Are you interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacy assistant? As a pharmacy assistant you will work under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist to compound and dispense medical prescriptions. This will require you to count, measure, weigh, pour, and mix a variety of types of medications. Before delivering the medication to the customer you will verify and validate the prescription, select a container, prepare the appropriate label, and affix it to the container.
Depending upon your specific venue of employment you may be required to perform some clerical duties, to receive and store incoming supplies, to verify that stock is appropriate, and to enter data into a computer system to maintain inventory records. It will also be important that you have a strong sense of customer service and that you can adequately deal with a wide variety of customers and their medical needs. Research your new pharmacy technician school and find out when they have their new start date.
While there are no formal requirements that will qualify you to work as a pharmacy assistant, your chances of gaining employment are much higher if you complete some level of formal training program. Most community colleges and vocational schools offer a program for aspiring pharmacy assistants. Generally speaking, you can choose to pursue a certificate based program, a diploma program, or an associate’s degree program. Depending upon which degree program you choose to pursue, you can expect it to require between six months and two years for you to complete the requirements.
Each of these programs will be designed to teach you about pharmacy procedures, a variety of medications, pharmacy law, and pharmaceutical terminology. You should also expect to be required to complete an internship prior to graduation. This will give you the opportunity to practice the skills and knowledge that you have been learning in the classroom under the direct supervision of a mentor in this field. This will also give you the chance to learn first-hand about the names of different medications, how medications act and react with other medications, and about determining proper dosage amounts for different individuals. Take a few minutes and check out the schools listed on this site. Feel free to request a complimentary information packet that will detail what each school will have to offer you in your educational pursuits.
As a pharmacy assistant you can work in a hospital pharmacy, a privately owned pharmacy setting, or within a large pharmacy corporation. In addition, should you decide to further your level of education it may be possible for you to seek employment in other areas of this industry.