Any career in the medical field requires competence and excellence. These two traits are non-negotiable as dealing with people’s health and welfare requires such. Life literally depends on them. With competence and excellence, anyone in the field is sure to excel.
A doctor’s excellence is easily seen and measured. The same goes for nurses, but how about with the members of allied healthcare? In this article, we will shine the focus on pharmacy technicians and how to excel as one.
Who Are Pharmacy Technicians?
They are qualified medical professionals who work alongside registered pharmacists. The roles of pharmacy technicians are often involved in the dispensing of drugs. On top of that, they also oversee the overall operations of pharmacies, starting from inventory down to customer service.
Pharmacy technicians are found in retail or community drug stores, hospital pharmacies, and drug-related industries. If they aren’t hired for dispensing prescription drugs, they may also be part of the team that formulates and makes them. Of course, to do this, they need additional training to make sure they know what they’re doing.
Guide on How to be an Excellent Pharmacy Technician
A pharmacy technician’s medical career starts long before actual work. Much like other medical professions, a strong theoretical background is necessary before actually practicing in the field.
Enroll in Authorized Courses
For pharmacy technicians, they are required to enroll in authorized courses. The good news is these courses don’t take as long as medical degrees. Pharmacy technician courses often run from six months to 2 years, maximum, before going into practicum.
While enrolled, ensure to be well-versed with all the medical jargon and new developments in the field. Although learning on the job proves to be superior knowledge, having a good foundation is necessary. Enrolling in an excellent pharmacy technician course will cement a great learning foundation.
Do Well in the PTCB Exam
As part of the medical field, licensing and registration of pharmacy technicians are also regulated by state and federal board examinations.
When you pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam, you get to be recognized as a licensed pharmacy technician nationwide. The chances of you getting hired right away are, more or less, anchored on how well you did on the exams.
To ensure that future, make sure to fully prepare for it months prior. There are several PTCB exam practice tests online. There are even free study guides that will supplement your personal notes.
You can use both the mentioned online materials as an outline as to what you need to focus on for the actual exam.
Aside from preparing well for the exam, do some research about additional examinations as well. Look up your state regulations regarding this career. Some states may require additional qualifications than others.
Your skills excellence shouldn’t be one of two things. As a promising pharmacy technician, you should be excellent at both technical and interpersonal skills; both hard and soft skills.
Customer Relations Skills
As a pharmacy technician, you shouldn’t fall short on several customer service skills, such as the following.
Excellent Communication Skills
As mentioned before, the role of pharmacy technicians in drug stores doesn’t start and end with drug dispensing. They are also part of the team that provides sound and technical knowledge to the consumers.
As a pharmacy technician, you should be capable of explaining complex processes using layman’s terms for the buyers. This is where your academic excellence needs to shine through. With your excellent foundation, you can easily break down complex situations for your clients.
One of the most common instances where you need good communication skills is when patients want to know how their prescribed drugs work. They don’t need to know every detail, but they need to know enough to be sure and to be confident with the product.
Each customer that you deal with has different stories. They might be having the hardest time of their life, and you can do something to uplift their spirits by being an empathetic healthcare provider.
As someone who is on the frontlines in the medical field, you should know how to make them trust you and your decisions. You can do this by being an empathetic listener and speaker. Acknowledge them and what they’re going through. Avoid robotic transactions with buyers even if you are working in retail drug stores.
Pharmacy Management Skills
Most pharmacy technicians also choose to work in drug stores full time. As such, this requires them to excel at pharmacy management skills as well.
Meticulous and Analytical
Pharmacy techs are usually in charge of storage and logistics. They check the availability of products, which ones need to be replenished, and how many should be ordered.
As a meticulous pharmacy technician, you can make sure that products won’t go out of stock because of forgotten inventory. This results in a more efficient service by the pharmacy as a whole.
More than that, these traits are also essential in dealing with clients, especially those that buy regulated drugs. Most of the time, buyers bring with them proper prescriptions from their doctors. All you need to do is to double-check the details provided by the physician.
But, sometimes, buyers demand non-over-the-counter drugs. This can be a little tricky, especially if they insist. As the handling pharmacy technician, properly explain to them why it’s not possible to dispense the drug that they want or insist to need. And if it doesn’t work, make sure to know when to escalate the situation to the senior pharmacists.
Be an Excellent Pharmacy Technician
An excellent pharmacy technician isn’t molded overnight. There are different struggles that you need to win over to become an effective and excellent pharmacy technician. There’s a need to do well with learning the theories first, before applying them during the job.
More things are learned on the job as well, but there are still struggles to win over to become better. These challenges also make you more meticulous, analytical, and an overall great communicator. Don’t forget that theoretical and practical excellence always go hand in hand.
The clients you face every day expect the best from you! As always, strive for excellence.