Sunday, September 16, 2012

What exactly is a Pharmacy Assistant?

By Julie Muir

Responsibilities are similar to pharmacy technicians and although hospitals and pharmacies hire pharmacy assistants, the amount of offered jobs is normally fewer than technicians. In retail store pharmacies they act as clerks or cashiers, answer telephones, take care of money as well as complete clerical duties. In hospital wards they will deliver prescriptions and help with stocking racks.

Pharmacy technicians and assistants are employed in clean, well arranged spaces however they are required to spend nearly all of their workday on their feet. Since a growing number of pharmacies are open Twenty four hrs per day, work hours will differ with technicians and assistants which are often required to work odd hours (nights, evenings and weekends). Because of this, there are numerous chances to work part-time in Twenty four hour pharmacies. Additionally, a portion of both technicians and assistants work part-time simply because they're studying to become pharmacists.

States have traditionally mandated a one-to-one ratio of pharmacist to technician but that is also most likely to change. Mark Boesen, Director of Government and Student Affairs for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, states that: "Many of the major employers of technicians are expanding the number of their facilities and boards of pharmacy in some States are allowing the legal ratio of technicians to pharmacists to expand. This is a very promising field to work in."

An escalating need for technicians with larger responsibilities has prompted several States to up-date their 1-to-1 ratio of pharmacist to technician to 2-to-1 or three-to-one technicians per pharmacist.

As assistants undertake an increasing number of functions previously performed by pharmacists, they must also learn about and master new technology. An example is the greater use (by many pharmacies) of robotic systems to dispense pills. Technicians will likely be required to oversee the machine, stock bins and label containers.

Even though some pharmacy assistants receive on-the-job training, companies prefer to hire pharmacy assistants with some formal education and learning. Individuals ought to enroll in a vocational training curriculum or college where they are able to obtain a certificate of completion or diploma. Aspiring pharmacy assistants can have an understanding of medical and pharmaceutical terms, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmaceutical computations, pharmaceutical procedures and pharmacy record-keeping by doing this.

Minimum skills required: Twelve months clerical experience; OR, 12 months pharmacy supply experience; OR, Any equivalent mix of experience and/or education from which similar knowledge, skills and abilities have been obtained.

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