Pharmacy technicians work with licensed pharmacists to fulfill a variety of duties. For example, pharmacy technicians are responsible for gathering information that is necessary for the pharmacists to fill prescriptions. They also take measurements to make sure that patients are receiving the proper doses and package and label prescriptions.
In some cases, a patient does not need a medication in a specific dose or may need to have two different medications mixed together. As a result, many pharmacy technicians are responsible for mixing or compounding medicines.
Mixing and Compounding Medications
Some patients have very unique medical needs that cannot be satisfied by conventional medications. Due to this fact, many pharmacy technicians will take the ingredients from different medications and will use them to create custom medicines that will help meet the patient’s medical needs. Some pharmacists have been adding chemicals to medicines to improve their flavor. There are also pharmacists that try to save their customers money by mixing ingredients together and offering custom medicines at a lower cost. There are also patients who are allergic to specific ingredients and need medically similar ingredients that will not cause an allergic reaction.
Given that these tasks are somewhat labor-intensive, they would not be economical if they were performed by licensed pharmacists. Under the direction of a licensed pharmacist, many medicines are mixed by pharmacy technicians.
Training for Pharmacy Technicians
The primary reason for the appeal of the pharmacy technician career, both for employers and prospective employees, is the shorter span of time that pharmacy technicians have to spend training for the career. The program for a pharmacy technician generally lasts one year. Sanford Brown programs can you help you on this career path. Some pharmacy technicians only receive on-the-job training. There are no national standards for licensing a pharmacy technician. However, most states have licensing requirements that usually require that the employee pass a background check, participate in a formal training program and pass an exam.
For those who wish to become pharmacy technicians as soon as possible, it might be tempting to apply for a pharmacy immediately to obtain on-the-job training. However, there are a large number of applicants for many of these positions and the applicants with the most post-secondary training are the most likely to be considered.
The Demand for Pharmacy Technicians is Growing
The reason why pharmacy technicians are used so extensively in pharmacies is because there is a need for professionals who have enough knowledge of medicine to correctly process prescriptions, but there is no need to hire multiple licensed pharmacists. Doing so would raise the costs for the pharmacy with no clear benefit.
Given the benefits that pharmacies see when they hire pharmacy technicians, there has been a growing demand for these professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for pharmacy technicians will grow by 32 percent between 2010 and 2020. These developments are due in part to a growing number of patients who depend on medications as they begin to develop age-related medical disorders.