The Purpose of Pharmacy Management Systems

Pharmacies are complex businesses. Even a minor pharmacy in a small town has a substantial amount of responsibility and moving parts. In fact, big pharmacies and mom-and-pop pharmacies a like wouldn’t be possible today without the advent of pharmacy management systems.

What is a Pharmacy Management System?

The pharmacy management systems are a type of computer system, often called a pharmacy computer system. These systems are not a single piece of software but rather a unified collection of components that can be added to and removed from the system on a plug-and-play basis. An essential component of any such framework is the point-of-sale (POS) system, which is similar to the POS found in a grocery or hardware store.

Legal and Ethical Responsibilities:

A pharmacy, however, has important responsibilities that a hardware store or grocery generally does not. A pharmacy, for instance, is charged with ensuring that customers get their prescriptions precisely how they are prescribed by their doctor. Mistakes can result in loss of life. For this reasons, pharmacies seek to limit the opportunity for human error. One of the primary ways they do so is by integrating a prescription dispensing system into pharmacy management systems. A prescription dispensing system is robotic and computerized, and it ensures that the prescription is filled precisely how the doctor ordered it.

Billing of Claims:

The vast majority of money that enters a pharmacy’s coffers comes from insurance companies or Medicare and Medicaid rather than directly from the customer. In this way, a pharmacy is a lot like a health organization, and pharmacy computer systems must integrate that aspect as well. After a prescription is filled, modern systems automatically process and track the insurance claim.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations:

A pharmacy must also comply with all local, state and federal regulations. The pharmacy cannot rely on the medical professionals for compliance because there can be extenuating circumstances in play, such as two separate doctors unknowingly providing a prescription to the same client. A modern pharmacy system will automatically check any request before it is processed, and if that request is in violation of a law or regulation, it will deny it.

Health Care Network:

The modern pharmacy management systems must also be connected to the health care network that provides services to its area and even throughout the country. Imagine a scenario where a pharmacy needs further instruction when filling a prescription for an out-of-state customer. Modern systems ease that burden by automatically providing the pharmacy with all the contact information and alternative contacts that it needs.

The author is having a proper knowledge of automated pharmacy systems which are very useful for the people who want to get complete understanding of the systems.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compounding Pharmacies

If you are facing the need to use a compounding pharmacy for the first time, there’s little doubt that you have questions. Compounding pharmacies are available, but they are not commonly used by most patients. Here are the most frequently asked questions about these pharmacies.

What Is a Compounding Pharmacy?

In essence, this type of pharmacy is one that customizes medications that are not commercially available. Medications are prescribed by a physician, veterinarian, or other medical provider. The medications are then compounded, or put together, by a state-licensed pharmacist. These pharmacies are typically utilized for people and animals that have unique health concerns that commercially available medications cannot address.

Are These Types Of Medications Safe?

You must understand that compounded medications are off-label. This means that the FDA does not approve them. That said, compounded medications are considered safe when put together and sold by reputable pharmacists. Before you order or ask for a compounded medication, ask your doctor to recommend a pharmacist or pharmacy. Not all professionals are skilled in the art of compounding medications.

Why Do I Need This Medication?

There are a variety of reasons why you may need a compounded medication. For example, if your pain management drug is difficult for you to swallow, your pharmacist may suggest a liquid or transdermal version. If you are experiencing sensitivity to an ingredient in your hormone replacement, your doctor may have a medication compounded without that particular ingredient.

Compounded pharmacies also make medications for veterinary patients. Often, flavoring is added or liquid is made in order to increase palatability for a pet.

Where Do Medication Ingredients Come From?

The ingredients that are put into compounded medications come from the same suppliers as the big pharmaceutical companies. These companies are inspected and regulated by the FDA. The ingredients in your compounded medications are considered safe for consumption.

Who Regulates These Pharmacies?

Just like typical pharmacies, compounded pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed at the state level. There is also an entity known as the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) that has developed national standards that compounding pharmacies must follow.

Does the FDA Inspect Compounding Pharmacies?

The FDA does not inspect compounding pharmacies, but this should not dissuade you from making use of their services. The FDA does not inspect typical pharmacies. The regulation of pharmacies and pharmacists has always been handled by individual states. The FDA does, as has been stated, inspect and regulate the facilities that produce the ingredients that go into these medications.

