Before, licensed pharmacists were required to prepare prescriptions, count pills and prepare ointments by hand. However, with the improvement of the manufacturing process of pharmaceutical companies and the practice of delivering medicine by bulk, these tasks are no longer commonly performed by pharmacists and they are now allowed to focus more on their clinical duties.
Still, someone must be in-charge of measuring doses, counting pills and typing up instructions for patients. This is where technicians come in. They are now the ones who prepare pills, measure doses and give instructions to patients. They do this under the direct supervision of licensed pharmacists.
Technicians perform their duties under the close watch of pharmacists who reviews all the prescriptions before they are given to patients.
There are cases where customers will ask questions about their medications and other miscellaneous health matters, the pharmacy technicians must arrange for the customer to speak with the pharmacists during these circumstances.
Becoming a Technician is a rewarding career, with pharmacies opening up in malls, retail areas, hospitals and clinics, the properly trained pharmacy technician is sure never to run out of employment.
However, the task isn't easy. Here are some of the qualities required from pharmacy technicians.
1. Attention to detail - given the power of today's medicines, the pharmacy technicians must be accurate and precision minded so as not to hurt patients.
2. Well-versed in mixing medications and can follow the supervision of licensed pharmacists - this is not a profession that tolerates mistakes. One slip-up can cause harm or even death of a patient. The pharmacy technician must be focused and clear minded when performing their duties.
3. Professionally trained - educational requirements for pharmacy technicians include a high-school diploma and pharmacy technician certificate obtained from community colleges, vocational or technical schools, or other similar institution.
The qualities may look hard but the good thing about this career is that the growth is backed-up by the baby-boomer generation who are increasingly requiring more medications today and in the years to come.
A lot of technicians learn on the job while others take professional certification via formal education in pharmacy technology programs at community colleges or vocational schools. These institutions award certificates and the programs usually last a year or less to cover the entire variety of subjects required.
Important subjects required includes arithmetic used in pharmacies, recordkeeping, medicine dispensation procedures, pharmacy law and ethics. You will also be required to learn medicine names, actions, uses and doses.