A career as a pharmacy tech or pharmacy technician is a great opportunity to get in the health care industry. A pharmacy tech works in a pharmacy, usually under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. They work together, but have different levels of responsibilities and duties. In other words, a pharmacist has more authority compared to a pharmacy technician. However, limited authority does not mean lesser job requirements. There are still job specifications that need to be met by an aspiring pharmacy technician. A pharmacy technicians duties and responsibilities include receiving and processing of approved prescriptions from patients, providing information to customers, processing insurance claims, filling prescriptions and paperwork, and checking and stocking the inventory among others. The scope of the pharmacy tech duties may depend on the supervising pharmacists discretion. Here are some tips on how to become a pharmacy tech. 1. Education and knowledge requirements you can become a pharmacy technician with a high school diploma, but you may want to further advance your knowledge and skills if you really want to pursue a career as a pharmacy technician. Skills like counting and measuring the right amount of medication, managing inventories, and completing dosage forms entails more training and studies than what is learned in high school. Enrolling in a pharmacy technician program is necessary. These programs prepare you for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam. This exam will give you more credibility and leverage when you start your career as a pharmacy technician. Just make sure that the vocational college or online program that you enroll in is legitimate and accredited. 2. Experience There is no better training than practical training. You can learn a lot of things in training programs but working as a pharmacy assistant can give you hands-on experience that can prepare you for your future duties as a pharmacy technician. Some states even require hundreds of hours of experience working in a pharmacy. 3. Certification - The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam is the only way to be a certified pharmacy technician. To take the exam, you will need to comply with PTCB certification policies. This includes having a clean criminal record and being registered with the State Board of Pharmacy. Once you pass the PTCB exam, you will be eligible for employment as a pharmacy technician. Pharmacies may say that they do not require a certified pharmacy technician, but most of them will prioritize certified applicants over non-certified ones. 4. Job application - In terms of where to apply for a pharmacy tech position, you can start checking out the licensed pharmacies in your area immediately after you pass the certification exam. You can either choose to start small (i.e. community pharmacy, outpatient clinics) or immediately go to a hospital or a pharmaceutical organization. Either way, you will be more than capable to get the job when you have the right training, certification, and experience. If you truly want to be a pharmacy technician, you have to take the time to learn the ropes and get the necessary training and certifications. There are no shortcuts to success in this field. Your preparation and continuous improvement of your skills and knowledge will be your investment towards a rewarding pharmacy technician career.
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