Compounding pharmacies are on the rise as people become more aware of them. Up until the 20th century, all pharmacies were of the compounding type. It wasn’t until just a century ago that the pharmacies we are used to seeing today arose. If your doctor suggests a compounded medication, you can feel safe in taking it. Follow the same safety protocols as you would with a typical medication, and speak with your doctor should you experience any adverse events.

Emad Yousef is the owner of Trinity Pharmacy. At Trinity Pharmacy, we specialize in compounding customized medications to meet your specific needs, whatever those needs may be. Whether you are in need of quality pain management, customized hormone replacement therapy, dental compounding, or special vet medications for your pets, we have the skill, equipment, and experience required to ensure you get just what the doctor ordered.

Thinking of Becoming a Certified Pharmacy Technician?

The Role of the Technician

Technicians will have different roles depending on the setting in which they are going to be working. In a retail setting they usually perform all of the following:

  • Assist pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical care
  • Perform tasks such as computer/data entry,
  • Medication preparation/selection
  • Counting and labeling
  • Refer patient questions regarding medications and drug information to the pharmacist
  • Handle inventory
  • Bill insurance carriers

Technicians in a health system pharmacy (such a hospital), could also be responsible for the following:

  • Reviewing patient charts
  • Prepare and deliver medications to nursing stations
  • Perform unit dose packaging
  • If certified, they can prepare sterile materials such as IV antibiotics and chemotherapy products.

Certification

In the past, the majority of pharmacy technicians were trained on the job after being hired. The problem with this is that on the job training by its very nature is very employer specific and usually limited to the tasks that employer would like you to perform. In most cases, it does not provide the necessary training or background regarding pharmacy practice. Formal education requirements, competency exams and registration with a State Board of Pharmacy is now slowly taking over on the job training. Many states in the USA already have certification requirements to even be eligible for a technician job. It’s only a matter of time until more and more states adopt legislation requiring all pharmacy technicians to receive formal training and to become certified.

Certification Exam

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) is an exam administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and is taken upon completion of the pharmacy technician training course. The exam is officially recognized by over 25 individual State Boards of Pharmacy. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and needs to be completed in a 2 hour window. There are three areas of measured competence:

  • Assisting the pharmacist in serving patients – This is the most comprehensive portion of the exam. In includes material on dispensing prescriptions, distributing medications and collecting/organizing information. You also will need to scan prescriptions for accuracy and validity, perform certain counting tasks and performing certain pharmaceutical calculations. This section of the exam consists of 66% of the total exam material.
  • Maintaining medication and inventory control systems – This section will test you on knowledge of placing and receiving drug orders, storing drugs correctly and other inventory related questions. This section of the exam consists of 22% of the total exam material.
  • Knowledge of pharmacy operations – This section will test your knowledge on general pharmacy operations including various workflow based questions, maintaining pharmacy establishments, various legal questions and questions on dispensing and computer management systems. This section consists of 12% of the total exam material.

Career Opportunities

In terms of jobs that don’t require a college degree, being a pharmacy technician is ranked one of the highest in multiple categories. It consistently ranks in the top 100 fastest growing jobs also in the top 100 best jobs without a college degree. The annual job growth rate for technicians is over 25%! So, where are all of these technicians going to work? Retail pharmacy is but one job area that pharmacy technicians can work in such as:

  • Clinical practice
  • Compounding
  • Nuclear medication
  • Training & Education
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Research & Development
  • Consulting

The Pharmacy Technician Class

The course itself usually consists of 14-15 classes spanning 7 to 8 weeks. The course is certainly comprehensive! Here is a list of topics that you can expect to learn during the course:

  • History of pharmacy
  • Pharmacy law and ethics
  • Health system pharmacy and technology
  • Inventory management
  • Health insurance billing
  • Compounding and sterile products
  • Math skills
  • Dosage calculations, concentrations and dilutions
  • Alligations
  • Parental calculations
  • Dosage formulations and administration
  • Drug classifications
  • The different systems of the body

Pharmacy Business Owners: When to Consider Retirement

Will the pharmacy business experience declining profits over the next few years, and if this happens will the local community pharmacy be able to stay in business?

