How Much Math Is REALLY used by a Pharmacy Tech?

by Meg
(Waco, TX, USA)

I think in words and letters; not in numbers. Please forgive this cautious fool for asking repetitive questions I am sure you have been asked before. So my question is, How much math is REALLY used by a Pharmacy Tech? Is there a system used to help with conversations and dosage amounts? Or does this Automation system count out the correct dosage or is it all still done by hand?

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About the Math Answer
by: David Shedd

I don't think you are a fool. But there are a lot of math calculations used by pharmacy techs. As a pharmacy technician, you will need a close attention to detail. Numbers are very important. Decimal places are very important, as well as quantities, figuring days supply, etc. Math is even more important if you are working in non-sterile compounding, IV compounding, or Hospital pharmacy. I will be writing more pages of content on this site about Alligations, Ratios, Conversions and Percentages very soon.

Automation systems usually count out the most commonly dispensed medications, but there is still a lot of pills that are counted out by hand (at least in community retail pharmacies.) Automation systems are great, but a tech needs to enter the information into the computer first, before the system can count out the right medication.

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