Pharmacy Technician Training
There are many ways to train to be a pharmacy technician, including community colleges, schools and organizations, as well as on job training. However, many employers prefer to hire a technician that has taken an accredited course and has received a certificate of certification, and has the knowledge to perform the various duties of a pharmacy technician. There is no standard course that is required on a national level for pharmacy technician training, but each state has their own set of requirements, and most states now require a state license. A certified pharmacy technician is allowed to take a doctor’s prescription order, transfer prescriptions to another pharmacy, and take transfers from other pharmacists. The most important part of a pharmacy technician’s job is to assist the pharmacist in preparing medication orders as directed by doctors for their patients.
Pharmacy technician training courses for certification includes all the various aspects of a pharmacy career, which includes retail and clinical pharmacy settings. When training as a retail pharmacy technician, you must learn the basics of the retail business as well as the medical aspects of filling medications, working with third party insurance companies and maintaining detailed medical profiles on customers. Working withing the clinical, or hospital setting, a technician must also be trained on the special needs of intravenous transmission of medications as well as oral prescriptions. It is interesting to note that prescription bottles will say, “take by mouth”, in order to differentiate from a patient that must receive their medications via a tube or I.V. transmissions.
Pharmacy technician training includes a great deal of math. If you enjoy working with mathematical problems, then a pharmacy technician job will be an interesting and exciting career to pursue. Doctors often write a prescription order for a patient that includes the phrase, “dispense sufficient quantity”. A pharmacy technician must be able to determine the dosage of amoxicillin, written to be taken at 200 milligrams every 4 hours, and dispense the correct quantity needed, based on the days supply the doctor has specified. Pharmacists and their technicians are expected to fill each prescription accurately and timely, insuring that directions are typed correctly and dosage is exactly as written. In many cases, the medication a doctor has ordered for his patient has an urgent need to be taken immediately. A trained technician will know by the type of medication, and by the instructions written on the prescription, that a medication is needed to be dispensed quickly.
The work of a pharmacy technician is exciting and rewarding, and beyond the pharmacy technician training to fill prescriptions, technicians need to be trained as understanding and courteous to the patient or customer’s needs. A pharmacy technician is also trained in the law of HIPPA, the national standard of patient privacy.
Certification as a pharmacy technician must be renewed every two years, and the paperwork must included 20 hours of continuing educational courses. The requirements will include that one hour be on pharmacy law, such as the HIPPA law.
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