Does it seem that business profits for pharmacy owners are being attacked from every angle? Have you read the articles detailing these points:

• Reimbursements for diabetic testing supplies are being reduced.

• For patients who have recurring monthly prescriptions the government is nudging the public to purchase by mail-order instead of visiting their local pharmacy.

• The multipliers used to calculate reimbursements for Medicaid are expected to be lower than the pharmacy owner’s actual costs.

• Dispensing fees regulated by many state agencies are being reduced.

• The average wholesale price (AWP) paid to drug stores is being trimmed.

The federal government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) negotiates pharmacy reimbursement rates for prescription drugs plans. Many states may take longer to provide the reimbursements. Other federal and state legislation may affect both the profits and the viability of staying in business. There are also issues regarding higher personal taxes and higher capital gain taxes that need to be considered.

Over a number of years many independent drug stores have already been sold. These owners are gone and they are not looking to buyout their local competition. There are fewer young people willing to take the chance of business ownership. Some pharmacies have been closed due to the fact there was not a qualified buyer in the area. National and regional drug store chains have been sold during the past few years. The consolidation of pharmacy industry is seen as an advantage for the buyer, but for the local community pharmacy owner the consolidation provides added uncertainty to their business.

It is expected that in the coming years, if circumstances don’t change, that current pharmacy owners will receive considerably lower purchase prices than their associates did 10 years ago. With the average pharmacy owner closer to the age of 60 than 40, many of the current pharmacy owners will need to take a hard look at their retirement expectations.

When ready for an exit strategy, what does a pharmacy owner do when there are fewer willing buyers? Who will pay them an adequate amount for a business they have spent a life time building?

Pharmacy owners, who do not plan on exiting the pharmacy industry until a few more years, will waiting a year or two really put the most amount of money in the bank for the pharmacy owner’s retirement account? If the business is sold now, can the proceeds be injected into other investments that would offer a higher return? The pharmacy owner should have their accountant calculate some projections, and the pharmacy owner will need to personally keep a diligent eye on any new regulatory proposals. By not being on top of what is affecting the industry, a pharmacy business owner could see a serious impact to the person’s retirement plans.

Pharmacy owners are small business people. Financially they have done well during their career, but most would not categorize themselves as wealthy. The pharmacy is probably the largest asset they will ever own so any consideration of selling the business at the right time should come with a great deal thought.

In a normal flow of transferring a drug store to a new owner, the process typically takes about nine months. This is important for a business owner to understand. To deposit the largest sum of money into the bank for retirement the decision to sell the business cannot be a quick decision, nor should the business be put on auction block for a quick sale. When it is time to consider retirement the appropriate planning needs to take place.

Fat Blaming is Alive, Well and Taken to the Extreme in the Western World

Fat blaming people say: “global warming and obesity are linked”

Huh? Well why didn’t it dawn on me before that during my fat years I was contributing to global warming? Fortunately, as fat is catching the blame here, my sins must be forgiven because I did time as an anorexic when, if skinni-ness absolves you from this mortal sin, my carbon footprint must have been about zero at that time and hopefully canceled out my sins as a fattie.

But now I’m thinking – do those who never fall pregnant get some sort of credit too? After all, surely any pregnant women must also use more gas when they fly or take a car?

And what about men, particularly sportsman with high percentage of muscle (which, on a scale, weighs three times what fat does) than women – how come we haven’t heard about how much they’re doing their bit to contribute to global warming as well? Well I suppose that wouldn’t fit the global warming and let’s blame this on obesity too theory.

And talking about increasing fuel costs of an aeroplane… any idea how much the alcohol they pack on plane weighs? So how much are drinkers contributing to global warming? Oh but I forgot, we’re looking for fat blaming reasons to link obesity to global warming – so scrap that idea!

What those fat blaming people haven’t yet cottoned onto that DOES link fat people to global warming

So let me give you a bit of background first in support of the argument that global warming and obesity are indeed good bedfellows.

