Pharmacy technicians’ roles and responsibilities vary slightly depending on their work settings but primarily involve preparing medication, counting tablets and labeling medication bottles and containers, providing medication and healthcare products to patients amongst other duties. Assisting a licensed pharmacist, these roles are usually carried out in medical facilities such as hospitals and care homes, licensed retail and mail order pharmacy establishments.
Technician duties, roles and responsibilities in a retail pharmacy setting:
Working within a retail setting, a pharmacy technicians duties begin when they receive an electronic prescription from a doctors office or a patient presents a written prescription or refill request.
- The first responsibility is to check that information on the prescription is accurate, interpreting the doctors’ medication order and ensuring it has been completed correctly.
- It is then the pharmacy technician’s duty to retrieve the correct medication for counting, pouring weighing and measuring as detailed on the prescription.
- Once the pharmacy technician has prepared the medication their next duty is to appropriately package the medication, prepare prescription labels’ and information about the prescribed medication for the patient read.
- The next responsibility of the pharmacy technician is to update inventory records, prepare any medical insurance claims and after the prescription is filled, they will then prepare the price for the medication and record the prescription in the record keeping system.
Before the pharmacy technician can dispense the completed prescription order to the customer or patient, they must first have it reviewed by a licensed pharmacist.
Technician duties, roles and responsibilities in a hospitals and care settings:
When a pharmacy technician works in a hospital, nursing home or other care facilities that deal with prescription medicines, their responsibilities can increase and be much more demanding than compared to working in a retail pharmacy. Most of these kinds of health care establishments operate on a 24-hour basis and usually never close.
Additional duties for pharmacy technician working in healthcare settings include
- Reading patients’ medical charts and preparing medication based on these, which involves checking that the medicine order is prescribed correctly, and updating patients charts with information about delivered prescribed medicines whilst ensuring that there are adequate supplies of medication for the patients.
- Packaging each individual type of medication separately and accurately labeling the medication with the prescribed dosages. Once this has been completed, the pharmacy technician’s duties include safely storing the prescribed medication in the patients’ medicine storage unit for them to be verified for accuracy by a licensed pharmacist.
Depending on the pharmacy technicians certification additional roles and responsibilities can also include making medicine compounds using specific recipes and sterile product preparation if IV certified.