Pharmacy technicians are some of the most in-demand professionals right now. That’s because the role is critical to ensuring patients get the best possible health outcomes by accurately processing prescriptions and medication.
A pharmacy technician is usually the first contact for patients getting medications. You will receive and process the prescriptions from patients and those sent electronically (online) from their doctors’ offices.
You’ll prepare the medications by counting, mixing, or pouring and accurately assigning labels and packages, following drug handling and storage safety practices.
You’ll manage drug inventory and prepare and process insurance claims. You’ll deal with patients and customers as well.
A high school diploma or General Education Degree (GED), a pharmacy technician certification/registration, and licensure for the state you’re working in can help you get started as a pharmacy technician. But, you’ll also need to have specific personality traits.
Make sure you have these seven pharmacy technician personality traits to become successful in your career:
A pharmacy technician has to be alert and focused at all times, even though you’re working in a fast-paced environment.
You must ensure that the right medications are dispensed at the correct doses or strengths. Errors can be severe, often putting the patient’s health or life at risk.
Filling prescriptions and compounding medications require basic mathematical skills such as adding, subtracting, and multiplying units of measure.
As a pharmacy technician, you have to balance the duties delegated by your pharmacists, like stocking shelves and keeping an inventory, while serving patients and customers. You have to stay organized to manage many tasks at the same time without missing a beat.
For this role, you’ll be dealing with different personalities both in-person and on the phone. Some of them can be difficult and demanding. You may even find yourself in the middle of conflicts between patients and insurance companies.
You’ll need to be patient and empathetic even if you’re having a rough day yourself.
Communication skills focus on exchanging vital information effectively. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand. Ask for information to be repeated if you didn’t get it the first time. Communication is a two-way street.
As part of your job, you may have to correctly interpret patient questions and concerns and redirect them to the pharmacist or the correct department.
Another important “people” skill is the ability to be a good team player. Taking instruction and handling criticism is essential to becoming a successful pharmacy technician. You’ll also need to manage conflicts with co-workers if and when they arise.
You don’t have to be a techno-maven to succeed in the field. But you must have a basic understanding of technology. You should be able to use the computer, scan guns, tablet counters, and cash registers. You should also be familiar with the software applications that pharmacy technicians use.
All of this can sound overwhelming at first. But the key to building a career in any field is to take things one step at a time. With training, experience, and persistence, there’s no reason why you can’t be a successful pharmacy technician in time! Ready to take the first step toward a new career, pursue your Pharmacy Technician certification with MedCerts today!
As MedCerts Pharmacy Technician Program Director, Sherrie Moore is responsible for the planning, implementation, coordination, supervision, and evaluation of all instruction and related Pharmacy Technician program management activities. She oversees the fulfillment of educational goals and objectives, ensuring program compliance with state standards and requirements, and ASHP criteria, regulations, and policies.
Sherrie holds her PharmD from Western University of Health Science, College of Pharmacy, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has worked in both retail and hospital pharmacy operations; taught pharmacy technician instruction and has served as pharmacy technician program director and program chair.
Sherrie lives in Southern California with her husband of 30 years and three daughters. She loves to garden, play piano, and spend time with her fur babies.