Top 5 Skills Every Pharmacy Technician Should Master

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • March 12, 2024
  • 5 min read
Top 5 Skills Every Pharmacy Technician Should Master

Are you an aspiring or current pharmacy technician student wondering what the top skills you will need to master before you start working in the field? Are you considering enrolling in school but want to know if this industry is a good fit for you? If so, you’re in luck! 

This article reviews the essential skills that every pharmacy technician should master! If you hone your abilities in these areas, you can make a significant difference in your role as a pharmacy technician. And if working in a field that requires these skills does not sound like your cup of tea, then it is a good thing you figured that out in advance! 

Without any further adieu, here are the top 5 skills every pharmacy technician should master:

1. Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is a critical skill in a pharmacy setting.  modern medicine, specifically pharmaceuticals, requires precision to administer properly. Even a small mistake made by a pharmacy technician can have significant consequences for a patient’s health. Dispensing incorrect medication or dosage can lead to severe health issues. It is estimated that taking care of patients suffering from a medication-related error costs over $40 billion dollars per year in the United States alone. 

The best way to improve your attention to detail is to build good habits that support Precision in your work.  make it a point to Practice organizing and double-checking prescriptions, dosages, and labels meticulously every time you fill a prescription. Pay close attention to instructions and potential drug interactions, as consistency is vital to avoid issues.  Ultimately, implementing a systematic approach to your job will help ensure accuracy in all your tasks.

2. Communication Skills

Effective communication is crucial for your success as a pharmacy technician. Whether in a community pharmacy or an alternative Healthcare setting such as a hospital or Specialty Pharmacy,  you will always work within a team. Clear communication is critical to the success of all teams, and everyone has an important part to play in that effort.

Additionally, clear communication is necessary to ensure patients understand their medications and usage.  although the primary responsibility for reviewing medication instructions with patients lies with pharmacists, Miscommunication between a pharmacy technician and a patient can lead to confusion and incorrect medication usage. As described above, there can be significant negative impacts when patients do not understand how to properly adhere to a medication regimen.

To have clear and concise communications with customers and colleagues, pharmacy technicians must practice active listening when spoken to and ask clarifying questions to ensure comprehensive understanding. 

Pharmacy technician students should practice explaining medication instructions in simple terms to customers before entering the field so they can effectively relay details to their patients about proper usage and potential side effects.

3. Technical Proficiency

In an increasingly digital world, being adept with pharmacy management software has become a necessary skill for all pharmacy technicians. 

Additionally, new pharmacy equipment designed to improve technician productivity is regularly implemented by larger organizations in the pharmacy industry. Deployment of such technology can contribute to improved workflows within the pharmacy and reduce errors. 

However, this assumes that the technicians using the equipment are well-trained and proficient. Therefore, technicians must take it upon themselves to learn how to use any technology introduced into their individual pharmacy setting.

Before entering the field or starting a new position, make an effort to Familiarize yourself with common pharmacy software and equipment through training and continuous practice.  this will improve your likelihood of success when starting a new job.

Additionally, don’t forget to use continuing education courses to stay updated with the latest technology advancements.  finally, you should not hesitate to seek guidance and training from more experienced colleagues who can help you enhance your technical skills.

4. Customer Service

While some settings in the pharmacy industry do not require customer or patient interactions, most pharmacy technicians will regularly interact with customers. As a result, customer service skills are essential to your success in the industry. 

Excellent customer service enhances the patient experience, building trust and loyalty. Patients rely on pharmacy technicians for guidance and support during times of need, making exceptional service Even more important.

They are considering the challenges that your patients are likely going through, Be patient, empathetic, and ready to assist customers with their concerns and questions. Focus on demonstrating a friendly, approachable demeanor and displaying empathy to ensure patients feel heard and understood.

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5. Knowledge of Medications and Pharmacology

Although it may seem obvious, it cannot be understated how important it is that pharmacy technicians have a strong understanding of drugs, their classifications, and potential side effects. This awareness is fundamental to ensure safe dispensing. 

In-depth knowledge of the most common pharmaceuticals allows pharmacy technicians to identify potential issues and offer appropriate advice to patients. It also enhances pharmacy technicians’ abilities to refer complicated situations to the pharmacist for additional review.

Pharmacy technicians should strive to keep up-to-date with the 100 most common medications, their uses, dosages, and potential interactions.  in the past, many technicians Created a personal reference or study guide to access essential drug information quickly. Such reference materials are now typically digital and often available within the electronic Pharmacy management software. 

Finally, Pharmacy technicians should consider taking courses or attending workshops to expand their knowledge. By placing an emphasis on their own continued education, technicians can help protect all patients from the dangers of medication-related errors.

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Mastering these five skills can elevate your performance at work. It can also improve patient outcomes in the pharmacy. Remember, consistent practice and a genuine passion for helping people are the keys to success in this rewarding career.

Samantha Huntsman
Pharmacy Technician Program Chair

Raised in Cedar City in southern Utah, Samantha ended up in Nevada in 2014 after moving here from Minnesota to escape the winter. After graduating from Cedar City High School, Samantha moved to Southern Utah University where she got her…Read Full Bio