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A Career Outline For Pharmacy Technician Jobs

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This field has good career prospects with first-rate economic benefits and rewards. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in providing health care products and medications to patients in a variety of locations. They routinely prepare prescribed medicines for the patients; by counting the tablets and fixing labels to bottles. The pharmacy technician refers questions regarding drug information, prescriptions or health matters to the pharmacist.

Certification»»
A National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination, conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, which is held at various examination centers at a national level, has to be passed in order to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (also called a Cht). Candidates are required have a high school diploma/GED, and can not have any record of felony. Once qualified, pharmacy technicians need to be recertified every two years.

The eligibility criteria for recertification is to have completed twenty contact hours of pharmacy related topics, within the two-year certification period. Attending lectures, college course work and on-the-job training are all considered for awarding contact hours. In addition, it is mandatory to have a minimum of one contact hour in pharmacy law. Flexibility allows contact hours to be earned from different sources. Up to ten contact hours can be earned by working under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

Other sources include:

* Attending pharmacy trade schools and Colleges»»
* Belonging to pharmacy associations
* Pharmacy technician training program.

As reliance on pharmacy technicians continues to grow, more states and employers require pharmacy technicians to be formally educated and certified. Some employers offer to reimburse the cost of the examination as an incentive.

Pharmacy Place & Nature of Work

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Pharmacy technicians generally work in hospitals, general medical stores, health and personal care stores, and retail pharmacies or mail order pharmacies. They receive prescriptions in writing and requests from patients for prescription refills.

The pharmacy technician has to verify the information in the prescription, for completeness and accuracy. The preparation of the prescription requires the pharmacy technician to retrieve, count, pour, measure, weigh and occasionally mix the required medication. They have to select the type of prescription container, and create and fix the labels on it. After it is filled, they price the prescription and file it. The pharmacist then checks this before it is given to the patient. Pharmacy technicians may be required to prepare insurance claim forms, maintain patient profiles, and take an inventory of over-the-counter prescription medications. They must be aware of the latest medicines and their availability. At times, they also need to advise the patient about diet and health requirements.

Pharmacy Technician Salary


According to available records for 2006, pharmacy technicians earned a national average median hourly wages of $12.00 per hour. The highest figure was $16.61 and the lowest was $11.00

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