Where do pharmacy technicians work?
Currently, hospital, home health care, and retail pharmacies hire the majority of pharmacy technicians. In addition, some pharmacy technicians have been employed in nontraditional settings by medical insurance companies, medical computer software companies, drug manufacturing companies, drug wholesale companies, food processing companies, and even as instructors in pharmacy training programs.
Where can I get experience?
These are some of the places that WCC Pharmacy Technology students visit to gain experience during their studies:
- Beaumont Hospital, Wayne
- Clark Pharmacy
- Pharmacy Solutions
- HomeTown Pharmacy
- Promedica Bixby and Herrick Hospitals
- MedCart Specialty Pharmacy
- St. Joseph Mercy Hospital (Ann Arbor, Livingston and Chelsea)
- Veterans Administration Medical Center
- UMHS HomeMed
- University of Michigan Health Services
- University of Michigan Hospitals Health System (UMHS)
What are the duties of a pharmacy technician?
When working in a pharmacy, pharmacy technicians must work under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. In a retail pharmacy, technicians may stock and inventory prescription and over-the-counter medications, maintain written or computerized patient medication records, count or pour medications into dispensing containers, type prescription labels, prepare insurance claim forms, and manage the cash register.
In hospitals, pharmacy technicians may perform many of the same duties, but they may have additional responsibilities including assembling a 24-hour supply of medication for each patient, repackaging medications, preparing commercially unavailable medications, preparing sterile intravenous medications, maintaining nursing station medications, collecting quality improvement data, delivering medications to patient rooms, and operating computerized dispensing and/or robotic machinery.
In most practice settings, pharmacy technicians perform any duties they are assigned by the pharmacist. The one requirement all these pharmacy technician duties have in common is a need for absolute accuracy and precision in both the technical and clerical aspects of the job.
What are the opportunities for advancement as a pharmacy technician?
Opportunities for advancement vary with the pharmacy technician’s employer. Uniform career ladders for pharmacy technicians are not yet well developed in all practice settings. Many large hospitals do have career ladders, with pharmacy technicians advancing to supervisory roles, or advanced, specialized, technical duties. Advancement in some practice sites is not possible, and will require the pharmacy technician to change jobs.