This post presents detailed information on the hospital pharmacy technician job description and career, to help you learn the tasks, duties, and responsibilities they perform.
It also provides information on how to become a hospital pharmacy technician, the requirements you need to meet to be hired for the role, and the various career opportunities you can get into with a hospital pharmacy technician work experience.
What Does a Hospital Pharmacy Technician Do?
A hospital pharmacy technician helps hospital staff pharmacists in preparing and dispensing medications to patients undergoing treatments in the hospital.
The job description of the hospital pharmacy technician is identical to that of technicians that work in a public pharmacy, save for the fact that they get medication orders from hospital staff, instead of receiving prescriptions expressly from the patient.
Also, they do not collect payment for medications given.
When hospital pharmacy technicians take orders for medication from nurses or ward clerks, they arrange the quantity of medication ordered.
In hospitals that have an automated medication dispensing system, the correct numbers of capsules or tablets are automatically dispensed into a cup or bottle for delivery to the patient who needs it.
In case a hospital does not have the automated dispensing system, it is the duty of a pharmacy technician to count out the capsules or tablets manually.
Hospital pharmacy technicians may at times compound medications.
Among the type of medications that a hospital pharmacy technician compounds may include elixirs, in which he mixes a medication with a syrup base, or ointments consisting of a medication mixed into a semisolid base meant for topical application.
Pharmacy technicians use standardized recipes to create compounded medications.
Eventually, the hospital staff pharmacist would be responsible for the actions of hospital pharmacy technicians who work under them.
In other words, the pharmacist would still have to review the pharmacy technician’s work and approve all medications made before they are allowed for patient use.
Once the staff pharmacist has completed his/her review and has checked the prescription against the finished medication, the medication is then ready for delivery.
Depending on the policy of the hospital, a hospital pharmacy technician may deliver an already prepared medication to the floor staff for distribution on the floor.
In few hospitals, the technician’s role may also include going round and delivering the medications directly to the patients.
If patients have any questions about the medications, the technician would arrange for a health care professional like a pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to discuss the patient’s concerns.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Job Description Example/Sample/Template
Given below is an example of hospital pharmacy technician job description, showing a list of major duties, tasks, and responsibilities that someone holding the position would be expected to perform in a hospital:
- Supply medicines to patients, over the counter or on prescription
- Assemble medicines for prescriptions
- Manage areas of medicines supply like the dispensaries
- Supervise other pharmacy staff when necessary
- Produce medicines in the pharmaceutical industry and in hospitals
- File Prescriptions
- Mix chemotherapy, fluids and feeding solutions for intravenous use under the direct supervision of a pharmacist
- Deliver medications to the nursing units in the hospital premises
- Responsible for inventory control in the hospital pharmacy
- Rotate stock, remove expired medications and perform other inventory control duties
- May be assigned to work in a particular nursing unit
- Involved in labeling and assembling dispensed items
- Check expiry dates of drugs, advise nurses on the correct mode of medicine storage and discuss the needs of the wards with the staffs and nurses
- Purchase medicines from wholesalers and pharmaceutical companies
- Ensure supplies are delivered accordingly
- Help patients in understanding how to use their medicines safely when they return home and in the wards.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Job Description for Resume
A resume for seeking the job of hospital pharmacy technician can be prepared using information from the above sample job description, especially in making the employment history part of the resume.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Requirements: Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities for Career Success
Here are key requirements to meet to be considered for employment as pharmacy technician by most hospital managements:
- Possess a minimum of B.Pharm from a reputable institution
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Must have a Pharmacy Technician Certificate from a government recognized Health Institution
- Must have a current annual license.
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Salary
The average annual salary for a hospital pharmacy technician in the U.S. is approximately $42,082.
The highest paying states are: Tennessee, $44,471; New Jersey, $44,204l; Hawaii, $43,848; Massachusetts, $43,706; and Nevada, $43,427 per year.
There are currently over 449,070 pharmacist technicians working in the United States.
A percentage of that works in the role of hospital pharmacist technicians.
Women make up 75.1% of all pharmacist technicians while men make up 24.9%.
The average age of an employed pharmacist technician is 37 years old.
White (56.7%) is the most common ethnicity among pharmacist technicians, followed by Hispanic or Latino (18.1%), Black or African American (11.6%), and Asian (10.3%).
Hospital Pharmacy Technician Career Opportunities
There are several career opportunities available to a hospital pharmacy technician, some of these roles include:
- Clinical technician
The clinical technician is a full-time employee who helps in carrying out the functions of the department.
The clinical technician manages inventory and drug distribution; and prepares medications for patients.
2. Clinical laboratory assistant
The clinical laboratory assistant assists the laboratory technician in carrying out tests on specimens of organisms and body fluids to analyze their composition and to diagnose and treat diseases.
The clinical laboratory assistant will work with tests like urinalysis, blood tests, hematology, serology, microbiology, and immunohematology.
3. Pharmaceutical sales representative
A pharmaceutical sales representative is in charge of the entire sales process.
They will also handle the budgets, free market research and advertising.
