3 Things You Need to Know to Succeed as a Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy techs support pharmacists in the process of distributing medication to customers and healthcare professionals. Although it sounds like a simple role, pharmacy techs take on a lot of responsibility and need to have good attention to detail. As with any healthcare professional, a pharmacy tech needs to be knowledgeable and flexible to experience success at work.
Here are 3 things you need to know to succeed as a pharmacy technician.
1. Clear communication skills are key.
Pharmacy technicians not only help customers get their medications—but they also help patients to understand their insurance coverage. Before dispensing medication, you will have to verify the customer's insurance benefits to determine how much they will pay for their medication. Some patients may not have a full understanding of their medical coverage, so you need to be able to clearly explain what their insurance can cover. Keep a copy of the insurance card in the patient file to assist you in communicating their benefits at each visit.
2. Manage and organize multiple priorities.
As a pharmacy tech, you will fulfill many duties while on shift. You could be ordering medication, assisting a customer at the register, verifying insurance information on the phone, or organizing stock. To keep everything going at an even pace, you must develop an organization system that works for your team. If you have enough staff working with you at the pharmacy, try to delegate tasks. Medication and patient information need to be carefully organized and checked for accuracy. Some people like to use to-do lists and others find success using calendars or spreadsheets to track their tasks and progress. Find what works for you and your team, and make sure you offer the chance to collaborate on the process.
3. Pill counting policies and expiration labels are helpful.
Your main duty as a pharmacy technician is counting pills to fill the right prescription and managing stock of different medications. Talk with the pharmacist to come up with a pill counting policy. Once you have hit a particular threshold in the number of pills you have left, then you will know that it is time to order more. Similarly, try to label bottles of medication once you have opened them. Medications have different shelf lives and you want to be aware of when a particular medication may expire.
To learn more about being a pharmacy tech, reach out to other pharmacists or training resources.