In Summary - Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy Technicians typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Pharmacy Technician
Pharmaceutical technicians work in a variety of environments. They can find work in community pharmacies. Prospects also exist for employment in the hospital service, in the pharmaceutical industry, and in the wholesale sector.
In a community pharmacy, the technician is involved in the professional services area under the supervision of a pharmacist. This includes the proper storage of medicines, stock control and rotation, receiving and preparing prescriptions, printing and affixing labels, pricing and GMS coding, maintaining records for controlled drugs and Second Schedule poisons.
In the pharmacy department of a hospital, the technician works under the supervision of the pharmacist. In addition to preparing prescriptions, there is also the assembly and issuing of stocks to wards and theatres. In practice, the work will vary according to the type of services provided in the hospital.
In the pharmaceutical industry, technicians may assist in the manufacture of sterile and non-sterile products and may also be called upon to provide customer related services. Their training equips them to carry out appropriate tasks for wholesalers.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate.
- Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels.
- Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests.
- Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs.
- Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information.
- Price and file prescriptions that have been filled.
- Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients.
- Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer.
- Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages.
- Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Interests - Pharmacy Technician
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You must enjoy working with people and have good communication skills. You will advise medical staff, patients and the public on how to take the medicines you have prepared.
You must be accurate in following procedures and in labelling. You should be methodical and careful in your approach to work. Numerical skills and an interest in science are important.
Entry Requirements - Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy Technician courses at level 6 are available at AIT LKIT Carlow IT and DIT. Courses are typically 2-years in duration. Higher Certificate in Science - Pharmacy Technician is awarded.
Progression is possible to the BSc. Pharmacy and the 5-year MPharm.
Last Updated: October, 2017
Pay & Salary - Pharmacy Technician
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 22k - 50k
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.