A few years back I was asked to calculate the percentage body fat of over 1000 employees for a medical insurance plan. There were a few things that struck me as I spoke to each person whilst doing their measurements. And the pattern was particularly prevalent amongst women.

Firstly, it was easily obvious that women carried far more body fat than men. OK so there’s nothing new in that – that’s what nature intended. But what really struck me forcibly was that the higher the percentage body fat of the women in that group (51% of them), the younger they were when they’d started dieting and the more diet products they’d had and very few of them felt they were actually fat when they’d started dieting.

Now, for all those fat blaming people out there – herein lies a vastly more powerful explanation for how fat people and global warming indeed ARE linked because there is a REAL reason that global warming and obesity belong together.

The more diet products people have bought the more they should have a finger pointed at them for causing global warming. After all:

  • Diet products have to be manufactured… where? In a carbon belching factory of course!
  • Diet products have to be packaged…where? In a plastics factory which does it’s share to add toxic chemicals to our air.
  • Diet products have to be advertised…where? In glossy magazines and newspapers which only destroy a couple forests every year.
  • Diet products have to be transported to fill those bulging pharmacy shelves in one of those gas guzzling, carbon-producing trucks.
  • And that’s not all we should be pointing fingers at obese people when it comes to this global warming stuff. After all – who do you suppose is consuming all those sugar-free, fat-free heavily processed diet products that have to be manufactured, packaged, advertised, transported and so on???? Why all those desperate global-warming fatties of course!

What else can those fat blaming people find to blame fat people for?Hmmmm….oh, I know…the poor quality of our roads. After all because there is so much weight on their tires, it’s quite logical. And by logical deduction then – it must mean that California has enormous numbers of fat people because when you cross the state line into Nevada, the roads miraculously improve. Maybe anyone above normal weight (whatever that is) has been banned from being allowed to drive in Nevada!

And come to think of it…. I wonder how come we haven’t yet found a way to blame earthquakes and tornadoes on them too. You know something like: obese people moving together cause natural disasters. However, come to think of it, I didn’t see too many fat Chinese in TV footage of the most recent earthquake there.

I guess fat people are also to blame for the fact that they get worse service than other people in shops, and the fact that they marry less often that skinny people, and let’s not forget to blame them for the general stigamatisation and fattism that exists in our culture as well. I mean, heck, if they weren’t fat, we wouldn’t have to be so judgmental right? Wrong!

All this fat blaming of fat people is only reflective of what a fat-hating, diet-pushing, overly critical world we live in. There is no holy text that claims we are any more or less worthwhile based on our weight or shape. Those are man-man standards that fall very far of ‘love they neighbor.’ Harsh judgments speak much more loudly about the people making them than the people they are made about.

And talking about more gas usage…. I received an e.mail the other day that I’ve admittedly altered a bit: “Never hold your gas in, as it travels to your brain and this is where sh!tty ideas like the global warming and obesity one come from”.

Area of Practices in Pharmacy

A health professional who practices the science of linking between the health disciplines with chemical sciences is called a Pharmacist, whom are accountable in ensuring the safe and effective use of medicines. Medicines have various functions and serve different purposes, which is why pharmacy may be practiced in different areas.

Most pharmacists practice their profession in a Community Pharmacy. It comprises of a retail storefront with a dispensary for storing and dispensing medications. All pharmacies whenever open are required to have a licensed pharmacist on-duty or must be owned by a registered pharmacist. But this was later revoked in many jurisdictions since many establishments have a pharmacy department. Nowadays, pharmacies are not limited to retailing and dispensing medicines, but like grocery stores with many selling a variety of items including cosmetics, shampoo, office supplies, confections, snack foods, durable medical equipment, greeting cards, and provide photo processing services.

A Hospital pharmacy situated inside hospitals have more complex medication management issues in contrast to the more complex business and customer relations issues of a community pharmacy. It stocks a larger range of medications dispensed in the hospital either as unit-dose or a single dose of medicines.

In Clinical Pharmacy, patients are provided with direct care services optimizing the use of medication for health promotion and disease prevention. It initially began in hospitals and clinics but now, clinical pharmacists administer care for patients in whatever health care setting. The clinical pharmacist’s work is in collaboration with physicians, nurses and other healthcare personnel in various medical and surgical areas, making their profession an integral part of patient care.

