Important Job Skills for Pharmacy Technicians
A pharmacy technician needs to have a well-rounded skill set to help patients with their medication needs.
A pharmacy technician assists the pharmacist in running the operations of the pharmacy, interacting professionally with customers, and complying with regulatory laws. Pharmacy technicians work in drugstores, grocery stores, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities.
Education and Training
Certification as a pharmacy technician (CPhT) is achieved by passing the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) and completing several hundred hours of training on-the-job comprising work with different prescription drugs, learning about pharmacy operations, and adherence to ethical standards.
The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accredits pharmacy technician programs, which are available at community colleges and vocational schools. Most certificate programs can be completed within a year or less; associate degree programs usually take two years.
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They work in retail pharmacies, hospitals and other medical facilities, and grocery stores. .
- Answering patients' questions and troubleshoot medication issues
- Processing and filling prescriptions
- Advocating for patients’ compliance with medication guidelines
- Reporting drugs' adverse reactions
- Maintaining relationships with physicians
- Assisting in facilitating communication between the patient and insurance companies, doctors, nurses, and labs
- Maintaining current notes and paperwork related to the patient’s drug therapy and pharmacy care plan
- Reviewing medication orders and prescriptions and organizing medications for dispensing; preparing labels; calculating quantities, and preparing intravenous solutions
- Checking pharmaceutical stock to assess inventory level; placing orders; removing outdated drugs
- Complying with state and federal laws
What Skills Do Pharmacy Technicians Need?
Important traits for pharmacy technicians range from dependability and integrity to attention to detail and sound reporting skills, supporting their ultimate goal of ensuring that drug therapy is carried out safely and successfully.
There are a number of soft skills that pharmacy techs need to have. Technicians need to be able to follow the directions of their pharmacy manager and the pharmaceutical company, communicate with staff and customers, and be organized and able to multitask.
- Continual Learning
- Detail Orientation
- Displaying a Positive Outlook
- Following Directions
- Friendly Interactive Style
- Mathematical Proficiency
- Organizational Skills
- Proficiency in Languages
- Prioritizing Tasks
- Problem Solving
- Stress Management
- Time Management
- Verbal Communication
- Working Quickly
Insurance, MedPay, and prescription accuracy are examples of industry-specific knowledge that pharmacy techs must master. Being able to understand medical history, read prescriptions, and adhere to billing protocols can be complicated, but it is a key part of pharmacology.
- Calculating Insurance Coverage for Pharmacy Transactions
- Checking Prescriptions for Accuracy Prior to Dispensing
- Contacting Insurers to Clarify Coverage
- Counting, Pouring, and Mixing Pharmaceuticals
- Entering Medication Histories
- Filling Prescriptions Precisely According to Pharmacist's Specifications
- Ordering Supplies
As a pharmacy technician, you will often be working with customers that are in pain or recently discharged from a medical procedure. If a patient is still a little foggy from anesthesia, you must be able to understand how to direct the customer. Often, you may be employing help from a close friend or family member assisting your customer. Strong interpersonal skills ensure that customers feel cared for and help customers understand instructions for taking medication.
- Customer Service
- Explaining Directions for Prescriptions to Customers
- Explaining Costs and Payment Options to Customers
- Identifying Customer Questions and Concerns about Prescriptions
- Maintaining a Professional Demeanor
- Learning Medical and Pharmaceutical Terms
- Preserving Patient Confidentiality
- Supporting the Appeals Process to Overturn Insurance Denials
- Referring Questions to Pharmacists
You must be able to read ingredients on a prescription, which requires a basic understanding of medicine and chemistry. Additionally, you will be using measuring equipment and industry-specific software. You are working with chemicals intended to heal the body or manage pain, and it is vital that you follow training guidelines and use equipment to accurately help customers.
- Knowledge of Brand and Generic Drugs
- Knowledge of Medical Terms, Abbreviations, and Pharmacy Calculations
- Maintaining Pharmacy Equipment
- Maintaining Records
- Monitoring Supply of Drugs
- Monitoring Prescription Inventory for Expired Drugs
- Preparing Labels for Drug Bottles
- Preparing Sterile Compounds
- Processing Customer Payments
- Reading and Interpreting Prescriptions and Pharmaceutical Literature
- Replenishing Automated Dispensing Cabinets
- Resolving Billing Discrepancies
- Reviewing Expiration Dates on Drugs
- Securing Inventory of Drugs
- Selecting Appropriate Packing Materials
- Staging Drug Deliveries
- Software Proficiency: OP Robot and Bar-Code Station
- Working with the TCG Packaging Machine
Pharmacy Technician Resume Sample
This is a sample resume written for pharmacy technician focusing on skills. You may simply read the sample below or download the Word template by clicking on the link.
Pharmacy Technician Resume Example (Text Version)
123 Deadwood Lane
Canyon, TX 29105
Ensuring excellence in customer service and support in retail pharmacy settings
Experienced Pharmacy Technician drawing upon solid knowledge of brand and generic drugs to ensure accuracy in drug dispensing. Keen attention to detail complemented by superb communications skills; fluent in English and Spanish.
Key skills include: Customer Communications / Education • Insurance / Payment Processing • Inventory Tracking / Ordering • Prescription Filling & Quality Control • Medical Records Data Entry / Coding • Maintaining Patient Confidentiality
CVC PHARMACY, Canyon, TX
Pharmacy Technician (June 2018 – Present)
Meticulously process and fill prescriptions before educating patients in use and compliance with medication guidelines. Liaise effectively with physicians, labs, and insurance companies; assess pharmaceutical stock levels and remove outdated drugs. Key contributions:
- Suggested implementation of stringent new processes for monitoring and forwarding patient reports of adverse reactions to authorities and pharmaceutical companies.
- Trained and mentored new hires to ensure uncompromised compliance with regulatory laws.
WALMART PHARMACY, Canyon, TX
Pharmacy Technician (May 2015 – June 2018)
Reviewed medication orders and prescriptions and organized medications for dispensing; calculated quantities, prepared labels, and prepared intravenous solutions. Responded to patients’ questions, troubleshot medical issues, and facilitated billing processes. Key contributions:
- Contributed to development of new inventory control system that optimized stock levels and greatly improved efficiency in disposing of outdated drugs.
- Earned multiple “Employee of the Month” awards.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
AMARILLO COLLEGE, Amarillo, TX
Graduate, Pharmacy Technician Program (ASHP/ACPE accredited program), May 2015
Certification: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Certified
Technical Proficiencies: Microsoft Office Suite • OP Robot • Bar-Code Station
How to Make Your Skills Stand Out
Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume Be sure to highlight your most relevant skills in your resume summary and work history.
Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter Include the skills mentioned in the job posting in your cover letter.
Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview Be prepared to share examples of your skills during job interviews.