What do you know about Pharmacy technicians? Pharmacy technicians work as assistants of pharmacists in a pharmacy near you. They are the familiar face in the health care sector. Their primary job is to deliver medicine to patients. The role of a pharmacy technician has evolved over the past few years in the UK.
What are the fields of Pharmacy Technician jobs?
Being a pharmacy technician you will be working in pharmacies. But again the field of work is not only limited to a pharmacy. There are 2 major sections you maybe be working into:
1. Dispensary Pharmacy Technician
A dispensary pharmacy technician is a common face when using the word “Pharmacist”. You will work in retail stores, drug stores or grocery shops where medicine is available. As a pharmacy technician, you will interact with people. You will provide medications to patients according to the prescriptions.
Your responsibility includes ensuring the patients receive the right medicine. You have to guide the patients about the dosage of the medicines. Moreover, you have to provide proper doses of controlled substances. You will be selling over-the-counter medicines and other products. In some cases, you might need to provide services like flu shots or other vaccinations to walk-in patients.
2. Clinical Pharmacy Technician
You will be working in clinics, hospitals or health care centres as a clinical pharmacist. Your duty will be to prepare prescriptions. Also determining their validity and processing every transaction. Moreover, advising patients on how to intake a course of medicine. In a clinical or health care organization it is required to work as a part of a team. Because they distribute the work among the teams to increase their efficiency.
Salary & working hours of Pharmacy Technicians
In recent times the demand for medicines is increasing. The primary reason is the occurrence of various health issues. As a result, the demand for a pharmacy technician is also increasing.
Salary of a technician depends on the place and the organization you will be working for. According to Indeed, the average salary of a dispensary pharmacy technician is £25,500 per year in the UK. Though the salary also depends on your experience. You can expect to earn £18,000 to £60,000 per year(without benefits) in this sector.
The National Health Service – NHS has determined the standard service hour of a pharmacy technician. Generally, you will be working for 37.5 hours a week, from 9 am to 5 pm. Some pharmacies provide 24 hours service to their customers. Thus, you have to keep the mentality of working in night shifts or even on weekends. Some organisations allow their workers to choose their convenient hours. Still, you have to be ready to face all types of emergencies.
Training required to get Pharmacy Technician jobs
The demand for a pharmacy technician is increasing more than a pharmacist in recent days. It requires a lot of time, money and effort to become a pharmacist. Then again a pharmacy technician has to work under the supervision of a pharmacist. It requires much fewer efforts. There are different types of training opportunities available to become a pharmacy technician. For instance:
1. Formal training
Several educational institutions have professional programs for pharmacy technician. You can get a formal education from there. In general, these pieces of training are time-consuming. On an average to complete the certification process it needs 6 months to 2 years time frame. The advantages of this training are that they cover wide ranges of necessary courses. Which includes pharmacology, biochemistry, chemistry, accounting, inventory, and basic computer skills etc.
After completing certification you can transfer your credits to a four-year study plan. Only if you are aiming to become a pharmacist. Though it will need more time and cost, formal education will enhance your scopes in this sector.
2. On the job training
Most pharmacy technicians do not own prior experience in this sector. That is why they receive on-the-job training. The trainee technician must cover the requirements of the job in the training. After each training session, the trainee has to face a test. The individual can join the next session only if they achieve the passing score. It requires 6 months to 1 year time to complete the training. Though it depends on the learning capability of the trainee.
3. Online training programs
Although every pharmacy technician receives training before joining. But, employers prefer a skilled person for the job. You might find formal education too costly and time-consuming. Then, you should go to the Online Training Programs to get your training.
These training programs don’t need any experience or previous qualifications to enrol. You can complete the training in your own time and place. You have to complete within the given time frame for certification. After the certification, you will get a hard copy or a PDF copy or both if you want. It is much easier to achieve than the traditional formal education. And, it is recognized by CIQ and CPD Qualification Standards.
Essential skills to get Pharmacy Technician jobs
Certifications on the related subjects help to build your career. But having skills is as important as achieving certifications. You have to deal with the patients for their medications. So, there is no scope of errors while dealing with customers. You have to be efficient as well as polite and fast while serving them.
1. Listening and communication skill
You have to listen carefully while dealing with customers. Remember that the prescription might have all the information needed. Or even you might have written the instructions. But the customer might not have understood some of those.
In this scenario, you must keep patience. Listen to the customer and answer the queries in good order. Your attention will make the customer feel special. Happy customers are assets to any organizations.
2. Multitasking, organising and time management skill
In a pharmacy, you will have to face enormous pressure. Before you get started, you must organize your working environment. You have to know the position of all available medicine. List the items that are not in stock and always keep an eye on the expiry dates.
Organizing your station will help you to serve many customers at the same time. It will also enable you to make you quick and save your time. It is wise to maintain a hard copy of the list of medicines. Or even a soft copy in a computer will help. While you are not around the corner it will be useful for your co-workers.
3. Computer literacy
Basic computer literacy is a must in this field. You might have to learn to use some software that different pharmacies use. A list of some popular software is:
The usage of the software varies to employers. The employers also arrange short training sessions. So that the recruits get acquainted with the environment. Thus, computer literacy will help you to adjust to the environment very quickly.
4. Maintain accuracy of your service
In a pharmacy, you will be serving patients with medicine. You have to provide the proper dosage according to the prescription of the doctor. So you have to be very careful while providing medicine or advising them about the dosage. Always check and double-check the medicine that you are dispensing.
5. Keep a smile on your face and be empathetic
A simple smile of yours can make the day better for the customer. The person might be in great pain, in a great hurry or might be worried about their loved ones. At that time your good behaviour heals the person to some extent. It will make him understand that you are aware of his situation and trying your best with your services.
That will be all for today’s blog. Don’t waste your time and start working on your career. If you are passionate about the sector, sooner or later you will shine in this profession. Don’t forget to comment if you want us to add something to the blog.
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