Pharmacy technician role responsibilities

Written by denise brandenberg
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Pharmacy technician role responsibilities
Pharmacy technicians receive and fill patients' prescriptions. (préparatrices en pharmacie image by cédric chabal from Fotolia.com)

Pharmacy technicians work in retail, mail-order, hospital and assisted-living pharmacies. Most pharmacy technicians are only required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, while many have formal training from community colleges or technical schools. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, most pharmacy technicians must be registered with individual state pharmacy boards as well. They typically report to licensed pharmacists and perform several functions in their daily roles.

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Receive and Process Prescription Requests

The main responsibility of pharmacy technicians is receiving and processing patient prescriptions. This begins with a written or called in prescription from the customer, or patient. The pharmacy technician is responsible for verifying that the prescription is accurate and complete by cross checking it with previous prescriptions and contacting the prescribing doctor if he has any questions or issues. After verification, the pharmacy technician retrieves, weighs, counts, measures, pours or mixes the medication. He then selects and prepares the medication container. Once the container is prepared, he labels and prices the prescription before giving it to the pharmacist for final approval. After approval, the pharmacy technician files the prescription in the pharmacy database.

Manage Patient Information

Many pharmacist technicians are also responsible for maintaining patient files and profiles, as well as preparing insurance claim forms, according to the Pharmacy Technician Schools website. This process includes updating patient information, such as other medications and address changes, as well as calling insurance companies. These responsibilities typically require a polite and patient demeanour and attitude. In nursing homes, assisted-living centres and hospitals, pharmacy technicians record information about the specific medication, such as how many times a day it is taken and how much is taken. This duty requires a high level of confidentiality and maintaining patient privacy.

Administrative Tasks

In small pharmacies without pharmacy aides, pharmacy technicians do many clerical and administrative tasks. These tasks include answering the phones, operating cash registers and general customer service duties. Pharmacy technicians must be knowledgeable on the latest medicines and their availability. Some certified pharmacy techs even advise customers on what to eat or avoid eating while taking the medication, as well as overall diet and health changes. Other responsibilities include stocking shelves and taking inventory on all the over-the-counter medications in the pharmacy. In hospitals and assisted-living facilities, pharmacy technicians deliver medications to staff physicians or nurses. Some retail pharmacy technicians act as the assistant manager under the pharmacist and assist other technicians, as well as train new employees.

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