolve conflicts between you or the pharmacist and the customers. You may even need to solve problems between your other coworkers and maybe even insurance companies.
If medicine is out of stock or something else goes wrong while you're on the job, you'll need to figure out how to fix the problem and make sure that everyone is happy and satisfied.
You'll need to make sure that you have good communication skills as well.
Not only will you have to communicate with customers, but you will also have to talk to the pharmacists, insurance companies, and doctors. You'll need to be able to listen and tell them if there is something wrong or if you don't understand something.
When talking to customers, you want to make sure that you are compassionate and empathetic. Make them feel like they are listened to because you are a part of their healthcare team.
To be able to communicate effectively, this will also mean that you need to have a good grasp of pharmaceutical and medical terms.
4. Computer Skills
While on the job, you'll have to use a computer and different kinds of software to update or look at prescriptions. You may even need to work with insurance companies on the computer as well.
You don't need to know everything about computers, but some basic understanding of how to quickly and effectively use it will really help you out.
5. Mathematical Skills
You'll need to be good at math as well.
When you are filling prescriptions, you might need to compound medications or figure out how much a patient really needs.
You'll need to make sure you can do your math accurately because if you get the wrong answer, it could affect your patient.
6. Inventory Management
While you're on the job, you'll also be responsible for organizing and managing the pharmacist's inventory.
You'll need to know how to properly handle and store different drugs and medications. You'll also need to organize the supplies and make sure that you always have enough.
It will also be your job to return any expired or damaged medications, so you will need to be on top of all of that.
7. Time Management
Most employers look for candidates who are good at time management, and a pharmacy technician job will be no different.
You'll have many different tasks, and you'll be working in a busy pharmacy setting. You'll need to make sure you can maximize your time as much as possible so that you can get everything done efficiently and still please customers.
On your own, you may not be able to fill out every single order at the same time, but you will need to prioritize which ones are important and which ones can wait. This way, you will make sure that your patients don't have to wait too long and that everyone gets their prescriptions on time.
If you do need help from coworkers, make sure that you use your communication skills to ask them for it. You may even need to delegate tasks to them if you know that you aren't going to have enough time.
8. Good Organization
With how busy a pharmacy can get, it can really help the process go faster if everything is organized and always in its space.
The busier you get, the harder it will be to stay organized, so it's great if you already have these skills.
If the pharmacy is organized, it will be easier to make sure that the medications are filled out correctly and as quickly as possible.
9. Great Customer Service Skills
Lastly, you always want to make sure that you have good customer service skills.
You'll be interacting with a lot of patients and customers, and you want to make sure that you are polite and respectful toward them.
Try and help them in any way they can. You should also know when you need to step back and ask the pharmacist to step in and resolve the issue.
Do You Have the Skills of a Pharmacy Technician?
If you think you have the skills of a pharmacy technician, you will need to do a little bit of schooling and training first.
Once you have completed that, you can start applying for various jobs to start your career today!
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