Pharmacy Technician assisting a woman in scrubs with a medication
Pharmacy Technician assisting a woman in scrubs with a medication

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5 Ways Pharmacy Technicians Help Pharmacists and Patients

Do you want to break into the booming healthcare field, but aren’t sure if you could ever be around broken bones and blood? If so, a career as a pharmacy technician might be a good alternative to direct patient care.

You probably have some understanding of what a pharmacist does. But you’re not alone if you’re not quite sure what it is that a pharmacy technician does. If you were a pharmacy tech, you’d provide support to pharmacists to ensure that a pharmacy runs smoothly and patients get the medications they need. Job descriptions for pharmacy technicians can vary by state but here are 5 ways that you’d help out pharmacists and their patients if you joined the profession:

1. Verify Prescriptions

Medication is often an important part of patient treatment. That’s why it’s critical that patients get exactly what their doctors intend. As a pharmacy technician, your very first job is to confirm a patient’s  identity and make sure the prescription they hand you is valid. Make sure that all the necessary information is on the script, such as the doctor’s name, business address, and phone number. Confirm that controlled substances include the prescribing physician’s medical license number. If there’s anything that looks off, bring it to the immediate attention of the pharmacist.

The prescription also must contain the full name of the patient and clear dosage instructions. If a prescription seems to be missing something, you need to check in with the pharmacist to determine the proper course of action. Properly verifying orders allows you to quickly identify and correct any issues that could cause a delay in providing patients with the medicine they need to get better.

2. Assist with Insurance Claims

After accepting a prescription, you’ll need to verify insurance coverage. Thanks to modern technology, this is often an easy step. If you’re helping a returning patient, their information is likely already in your database. If anything seems amiss, you might have to contact the patient’s insurance company for clarification and payment authorization. After you make sure the patient’s insurance information is all set, you can process the claim. If for some reason the claim is denied, you’ll need to find out why and follow up with the insurance company to swiftly resolve the issue.

3. Prepare Prescriptions

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll help fill prescriptions under the close supervision of the pharmacist. Depending on the state you live in, you may pack, label and prepare medications for the pharmacist to review before selling it to a patient. You may also need to organize medications, count out pills, prepare labels with patient information and dosage instructions, and locate proper containers.  

4. Maintain Inventory

A key function you’ll perform is to keep track of inventory and make sure there is an adequate reserve of medications and medical supplies to meet customer demand. This can include basic ordering and restocking in a retail setting or purchasing medications for a hospital. A well-stocked pharmacy can help ensure that patients get their prescriptions as quickly as possible and that you never run short.

5. Provide Customer Service

If you work in a retail pharmacy, you’ll probably be the first person with whom a customer interacts. It is important for you to be friendly and welcoming to make a customer’s experience as pleasant as possible. Your customer service duties can include taking payments, locating over-the-counter medicines for customers and promptly directing any medical questions to the pharmacist.

Becoming a Pharmacy Technician

If you are interested in a career as a pharmacy technician, consider the Certificate in Pharmacy Technician Program at Charter College. We can help you acquire the skills you need to work at a pharmacy, hospital, clinic, or compounding pharmacy. Give us a call at 888-200-9942 to learn more now.