Pharmacy technicians often choose specialized career paths and one option is working in a rest home. Professionals who are interested in elder care or gerontology are often drawn to this field. Considering the potential work environment is crucial for being happy in any career. Pharmacy technicians are naturally interested in medicine and science, but the role of customer service is also paramount. The great news is that job growth in this field is expected to boom in the next decade, so it’s likely that individuals embarking on this career path will be able to easily choose where they will be working.
Job Outlook for Rest Home Pharmacy Technicians
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a pharmacy technician’s median salary is $28,400 or $13.65 per hour. As of 2010 there were 334,000 pharmacy technicians and the field is expected to grow 32% by 2020. Many technicians work full-time, but part-time positions may also be available. It’s critical to consider an employer’s educational requirements when job hunting. The salary of a pharmacy technician is relatively low for individuals who may be saddled with student loan debt.
Education Requirements for Rest Home Pharmacy Technicians
The BLS lists a high school diploma as a requirement, but this varies from employer to employer. Some rest homes may prefer that a candidate has a degree or certification in a related field or is currently enrolled in a program. Since the field is slated to grow exponentially, having an educational background can be extremely helpful in getting a position and ensuring job security and advancement. Related degrees may include chemistry or general science. There are also pharmacy technician certification programs, many of which are available online.
Job Duties of Rest Home Pharmacy Technicians
The BLS defines pharmacy technicians as professionals who work directly with pharmacists to dispense medications and drugs. Depending on state and employer laws, pharmacy technicians may also create ointments and creams. These professionals are often the first point of contact for patients and physicians. It is their duty to do the final check before handing a prescription over to a patient. Even rest homes have “rush hours” when there may be a surge of people waiting for prescriptions.
Work Environment for Rest Home Pharmacy Technicians
Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of environments including hospitals, grocery stores, at military bases, and of course in rest homes. A career in a rest home can be incredibly rewarding for the right person. Having empathy, compassion, an open demeanor, and the ability to work well with an aging population is an absolute necessity. Pharmacy technicians double as customer service representatives no matter where they work, but those in rest homes need to be even more acutely aware of how they serve people.
It’s understandable that some patients have good and bad days. Pharmacy technicians in rest homes will work with elderly patients, families, and the rest of the home’s staff. It takes a person who is able to work with all personality types and thrive in tough situations to succeed in this field. A thick skin can be very helpful in this career.
Planning for a Future in this Career
A career as a pharmacy technician is wholly satisfying to many professionals. However, it can also be a great foundation and stepping stone to other careers such as a pharmacist. Some students pursuing a bachelor’s degree or PharmD become pharmacy technicians to get a taste for the career. This experience can prove invaluable. It is especially useful to those who are just trying to test the waters and to learn more about available career paths. Reading information about being a pharmacy technician in a rest home cannot compare to the actual experience.
By the time a person is considering what type of environment they would like to work in, they are probably fairly serious about their career path. One of the important things to keep in mind about rest home pharmacy technician careers is the clientele and colleagues. A person should realistically consider where they want to spend forty hours of their week to make a well-informed decision.