It is recommended that candidates looking to become a Pharmacy Technician...
...Have strong customer service skills (more on this below).
...Have good social/communication skills (more on this below as well).
...Have a strong background in mathematics, medical terminology and the sciences.
...complete a study-at-home, vocational, technical or community college diploma/certificate program, typically a 1-year program.
...become Registered in your state to work as a technician (most, but not all states now require this.) This is done by contacting your state's Board of Pharmacy and sending in a registration/license application.
...Gain work experience as a pharmacy aide while completing your certificate. Pharmacy aides usually have less complex responsibilities than technicians.
They often serve as clerks, cashiers or stock shelves. Experienced aides often have as easier time finding pharmacy tech jobs after graduation.
...become Nationally Certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians (ICPT.) This involves sitting for and passing their examination.
This exam is voluntary, yet will formalize your education and show employers you have a standardized body of knowledge and skills. It will also show prospective employers that you are serious about becoming a pharm tech and you have put your own time, effort, money into achieving this designation.
Successfully passing the exam will earn you the professional title of "Certified Pharmacy Technician," abbreviated: CPhT.
...maintain your national certification by recertifying. This involves completing 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years.
Becoming a Pharm Tech is not for everyone.
For some people, it is a definate good fit.
For others, it is definetly not.
Some helpful qualities?
Being detail oriented, being discrete and having great people skills are a start.
However, you really need to have an aptitude for and drive to work in the medical/pharmacy field. You really have to have a desire to help people. And I don't say this just for the retail pharmacy tech who needs that desire to help her customers. You may find yourself helping your fellow pharm techs, helping local doctors, helping your pharmacists, helping other pharmacies, maybe even helping the local police.
There will probably always be a need for pharmacy technicians. Pharmacists have a lot on their plate, and techs help them carry the burden. Sometimes it is not glamorous, exciting, or earthshattering.
There is a lot of routine tasks that techs are responsible for.
The first thing that comes to my mind is being the voice of your pharmacy--answering the phone. (I have written an ebook on this topic... its a part of a resource I've written: see the Premium PharmTech Package below.)
Answering the phone before the second ring, politely, with a smile in your voice, and with a desire to help your caller-will place you light years ahead of competitors. Excellent customer service is crucial in todays Pharmacy... and will be into the future. Even if you are just a helpful and cheerful voice on your customers way to your RPH for a clinical type question.
The second thing that comes to mind, that is another routine task, is being proficient on the computer. While it takes time to learn any pharmacy software system, some techs pick up software faster than others. Having excellent typing skills is a huge asset. I don't think there are any modern US pharmacies that are not using computers now. The good thing about being able to type fast is that that skill is always going to be necessary for many other jobs as well. So it is transferrable.
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