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Preparing for a career as a Pharmacy Technician involves extensive training, good
communication skills, and a willingness to work with the public.
A pharmacy technician, also called pharmacy technologist, pharmacy medication
technicians, or pharmacy assistants, provide technical assistance for registered
pharmacists and work under their direct supervision. They usually work in a chain or
independent drug stores, hospitals, community ambulatory care centers, home health care
agencies, nursing homes, and in the pharmaceutical industry. They perform a wide range
of technical support functions and tasks relating to the pharmacy profession. They
maintain patient records, count, package, and label medication doses; prepare and
distribute sterile products; and fill and dispense routine orders for stock supplies such as
over-the-counter products. Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of
licensed pharmacist, their work is subject to quality-control checks to ensure accuracy.
High school students interested in the pharmacy tech career should take courses
in mathematics, science (especially chemistry and biology), and English. Also, in
addition courses in speech, typing, computer science, and health will also be useful. Any
extracurricular activities such as: drama, science clubs, or other activities, will help in
developing communications and interpersonal skills. Most pharmacy technicians receive
their education through formal training programs offered through community colleges,
vocational/technical schools, hospital community pharmacies, and government programs.
The length of the program usually ranges from 6 months to two years, leading to a
certificate, diploma, or an associates degree in pharmacy technology. A high school
diploma is usually required for entry into these programs. On a personal level, pharmacy
technicians must be precision-minded, honest, and mature as they are very much
depended on. They must have good hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity to
use delicate equipment and to make correct measurements. They also need to have good
communication skills to successfully interact with pharmacists, supervisors and other
technicians. Pharmacy technicians are often hired by the hospital or agency where they
interned. If employment is not found this way, many use employment agencies or
newspaper ads to help locate job openings.
Technicians often wear scrubs or other uniforms in hospitals, especially in the IV
room. Other technicians may only be required to wear casual clothing. Pharmacy
technicians generally work in health care institutions that are clean and well-lighted.
They work under quiet to moderately noisy conditions. They work closely with
pharmacists and other pharmacy technicians and frequently interact with other
individuals. Pharmacy technicians may specialize in one area of responsibility, such as
drug dispensing and distribution, or they may handle a combination of responsibilities.
Since they may be required to fill in for other pharmacy technicians, they generally must
be trained in all aspects of pharmacy technology. Because most hospitals, nursing homes,
and health care centers are open between sixteen and twenty-four hours a day, multiple
shifts, weekend, and holiday hours will be required.
Most technicians earn between $14,500 to $21,000 per year. Large hospitals pay
more than retail pharmacies, averaging between $16,000 and $23,000. The average
starting pay rate for pharmacy technicians is between $6.50 and $15.00 per hour,
depending on the location, type of facility, and level of training. Graduates of accredited
training programs along with those who are certified, usually receive higher pay than
technicians without such training. Salaries are higher for those who live in the East and
West coasts, and in large urban areas. There is also no travel involved with career. States
with high numbers of retirees, such as Arizona, Florida, California, and New Mexico,
will offer more job opportunities because of the increased need for medical services.
Advancement opportunities for pharmacy technicians depend on where they are
employed, experienced technicians may direct or instruct newer pharmacy technicians,
make schedules, or move up to purchasing or computer work. Some hospitals have a
variety of tech designations, based on experience and responsibility, with an increase in
pay. Experienced technicians will be needed as staff. Some pharmacy techs may choose
to return to school to pursue a degree in pharmacy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
projects that employment of pharmacy technicians will increase much faster than the
average for all occupations. The 54,000 pharmacy technician employed in 1992 are
expected to increase to 76,000 by 2005, an increase of nearly 42 percent. A number of
factors will support the increasing employment
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Technicians, Pharmacies, Pharmacy technician, Pharmacist, Pharmacy, Pharmacy education, Pharmacy school, Pharmacy Council of Pakistan
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