What is a Pharmacy Technician?
A Pharmacy Technician is a senior member of the pharmacy team who supports a registered Pharmacist by assisting with the assembly and supply of medications, and providing information about pharmaceutical products to patients and other healthcare professionals.
Their role can involve managing medicine supply in dispensaries and supervising other pharmacy staff, to ensure that prescriptions are filed correctly and delivered to patients and healthcare providers.
Why become a Pharmacy Technician?
People choose to become a Pharmacy Technician with New Directions Pharmacy for a variety of reasons:
- To gain a wide range of experience
- To try different work settings and new ways of working
- To build up industry knowledge
- To have flexibility and a good work/life balance
- To experience best practice and pick up new skills
- To network and build up industry contacts
- To gain confidence
- To work as many or as few days as you want
Where do Pharmacy Technicians work?
Pharmacy Technicians work as part of the wider healthcare team in hospital or community pharmacy settings. You may work in a range of locations, including:
- Large, high-street retail pharmacy chains
- Supermarket pharmacies
- Small, independent community pharmacies
- Hospitals (NHS or private)
- Care homes
- Armed forces
- Justice service
- Pharmaceutical industry
When do Pharmacy Technicians work?
Working patterns can vary depending on the location in which you work, and some pharmacies are open for extended hours and out-of-hours services. Therefore, shift work, long hours, weekend work and rotas may be involved.
Role and responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician
The day-to-day tasks and work activities of a Pharmacy Technician are varied.
What does a Pharmacy Technician do?
As a Pharmacy Technician, you will be responsible for assisting licensed Pharmacists and working under their supervision to:
- Manage dispensaries and pharmacy settings where medication is supplied
- Supervise other members of staff in the pharmacy setting
- Produce medications in pharmaceutical settings Dispense prescription medication and pharmaceutical products to patients
- Prepare prescriptions by counting pills, labelling bottles and compounding medications
- Carry out administrative duties to ensure the smooth running of the pharmacy
- Gather, organise and assess patient information, maintain electronic patient information, and receive and input prescription orders
- Ensure compliance by monitoring the prescription-filing process
- Inform and educate patients, answering their questions and offering advice
- Liaise directly with healthcare providers and patients
- Take an inventory of drugs and place orders to maintain stock, keeping detailed records
- Price medications, prepare billing information and complete patient sales and transactions for over-the-counter medications
Person specification and requirements of a Pharmacy Technician
What do I need to do to be a Pharmacy Technician?
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) requires that all staff working in a pharmacy environment are appropriately trained for the role they are carrying out.
Qualifications and training
To practice as a Pharmacy Technician, you are required to hold an accredited qualification such as:
- BTEC National Diploma in Pharmaceutical Services
- NVQ/SVQ level 3 in Pharmacy Service Skills
- National Certificate in Pharmaceutical Science
The GPhC recognises several awarding bodies that deliver the required qualifications for Pharmacy Technicians.
You must be employed in a pharmacy to take one of these courses and it usually takes between six and 12 months to complete.
Candidates are required to have a minimum of 6 month’s experience working in a dispensary setting in the UK before we can register them for work.
To work as a Pharmacy Technician in the UK, you must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and you must hold a valid GPhC number
Names can be checked on the GPhC register to ensure that a Pharmacy Technician is practicing legally and to identify if they have any outstanding ‘fitness to practice’ allegations against them.
In addition to being registered with the GPhC, you may be required to undergo a DBS check prior to employment.
- Team player
- Attention to detail – accurate and methodical
- Excellent customer-service skills
- Great communication and listening skills
- Reliable and willing to follow Instructions
- Highly organised
- Willing to adapt and learn
- Computer skills
- Understanding of drug regulations
- Knowledge of professional codes of practice
- Interested in people and their health
- A people-person
- Interested in science
- Patience and a calm demeanour
- Sensitive, discreet and understanding
For more information about working as an Accuracy Checking Technician with New Directions Pharmacy, get in touch with our helpful team today.