Pharmacy Assistant Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

Pharmacy Assistant job description, duties, tasks, responsibilities
Pharmacy Assistants assist pharmacists with customer service and administrative duties. Image source:

This post presents exhaustive information on the job description of a pharmacy assistant, to help you learn the duties, tasks, and responsibilities they perform.

What Does a Pharmacy Assistant Do?

The pharmacy assistant is an important member of the healthcare community whose job description focuses on assisting pharmacists in customer service and administrative roles.

From performing inventory control to merchandising, purchasing medications and record keeping, the job duties are not streamlined.

Pharmacy assistants are called upon to accept payment for prescriptions, answer the telephone, stock shelves, price stock, and mark items for sale and also prepare and reconcile third party insurance records and claims.

As with pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, pharmacy assistants work in hospitals and community pharmacies, medical centers, clinics, health care facilities, educational institutions, pharmaceutical laboratories and the federal government.

Keyboarding skills cum computer literacy are essential to the job, so also are a caring attitude toward others, excellent written and oral communication, the ability to handle emergencies and remain calm, good manual dexterity and ability to pay close attention to detail.

Also important are detail orientation and organizational skills.

In some cases, pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians have overlapping duties, but in general the tasks and responsibilities of technicians include weighing and mixing medications, counting tablets, while assistants on the other hand handle the clerical work.

However, where a technician answers a patient’s direct question, an assistant would always direct drug-related questions or prescription to the pharmacist.

Pharmacy aids or assistants help with the smooth running of the pharmacy by handling several of the administrative tasks. They work with technicians and pharmacists, though they have fewer responsibilities.

You can become a pharmacy assistant with only a GED or a high school diploma, but you must have customer service and administrative skills as well.

Pharmacy assistants welcome and greet customers and clients as they enter the pharmacy. They get information from customers, accept prescriptions and prepare the paperwork for the staff pharmacist to fill in the medication.

They help customers locate medical supplies and over-the-counter medications. Managing the cash register and accepting payments from customers are some of the other duties of the pharmacy assistants’ job description.

They will also redirect calls and answer the phone in the pharmacy as needed.

Pharmacy assistants accept shipments of supplies and medication, they unpack and store inventory and make sure it is handled properly.

For instance, some medication may need to be refrigerated or some other special handling. They maintain stock in front of the store so that customers can easily find the supplies they need.

Pharmacy Assistant Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The job description example shown below is for the pharmacy assistant, who is usually expected to perform the tasks, duties, and responsibilities provided in support of the pharmacist in most firms:

  • Check for expired medications
  • Notify the pharmacist when stock is low
  • Take in and handle out prescriptions
  • Dispense prescriptions
  • Use store’s computer systems to generate label and stock lists
  • Help in maintaining reasonable dispensary stock levels
  • Order items for use within and outside department
  • Receive, load and unload incoming goods from manufacturers, wholesalers and elsewhere
  • Deliver pharmaceuticals goods to sites within a pharmacy department and clinical areas/wards/departments
  • Sell over the counter medicines
  • Answer queries on the availability and supply of medicines
  • Respond to face to face and telephone enquiries of a routine nature from members of the public, patients, their representatives and a wide range of staff groups
  • Pre-pack, assemble and label medicines
  • Create and maintain patient profiles
  • Prepare insurance claim forms
  • Manage the cash register.

Pharmacy Assistant Job Description for Resume

Resumes are important documents for searching for job. The job description sample shown above can be used in preparing the professional history section of the pharmacy assistant resume.

Pharmacy Assistant Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

Below are requirements, including knowledge, skills, and abilities, most employers expect from pharmacy assistants they want to hire:

  • Related experience in a hospital, retail, or home health pharmacy
  • High school diploma or its equivalent, GED
  • Strong ability to meet production and quality standard as specified by supervisor, manager or pharmacist
  • Strong ability to correctly read and interpret prescription terminology and medications
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to carry out orders as instructed
  • Ability to pay attention to detail and communicate effectively with customers on the telephone
  • Strong keyboarding skills required for performing fast and correct data entry tasks
  • Manual dexterity, PC, and basic math skills
  • Strong knowledge of widely used generic drugs and their route of administration, as well as the ability to understand and interpret Latin signs and symbols usually found on drug labels.