To be successful as a Pharmacy Technician, you will require a certain skill set. These skills must align with those necessary to run a Pharmacy.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the top skills that you will need to start your career as a Pharmacy Technician, referring to both soft and technical skills.
Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role within the medical field, and to become a valued pharmacy tech, a specific skill set is required to effectively manage the operations and provide assistance to patients in meeting their medical needs.
Operating under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, Day in the Life of a Pharmacy Technician has the responsibility of managing the entire pharmacy and fulfilling important duties.
(Read More: What is a Pharmacy Technician?)
Before we go in-depth to learn about pharmacy technician skills, let us first understand the duties of a pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians are generally at the front face of a pharmacy and play a major role in assisting patients.
Their duties include the following:
- Answering the calls
- Talking with different medical representatives
- Greeting the patient & checking their medical prescription. Post that, you have to process and dispense medicines to the patient
- Assisting the physician
- Facilitates communication between patients, doctors, nurses, and insurance companies
- Maintaining patient record
- Maintaining Stock & Inventory
More at: What does a pharmacy technician do?
Top Skills of a Pharmacy Technician
As a Pharmacy technician, your job is to make sure the pharmacy is running smoothly. For that, there are some skills that you will need to incorporate.
This can include high levels of accuracy, attention to detail, and good communication skills.
These skills can especially come in handy for you while you handle the day-to-day tasks as a pharmacy technician since they generally tend to multitask throughout the day.
- Technical Competence:
Pharmacy Technicians must have a strong foundation in terms of pharmaceutical knowledge and the technical terms that are used in the medical field. Additionally, they should also have a basic understanding of drug classification, dosage, and drug interactions.
- Attention to Detail:
This is one of the most important skills a Pharmacy Tech needs to have. Now, if we talk about attention to detail, it basically means the ability to ensure that the medicines are dispensed accurately and in the correct dosage.
They are responsible for carefully reviewing or examining prescriptions, verifying patient information, and carefully measuring and packaging medicines.
- Organization and Efficiency:
Working in a Pharmacy can be very challenging. You will need to dispense medications to patients on time, keep track of inventory, fulfill administrate tasks, and much more. To ensure the pharmacy runs smoothly, you will need to organize your workflow and be efficient with your duties.
- Ethics and Confidentiality:
As a Pharmacy Technician, you have to meet the ethical standards set by the medical authorities. You have the responsibility to handle sensitive information, and maintain privacy and security protocols.
You will also be interacting with patients regularly, and hence you need to make sure that their information is kept private and not shared with anyone else.
- Continuous Learning:
In this fast-paced world, the healthcare industry is growing and evolving with new medications and technology. We can say that the medical industry is dynamic. To adapt to the changes, Pharmacy Technicians should be open to learning and try their best to stay updated with the latest innovations and technologies in their field.
To be a successful Pharmacy Technician, you must actively look for professional opportunities to develop and stay updated with the industry trends.
- Effective Communication skills:
Pharmacy technicians have regular interactions with pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and patients.
A Pharmacy Technician acts as a bridge between pharmacists, patients, and other healthcare professionals they answer various queries verbally. They need to have strong communication skills to effectively convey information to patients and answer such queries.
There might be a situation where multiple queries arise from customers, and you may have to perform different tasks at the same time.
You will need to have maturity and patience while dealing with patients, co-workers, nurses, and doctors in order to solve conflicts that may arise with patients, insurance companies, or co-workers.
Related: Pharmacy Technician Facts
Task Related Skills
Pharmacy Techs need to pay close attention to insurance requirements, such as documentation, coding, and billing procedures. Being well-versed in pharmacy laws can ensure the smooth functioning of the pharmacy. Here are some skills that are
- Complying with laws:
As you gain experience, it’s important to be familiar with Federal laws. You’ll also need to have a good command over court procedures and other codes of conduct. These requirements ensure that you can effectively carry out your responsibilities and maintain a high standard of professional conduct.
Again, this is not something that is asked of entry-level pharmacy techs. But, if you transcend into management roles, you should upgrade your skillset.
- Efficient Inventory Management:
In order to be successful in this job, it’s essential for you to be well-versed in proper storage procedures for drug supplies.
Not only that, but you should also have sufficient knowledge to recommend alternative ways for inventory management, as well as be familiar with the process of returning expired or defective pharmaceuticals.
- Processing Insurance Claims:
Processing Insurance claims can be a time-consuming process. As a Pharmacy Technician, it’s your core responsibility to continuously follow up with the insurance company and keep the patient updated for a hassle-free process.
Technical skills are vital to the success of a Pharmacy technician’s career. These skills show how effective you are in handling various machines and software. Nowadays, technology is used to support daily operations at busy pharmacies.
From robotics to computer software, a pharmacy technician is expected to look after the automation process. Further, as a pharmacy technician, you should know the fundamentals of chemistry, pharmacology, medical terminology, and mathematical calculations.
- Keeping yourself updated:
With new inventions and discoveries happening all the time, especially in the field of healthcare, it’s crucial to stay up to date, especially when it comes to medication names, brands, and techniques. As a Pharmacy Technician, you should keep yourself updated with the abbreviations and pharmacy calculations.
- Working with TCG Packing Machine:
Often patients have to buy entire bottles or strips of medications, even if they only want medicine for a few days.
This issue has been solved by TCG packing machines, wherein the medicines are packed in pouches according to the dosage required by each individual. This packing technology benefits patients, and as a Pharmacy Technician, you are expected to have a basic understanding of how to use the TCG Packing Machine.
- Customer service:
Pharmacy technicians often interact directly with patients, providing assistance, answering inquiries, and addressing concerns.
Good customer service skills, including patience, empathy, and professionalism, are important to ensure positive patient experiences.
- OP Robotic and Barcode Station:
Nowadays, you might have observed a scanning system while billing certain goods. Whether it’s at a mall or a pharmacy, there is a Barcode Station that helps prevent administration errors.
These machines help to identify the identity of medicine and stock of medicine and help in billing. Pharmacy techs are required to be proficient in using these systems.
Continuous learning and staying updated on industry developments are also important for professional growth in this field.
Do you need to have all the skills when you’re just starting out? Absolutely not. As we said, there are a few essential skills that you can have, but as you grow in your career and get more experience, you can acquire more & skills. The more skills you acquire, you will be worried about Pharmacy Technician’s Salary.
Click on to: Pharmacy Technician FAQ
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