Preparing drugs in new forms is the job of a Compounding pharmacist. For example, a drug manufacturer provides a certain drug in tablet form, the compounding pharmacist might produce a medicated candy containing the drug, thus a patient may only suck or eat the candy if he has a hard time swallowing tablets. Compounding may also mean mixing different strengths of capsules and tablets to produce desired effect by the doctor.

A Consultant pharmacist concentrates on medication regimen review rather on the actual provision of drugs and typically works in nursing homes.

Internet pharmacies have been established worldwide since the year 2000. Many are alike with community pharmacies which may serve customers online or walk-in. Internet or Online pharmacies are recommended to those who are home-bound or those who prefer a more private and convenient method in buying medicines. Since some online pharmacies sell drugs to online consumers without prescription, one major concern of this area of practice is the ease by which people, especially the youth, can access prescription or controlled drugs.

Animal or veterinary pharmacies stock different assortments of medications for animal pharmaceutical needs. They are often separated from regular pharmacies.

Nuclear pharmacy’s main concern is the preparation of radioactive materials for diagnostic tests and treating certain diseases.

A Military pharmacist has a working environment which is completely different from the others as most of the duties performed by the technician might be considered illegal in the civilian sector.

In Pharmacy Informatics, pharmacy practice science and applied information science are combined together. Informaticists work in many areas of pharmacy but may well be trained to take part in medication management system development, deployment and optimization.

The Way Internet Pharmacy Reviews Will Help Buyers Get the Best Shipping and Delivery Choices

Buying medicines from an online pharmacy is a necessity nowadays, and online generic pharmacies make it more affordable. However, customers should check which online pharmacy provides them with the right terms in terms of price and shipping cost.

With the global financial slump, people do not want to become ill today. A visit to the health care provider sometimes costs large sums of money. Getting prescription medication from the nearest pharmacy is an inconvenience, too. The option to order medicine online provides a more affordable remedy to the problem. There are also generic pharmacies on the web and they provide some of the right medications for consumers who would like to use the internet in buying drugs. Pharmacy reviews help out with picking the right online pharmacy to buy from.

The majority of online generic pharmacies have a wide range of products to choose from. You can choose from common drugs such as antibiotics, pain relief drugs, and allergy relief medications.They also have generic drugs for erectile dysfunction as well as some popular weight loss pills. However, because these are online retailers,people have to be aware that there are shipping costs charged by a number of online generic pharmacies. Obviously, that’s not always the case, as online pharmacy reviews will indicate. One generic pharmacy will not charge shipping fees, while another may charge their customers per delivery.

Polices with regards to the length of shipping and shipping price varies. As an example, some top-ranked web based generic pharmacies ship by means of registered mail and EMS. It will take about 10 to 21 business days for drugs to be shipped to customers by means of registered air mail, while EMS takes 7 to 10 business days.

EMS costs much more than registered mail, plus they only ship to a number of countries. Web based generic pharmacies will give consumers a tracking number when their purchases are shipped. Customers can now have the convenience of tracking their purchases on the web.

The duration of shipping days depends on the internet based generic pharmacy. Consumers should take a look at pharmacy reviews on the web to determine what would suit their needs. Generally speaking, a client is encouraged to submit a home address for the reason that some online pharmacies won’t process orders when delivered to post office boxes. However, it’s a good idea to check with them because some online pharmacies ship to PO boxes.

Some online pharmacies will ship 48 to 90 tablets on numerous deliveries.You can find online pharmacies that usually do not ship to what they consider as high-risk nations like Ghana, Cambodia, Haiti, and Russia. Many will even reship orders if they do not show up within a three week period and if the address provided is correct.

If an order is not delivered or is damaged during the shipping process, the online pharmacy can offer a total refund or issue a second shipment at the customer’s request. It would take 21 business days before an order is shipped. Online generic pharmacies have toll free numbers in addition to local numbers available for customers and they do not process orders on a weekend.

Shipping and refund procedures vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. It is best to check with your online generic pharmacy on their own regulations regarding shipping, delivery, and refund. Nowadays, every consumer should ensure he receives what he purchased and they should only do business with an online generic pharmacy that offers the best price and shipping cost. Pharmacy reviews can help you decide which online pharmacy offers a smooth shipment process, making sure that your purchases are shipped properly and by the due date.

