Canadian Online Pharmacy CHS

What is a Pharmacy Technician?

Pharmacy technicians are the senior members of the pharmacy team who oversee and plan the delivery of drugs and provide advice to customers and patients. In the community pharmacy, they can also be interested in the implementation of certain public health services, such as guidance on smoking cessation.

Life at work

The role of pharmacy technician is governed and has developed dramatically in modern years. You will perform some of the same roles as a pharmacist, engage with customers and monitor the stock of medicines in a community pharmacy, and engage with other members of the healthcare team.

At the hospital, you may be in charge of the pharmaceutical section, be eager to take medicine histories from the patients, update drugs, counseling, and provide advice and recommendations on different treatment methods. You should also work on the application of IT programs, regulation and the safety of medicines. You are likely to have a connection between the clinic, the patients and the pharmacy, or to make medications where ready-made preparations are not available.

At the community pharmacy, they can advise patients on smoking cessation and provide information on alternative treatments for patients in a specialized field, such as mental health or general practice.

The job of the pharmacy technician shall involve:

  • Take in and hand over the prescriptions
  • Provide for prescriptions
  • Using computer systems to produce product lists and labels
  • Order items
  • Receiving, packing, unloading of deliveries
  • Delivery of drugs to other parts of the hospital or community center
  • Selling of OTC drugs
  • Answering questions from the customers either personally or by phone
  • Pre-packing, preparation and labeling of drugs
  • Prepping medicines
  • Referring concerns or questions to the pharmacist

They usually work under the direct guidance of licensed pharmacists, and while some technicians go on to become licensed pharmacists, more prefer to extend their specialization through education and training in pharmacy automation or health information systems. They can also be elevated to supervisory positions, overseeing other pharmacy technicians.

Difference Between Pharmacy technician and the Pharmacist

The difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician may not be noticeable.  They all work behind the pharmaceutical counters to assist with the prescriptions, but their roles differ. A pharmacist is receiving intensive preparation to gain in-depth pharmacy expertise so that they can review the prescribing order for consistency and educate customers about the use of medications. The training of pharmacy technicians varies by state. They normally carry out day-to-day duties in the pharmacy, such as maintaining customer support, making prescription insurance claims and filling out prescriptions.

Where do they work?

Pharmacy technicians are not only employed in the local retail pharmacy and pharmacies.  They also operate in hospital settings, drug stores, nursing homes, veterinary pharmacies, and home delivery pharmacies. Whether you can fill out a prescription anywhere there’s usually a pharmacy technician able to work behind the counter.

Depending on the area, certain pharmacy technicians need to be able to work long hours or even overnight.  Pharmacy technicians work with a team of health teams in hospitals, patient care and neighborhood pharmacies. They also work in retail pharmacies in stores or on the town centers, in nursing homes or with other employers that offer services.