Skilled Pharmacy Technicians are crucial to a well-run pharmacy and play a vital role in the healthcare industry. Working in a variety of environments, including retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, and hospitals, a Pharmacy Technician assists the Pharmacist in dispensing of medication, including, in some cases, compounding medication and answering patient questions concerning their prescriptions. With a steadily aging population and an increase in chronic illnesses in the United States, the need for trained Pharmacy Technicians is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow at least 12% in the next ten years, making over 450,000 open positions available.¹ With an increased need for skilled Technicians who are able to take on more tasks that were previously strictly performed by Pharmacists, there’s no better time to take the first step toward a rewarding career. Here are some essential skills you’ll need as a Pharmacy Technician Professional!
You should be detail-oriented. As a working Pharmacy Technician, you’ll be expected to keep track of patient and prescription information, as well as accurately assisting the Pharmacist in filling prescriptions. Serious health problems and complications can result from the incorrect combination of medications and patient safety is a crucial element of healthcare.
Communication skills are a must. Even more important than being a people person, it’s essential for a good Pharmacy Technician to have solid communication skills. Besides having to clearly take prescription information over the phone from prescribers, you need to be able to ask the right questions and listen closely to patients and doctors to determine what action, if any, needs to be taken.
Customer Service Skills. While some Pharmacy Technicians can end up working in a mail-order pharmacy with little direct contact with patients, most will work in a retail or hospital environment. Working in a fast-paced, patient-centric environment means that you need to be able to effectively interact with a variety of personalities. This means being polite and helpful to all patients, and being able to keep your cool when a patient is upset about something.
These skills are important for not only succeeding in the field but ensuring that the patient is getting the treatment they need. That’s where Penn Foster’s comprehensive online training program comes in! With a curriculum modeled after the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacist (ASHP) standards and regulations, Penn Foster’s program can help you learn the foundational skills to prepare to work in the field. Our candidacy for accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) also ensure you’re learning the skills relevant to the field. Covering career readiness and soft skills, laws and regulations, and the different drugs and materials you may encounter, including cutting-edge virtual simulations and a robust lab kit included with your materials to help you prepare to sit for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, you can take the first steps toward a career you love.
¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet here.