Pharmacy technicians perform routine tasks
under the supervision of licensed pharmacists to perform technical
and clerical duties in the systematic operation of the pharmacy.
Their duties may include, but are not limited to:
compounding (measure/weigh/mix) medicinal drugs;
preparing and labeling medicines;
filling bottles and vials with the correct quantity
issuing medicines to the customers;
keeping patients' medication profiles on specified
records, forms, or computerized systems;
collecting, organizing, and evaluation information
for direct patient care, medication review, and department management.
Pharmacy technicians must be aware of the necessity
for aseptic technique, cleanliness, orderliness, and accuracy in the
work areas. They also should be alert, observant, attentive to details,
and able to follow written and oral instructions.
Areas of Specialization
These areas include, but are not limited to: prescription processing and filling, intravenous compounding, including TPN and Chemo, procurement and inventory management of medications and supplies, and drug utilization review.
Pharmacy technicians are employed in hospitals, home health care
agencies, mail order pharmacies, retail pharmacies, pharmacies that
supply medications for assisted care living and nursing home facilities,
hospice pharmacies, HMO pharmacies, and nuclear pharmacies.
The number of pharmacy technicians employed in Florida in 2006 was
19,524. It is projected that in 2014 there will be 25,074. This
represents an annual average growth rate of 2.8 percent.
Length of Training/Requirements
Although high school graduates can receive on-the-job training to
become pharmacy technicians, state and national trends indicate
a need for graduation from a formal training program. The length
of these programs ranges from six months to two years and results
in a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. The program includes
courses in pharmaceutical mathematic procedures (weights, measurements,
and conversions), organizational structures in pharmacies, safe,
ethical, and legal pharmacy practice, drug classifications, pharmaceutical
nomenclature, drug strengths/dosages, warnings and side effects,
pharmacy operation procedures, aseptic techniques, preparations
of chemotherapeutic agents and total parenteral nutritions, computer
literacy and keyboarding, and clinical practicums in both retail
and hospital settings. The curriculum consists of three occupational
completion components. The first component prepares graduates as
basic healthcare worker (industry title). The second component prepares
graduates as community pharmacy technicians to work in community-based
retail pharmacies. The third component prepares graduates as pharmacy
technicians to work in retail pharmacies, hospitals, home health
agencies, mail order, and pharmaceutical companies. Students may
elect to complete one of the three or all components, depending
upon their career objectives.
Most pharmacies have three different classifications of pharmacy technicians. The non-certified tech has least responsibility/experience and is the lowest paid in most cases. The certified tech has more responsibility/higher pay. Finally, a senior tech is certified, has more experience, more expertise, more responsibility and the highest pay of these three classifications.
No state license is required at this time. However, the job-related activities of pharmacy technicians are regulated by the Florida Department of Health, Board of Pharmacy.