The pharmaceutical sales representative is often a member of the marketing department, but not limited to it.
They are responsible for creating media materials, developing advertising campaigns and creating print advertisements for different magazines or journals.
4. Health information management technicians
The health information management technicians help the hospital to organize patient records and track down the correct medications and treatment plans based on each patient’s profile.
They also work closely with medical coding, to assist with accurate record keeping, insurance eligibility, and billing.
5. Pharmaceutical specialist
A pharmaceutical specialist creates specialized and customized formulations for medical conditions that are rare or that demand treatment other than normal medications.
6. Clinical pharmacist assistant (CPA)
The CPA acts as an assistant to a licensed pharmacist. They can assist in managing the inventory and supervise other pharmacy technicians.
7. Pharmacy consultant
A pharmacy consultant is an expert who will analyze the hospital’s current drug-related policies and techniques.
After analysis, they can make a strategic plan for improvement and make appropriate recommendations for change.
8. Retail pharmacy manager
The retail pharmaceutical managers specialize in the retail side of the pharmaceutical business.
They work with individual customers to ensure the customer is happy with their products and that the customer has sufficient information about their medications for the C-stores.
9. Hospital pharmacist
A hospital pharmacist is usually employed by one hospital, however they can also be employed by a group of hospitals.
Their responsibilities include ordering medications and maintaining inventory in the hospital pharmacy.
10. Clinical technologist
Clinical technologists must have a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science and pass the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) examination.
Challenges faced by Hospital Pharmacy Technicians on the Job
The biggest challenges faced by hospital pharmacy technicians on a daily basis are:
- Managing many things concurrently
Hospital pharmacy technicians often have to multitask on a daily basis. These tasks include inventory, prescription scanning and dispensing, assisting patients on the floor and researching new techniques for using medications.
2. Going from one place to another
Hospital pharmacy technicians have to travel to different wards on a daily basis. They help their patients find medications and then they have to find their way back to the pharmacy.
This is a daily demand on them and can be stressful when it is the first time for a new pharmacy technician.
3. Keeping the patient’s prescription medications
In order to take care of all the unique needs of their patients, a hospital pharmacy technician has to constantly stay up-to-date with different types of medications.
New medications are released each year and sometimes they may not be familiar with how they work.
4. Assessing the patient’s prescription needs and coming up with a plan to help them
Hospital pharmacy technicians have to assess each patient’s prescription needs, assess whether they have insurance and then help them choose the correct medication.
This is a vital role that requires the technician to make quick decisions about what medications will be most effective for the patient.
How to Become a Hospital Pharmacy Technician
Earn a registered pharmacy technician certificate to work as a hospital pharmacy technician.
Accredited pharmacy technician training programs are available at vocational schools and community colleges and typically last nine to twelve months.
After completing your training, seek employment at a retail pharmacy.
Learn about medical terminology and prescription medications.
Most hospitals prefer candidates with one to two years of retail experience, but extensive on-the-job training is provided.
Although certification is not required, being a certified hospital pharmacy technician may make you a more marketable candidate.
Major Benefits of a Hospital Pharmacy Technician Career
There are many benefits of being a hospital pharmacy technician. These include:
- Flexible work schedules
People who work as hospital pharmacy technicians are interested in working flexible hours.
This allows them to stay at home with their families and still make a great income.
2. Great opportunities for advancement
Being a hospital pharmacy technician allows you to develop your job skills and apply those skills to many different settings within the company.
Training and experience can be transferred between settings, so it is possible to move up in the career field over time if you prove yourself.
3. Steady employment with a secure job
It is very hard to find a job in today’s economy, but the hospital pharmacy technician career is a great option for someone who wants steady employment.
There are always new jobs and growth opportunities available for pharmacy technicians who are willing to stay up-to-date and advance their skills.
4. Excellent benefit packages
Hospital pharmacy technicians receive excellent health insurance benefits. They also often receive bonuses and free food services at work.
5. Low health insurance costs
Hospital pharmacy technicians are required to pay very little for health insurance. Some only pay a couple of dollars a month.
6. The opportunity to work with a group of helpful, friendly people
Hospital pharmacists, hospital pharmacy technicians, and other staff members all work together to help patients improve their health.
They make major contributions in the process of helping patients receive better care for the rest of their lives by doing what they can to get them what they need.
7. The chance to help make a major difference in people’s lives
Every time the hospital pharmacy technician is able to help a person get better by getting them the right amount of medication, it is an extraordinarily rewarding situation.
This is exactly why many pharmacy technicians enjoy what they do, and stay in in the health care industry.
Hospital pharmacy technicians offer a wide variety of services to patients, pharmacists, and doctors, making them an essential team member in the hospital.
Pharmacy technicians’ responsibilities include maintaining accurate records of all medications administered to patients, as well as maintaining inventory lists.
Additionally, medical technicians may also be called upon to handle billing tasks and assist patients with insurance claims.
This post is helpful to individuals interested in becoming a hospital pharmacy technician; they will be able to learn all about the duties and responsibilities of the job.
It is also useful to recruiters/employers needing to write a job description for the hospital pharmacy technician role.