Pharmacy technicians spend their days preparing and dispensing medications while often administering them to patients. They’re an important part of patient care, helping to alleviate disease and manage chronic illness. To become a successful pharmacy technician, you must have some hands-on training and instruction.
What Education and Training Does a Pharmacy Technician Need?
First, you must have a high school diploma before applying for further education. You’ll then need to attend an accredited Pharmacy Technician program, such as the one offered through Cambridge. During your studies, you’ll learn the basics of pharmacology, customer service, pharmacy skills and so much more. The program can be completed in under a year.
After program completion, you must then become certified by passing the National Pharmacy Technician Certification exam. Once certified, you’ll be eligible for entry-level employment as a pharmacy technician.
What Skills Are Important for a Pharmacy Technician?
There are many traits and job skills you should possess to be successful as a pharmacy technician. Some of these skills you may already have and some you’ll learn during your college program.
Personal skills, also known as soft skills, are important for your career. For example, you must be able to make sound decisions and follow instructions when mixing prescriptions. Some of the personal skills you need include:
- Attention to detail
- Task prioritization
There are also career-specific skills you must develop for success. For example, you’ll need to be able to understand insurance and how to conduct transactions. You also need to know medical terminology and how to check prescriptions for accuracy. To ensure the safety of your patients, you’ll need to know how to properly mix and administer prescriptions. Other career and technical skills you’ll need include:
- Maintaining medical records
- Preparing labels for bottles
- Interpreting prescriptions sent from medical professionals
- Processing payments
- Resolving discrepancies in billing
- Preparing compounds
Most of these skills you’ll learn during your pharmacy program. The rest you’ll develop as you gain experience in the field.
Perhaps the most important skills to develop are those involving communication with colleagues and patients. For example, you’ll need to be able to carefully explain prescription instructions to patients. You’ll also need to:
- Answer patient questions
- Explain prescription costs and available payment options
- Preserve patient confidentiality
Ready to Start Your Career as a Pharmacy Technician?
Are you ready for a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician? Allow Cambridge to help. To learn more about our Pharmacy Technician program or to discuss your skills with an advisor, give us a call today at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.