Experienced professionals tell their pharmacy technician job stories to give you some other ideas for ways to get your first pharmacy tech job.
I am currently a PO pharmacy technician for a large institutional pharmacy in Indianapolis.
I have been doing pharmacy tech work for about 6 years and have been involved with pharmacy delivery, dispensing, and customer service for 10 years total.
It has evolved into a great career and also been quite rewarding and educational to learn about pharmacy operations and service. There are opportunities within a pharmacy for a sharp pharmacy technician.
I got into the pharmacy field as a courier driver delivering medications packaged and dispensed from our Indianapolis location. The customer market for our pharmacy is nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and special group homes throughout the state of Indiana. I actually had seen a few want ads from the pharmacy in the newspaper and I responded to them.
I was looking for a second job at the time, but I could see that the health field, and specifically the pharmacy area, was a growing and essential service for the future.
After a couple years of delivering medication orders, I was able to work in the IV section of our pharmacy, specializing in the IV pump inventory and keeping those machines updated, cleaned, and available to send out to patients at nursing homes. It has been only recently that I now have cross trained over into the PO side of pharmacy and do technician work for those medication orders.
I was able to get in the door of a known national pharmacy as a driver and move into the other areas of medication dispensing, prepacking, and filling all the different medicine demands of our market.
Some ask how to get into a pharmacy and be hired for the job. It is often like any other job opening, in which one has to stand out, be a fit for the job, and resonate success as the proper candidate.
I went to the interviews with a smile on my face, a confidence that I could do the things asked of me, and that this pharmacy would benefit with me as an employee. Most cities have some schools or hospital courses that offer an overview of pharmacy products or a certification program to lead up to pharmacy tech certification.
If possible, look into these arrangements for study and preparation. Often, the pharmacy itself will have the certification testing available, after a period of time of employment.
Pharmacy work can be a long day with much expected from us. At times, technicians are on their feet for long periods of time.
It is good to be flexible with work requirements and find time to relax or get a break from the filling of meds. If you can, walk outside for a bit of your day or read a fun blog, listen to a couple new music favorites, or catch the sports or artistic events that are scheduled during your leisure time.
If you want to get into pharmacy tech work, I would advise learning the generic names of medications and recognizing them. Perhaps you have learned about certain types of medications from an illness, or a friend or family member's medical needs. It is beneficial to recognize the various medications that might be offered for diabetes, or seizures, or blood pressure control.
I have found that it is a positive trait to know the meds for various diseases, the symptoms and the possible substitutes that our medical vendors provide.
You can excel in pharmacy tech work if you can study and learn as much as you can about what we are selling and using!
I wish you continued good luck and success as you progress into the area of pharmacy technician work.
Mark Holm has a B.A. in Communications, an M.S. in Communications, and is an Indiana Pharmacy Tech in Training.
Stay tuned for more pharmacy technician job stories from other pros!