Pharmacy Technician Degrees And Certification For Better Career Prospect With Lucrative Salary

You may be planning to make your career in Pharmacy field by becoming a Pharmacy Technician. But, are you aware of the various Degrees and Certification that can be availed by completing different types of training programs. But, before we continue with the technician degree and certification, let us find out, who pharmacy working personnel are and, how degrees are helpful in their pharmacy career perusal.

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy professionals are these working individuals, who aid a licensed pharmacist in running his medication store, by helping him in prescription preparation, offer safe and quality customer care and services, provide medications to patients, perform administrative duties, inform them about various effects of the drugs, look after cash counter, bottle labeling, arrange and pack drugs, and perform multiple common pharmacy works.

A technician works in different types of pharmacy settings, such as drug store, retail pharmacies, chain pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, super market medication store and so on. He/she is also well versed with state and federal pharmacy law, rules and regulations, which are essential for safe and effective customer and patient services.

Degrees

Though, it is not necessary to pursue any formal academic course for working in a Pharmacy but, availing the proper education, training and certification highly brighten their job prospects and provide them opportunities to earn higher salary. The advancement in medical science and technology, and discovery of numerous new life saving drugs have also prompted Pharmacy owners to employ professionalized, knowledgeable and skillful technicians.

There are many community colleges, schools, trade schools and online training programs, which offers various degrees to a Pharmacy Technician.

Different types of Pharmacy Degrees can be summed up as follows:

Certificates
These certificates offer training programs, which train an individual for a retail or clinical environment, by providing basic and fundamental skills necessary to perform the job functions in these settings. These Certificate programs can be completed in less than a year. Only, high school diploma is pre-requisite for entering this program.

Diplomas
These diploma programs are prepared to supplement the prior accrued knowledge, with skill based education. Many students holding associate degrees in medical assisting or similar degrees and planning to enter pharmacy field, opt for this program. The duration of the course is around one year and this course also prepares a student for his/her Certification program.

Associate’s degrees
This program provides more detailed knowledge and skills as compared to certificate and diploma course. Associate degree program offers broad training on medical field, together with focused training in pharmacy practice. The student is also offered outside externship for practical hand-on job experience, which makes a student familiar with exact pharmacy working conditions and makes him ready, when he/she join any pharmacy for working.

By availing these degrees, a Technician can highly brightens his job prospects with better salaries and can also avail Pharmacy Technician Certification by passing PTCB test.

Pharmacy Technician Certification – Job Or Healthcare Career Stepping Stone?

If you are deciding whether a pharmacy technician job is right for you, then this article will help point out why you should go for it. You can either make pharm tech a career or use it as a stepping stone to get into another healthcare career. Either way, pharm tech is a good entry option for obtaining a career in healthcare.

Career, pharmacy technician is a good career option. It is relatively easy to get in to, most states require very little to become a pharm tech and the most difficult states require only two semesters of education. Healthcare is a necessary industry, it isn’t like people are about to stop using medications anytime soon. Pay is pretty good, it tops out at about $18-20/hour in most states (about $40 thousand/year). If you stay in the field, there are pharmacy technicians that get between $20 to $30/hour for specializing or taking on higher level tasks (eg, pharmacy buyer of a large inpatient hospital pharmacy). There are a lot of career options as a pharm tech. You can work in retail pharmacies all across the country, majority of hospital pharmacies employee technicians for drug distribution in the hospital. Home care, long-term care, and mail order are other types of pharmacies that employ pharm techs. Finally, you can be a pharmacy technician just about anywhere. This of course is because you can find a pharmacy just about anywhere.

