Pharmacy assistants get prescriptions into the hands of the customer. They work in drugstores, hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. They work under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. The assistant provides all of the hands-on support in the pharmacy.
In the pharmacy, assistants might help fill prescription orders, manage supplies and inventory, and interact with customers. Pharmacies might also rely upon assistants to take and record accurate information about each prescription. Assistants are also responsible for administrative tasks and basic customer service duties. More experienced assistants might even lead pharmacy team staff.
Skills: What Do You Need to Become a Pharmacy Assistant?
Attention to detail. Accurate data entry to update patient records with each filled prescription is essential for the safety of the patient. Mistakes could result in life-or-death consequences. A pharmacy assistant might also need knowledge about how to measure, mix, dose, and dispense medication.
Understanding of technical medical terms. Medications have complicated names, and assistants read and interpret pharmacy-specific terms all day long. Assistants must know complex terms and translate these terms to ensure customers understand.
Outstanding customer service. Pharmacy assistants are the first point of contact when customers call for prescriptions. They must fill orders and contact customers to let them know when prescriptions are ready to pick up. When the customer arrives, they ensure the prescription goes to the right person. When customers have a question, the pharmacy assistant is the first point of contact in helping them.
First-Rate Organization. Assistants must be able to work in a variety of settings and handle different types of customers. In addition, good assistants maintain precision under pressure and keep everything organized.
How Do You Become a Pharmacy Assistant?
There are several ways to pursue a career as a pharmacy assistant. On the job training is common. Some students may get clinical training in a retail pharmacy who is partnering with their school. Others go through complete hands-on training in an approved pharmacy or medical center.
What Do You Need to Become a Pharmacy Assistant?
Most pharmacy assistants start with a high school diploma.
In some states, an assistant will need certification. Not all states require certification. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for jobs as pharmacy assistants is expected to remain high for the next decade. Growth projections are much higher than the average for all occupations. Pharmacy assistants sometimes use the position as a stepping stone to prepare for other careers in the medical field. They may go on to work as a pharmacist, nursing assistant or other medical professional.
Start Your Career as a Pharmacy Assistant Today
Stratford Career Institute’s unique Pharmacy Assistant online course introduces students to what a pharmacy assistant needs to know. The course teaches medical terminology, human anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology. Students in the program can gain a better understanding of the role of a pharmacy assistant.
Become a Pharmacy Assistant
Are you interested in becoming a pharmacy assistant? Learn more about being a pharmacy assistant in our distance learning course.