Stepping stone, many healthcare positions have to know about medication. This makes being a pharmacy technician and obtaining a good knowledge about medications a great stepping stone job for most healthcare careers. Besides obtaining knowledge about medications, there are many pharm tech positions that can work weekends, evenings, and graveyards. This makes it possible to earn enough to live on while attending college full-time. Let’s look at a few of the key careers that benefit from having a pharmacy technician training first. Pharmacist, this of course is the road I took. I was a pharmacy tech for over 8 years before starting pharmacy school. I really enjoyed being a pharmacy technician and the field of pharmacy. One of my pharmacists recommended I go to pharmacy school. So I did, and in pharmacy school I found that my experience as a pharm tech gave me an advantage over those who weren’t. When we were learning medications, I already had the generic, brand, and drug class down. This meant that I could focus on learning the details of each drug versus some of my classmates who needed to study the names of the medications. Medical doctor, I know a couple of technicians that went on to medical school. The same principles apply as to pharmacy school. As a doctor, you need to know about medications and how much of a bonus would it be to already know the drugs and classes. Nurse, many pharmacy technicians go on to nursing school. Having a good working knowledge about medications as a nurse is a fundamental skill. To start off with that knowledge before even starting nursing school is great.

The best part about pharmacy technician being a stepping stone is that it makes way for new technicians to take their place. This means that pharmacy technician is a career field that always has openings. Because of this group of technicians who will eventually leave their position as they transition to a new career, we will always have a need for seasoned pharm techs to train, manage, and be the anchor for out technician work force. Being this anchor comes with the benefit if higher wages and job satisfaction. In the end, whether planned or not, pharmacy technician is a great place to start. To maximize your chances of getting a job, check out my article on 3 strategies for getting a job.

Pharmacy Technician Schools – What’s the Best Place For You?

The main responsibility of a pharmacy technician is to help licensed pharmacists fill out prescription requests that come from hospitals, physicians, nurses, and from patients themselves. This task includes retrieving prescription orders, counting, measuring, weighing and pouring medications, mixing medications, selecting proper prescription containers, and creating prescription labels. Afterwards, a licensed pharmacist checks the completed prescription before it is given to the patient.

Aside from filling out prescriptions, the technician assists in the pharmacy’s day-to-day operations and performs non-medication-related functions, such as preparing insurance claim forms, maintaining files, attending to cash register transactions, taking inventory of over-the-counter medications and taking calls.

Pharmacy technicians need to have proper training for the job. Aspiring technicians have to enroll in and complete pharmacy technician training courses. There are schools that offer associate-level degrees; others offer certificates and diplomas for degree holders who wish to be employed as technicians. The best training opportunity they can get comes from on-the-job training in pharmacies or within the pharmaceutical industry.

There are training sessions that prepare students for certification as pharmacy technicians. These are available from pharmacy schools, community colleges, hospital and military career colleges and pharmacy associations. The sessions consist of both classroom and laboratory classes and may include an internship period where students learn hands-on the techniques and skills associated with the job. They may also study online through a variety of online course training programs. At the end of the training, the students receive a diploma, a certificate, or an Associate’s degree, and they also become entitled to take the National Pharmacy Certification Examination.

Formal pharmacy technician education programs require classroom and laboratory work in the areas of medical and pharmaceutical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmacy record keeping, pharmaceutical techniques, and pharmacy law and ethics. Aspiring technicians are required to learn the names of medications and their actions, uses, and doses.

Pharmacy tech certificate programs provide the basic skills needed for the job and usually take less than a year to complete. The only requirement is a high school diploma. Primary technician diploma programs are longer and are designed to add to the stock knowledge gained from the initial certification and prepare the graduates for certification exams. A pharmacy technician associate’s degree program takes around two years to complete and provides a broader scope of training in the medical fields, as well as focused training in pharmacy practice.

Pharmacy techs are not confined to pharmacies; they can also be found in hospitals, medical stores, health and personal care stores, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This is a profession that is best suited for self-starters, for people who are easily motivated and are science and math-oriented. It’s also a job that requires people skills because in retail pharmacy, the people in the business talk to customers all day long. In addition, since this a job in the area of health care, the pharmacy technician has to be willing to work flexible hours, including holidays and rest days.

There is opportunity for growth in this kind of a career. As many as 50 pharmacy training schools have been listed as of 2008; the number is growing as opportunities for employment continue to be very strong. People will always need medical care and attention; therefore, there will always be a strong demand for any role that is played in the hospital setting, e.g. laboratory technician, nurse, surgeon. The wealth of opportunities is there; go after it.