elxr06

10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2007
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Hi,
How is a pharmacy technician compared to a pharmacist?

I don't think I'll be able to get into pharm school yet, so I was looking at AmericanCareer.com and they say they got a program and in the end, you become a pharmacy technician and also they help you get a job in the field...

Does anybody have any input in this program or this school or anything related? Thanks for all and any response


-- Mike
 

atticus27

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Sep 22, 2008
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Pharm tech programs are not necessary.

Retail pharmacy jobs are generally easy to come by and they will hire you without experience, pay for your certification, and you will learn your pharm skills on the job instead of in a classroom.

What's the difference between a tech and a pharmacist? A lot. search bls.gov
 

Sparda29

En Taro Adun
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Mar 25, 2008
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Difference between a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician? A pharmacy technician knows pretty much nothing about drugs except for where they are in the pharmacy and what the bottles look like.
 
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wolfpackhal

UNC PharmD class of 2013
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Sep 16, 2008
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A technician should be familiar with most medications (brand to generic, normal class or use of common meds), but a pharmacist is the drug expert. The pharmacst is ultimately responsible for verifying that prescriptions were correctly input and filled. The pharmacist is also responsible for giving any type of counseling or medical advice. Anything a technician does is overseen by a pharmacist. In the retail setting, technicians handle phone calls (transfers and called-in Rx's only when certified and in certain states), enter prescriptions into the computer, operate cash register, manage inventory (along with Rx manager), handle insurances, fill prescriptions, etc.
 

Sparda29

En Taro Adun
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Mar 25, 2008
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Pharmacist
A technician should be familiar with most medications (brand to generic, normal class or use of common meds), but a pharmacist is the drug expert. The pharmacst is ultimately responsible for verifying that prescriptions were correctly input and filled. The pharmacist is also responsible for giving any type of counseling or medical advice. Anything a technician does is overseen by a pharmacist. In the retail setting, technicians handle phone calls (transfers and called-in Rx's only when certified and in certain states), enter prescriptions into the computer, operate cash register, manage inventory (along with Rx manager), handle insurances, fill prescriptions, etc.

Ehh, there are a few things that a tech/intern can do that would help free up time for the pharmacist.

There was this one time we had a floater pharmacist come in because my boss had to take a day off, and she freaked out.

A few things that my boss lets me do that she freaked out about:

- Reconstituting and compounding medications.
- Verifying insurance re-bills (refill was too early 1 week ago, patient came back, I edited it with the current date, insurance goes through, I go to verify screen and verify it out and ring it up)
- Verifying recounts (customer doesn't want 90 day supply, so I count out 30 and verify it out)
- Taking doctor calls.
 

Transformer

10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2007
882
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Pharmacist
Ehh, there are a few things that a tech/intern can do that would help free up time for the pharmacist.

There was this one time we had a floater pharmacist come in because my boss had to take a day off, and she freaked out.

A few things that my boss lets me do that she freaked out about:

- Reconstituting and compounding medications.
- Verifying insurance re-bills (refill was too early 1 week ago, patient came back, I edited it with the current date, insurance goes through, I go to verify screen and verify it out and ring it up)
- Verifying recounts (customer doesn't want 90 day supply, so I count out 30 and verify it out)
- Taking doctor calls.
From my limited experience working at a few pharmacies, let me differentiate the duties between tech and intern that sparda outlined:

Tech duties: All Clerk duties plus reconstitute suspensions, compounding, counting medications sometimes.

Intern duties: All of tech duties including counting and verifying medication (Intern work should be verified by the preceptor/pharmacist in charge). Take new prescriptions over the phone from licensed Presribers. Give consultations to patients.

Sparada, I'm not sure why your Relief/floater pharmacist would be shocked with running insurance for the current date to process claim. (Medication was too soon in the past and put on hold. Now, it should be covered. This is a common procedure at the pharmacy)

btw, predominately, processing insurance is the duty of techs but interns should learn this trade since they will be future pharmacists and need to know the in and outs of dealing with medical, medicare, and private pharmacy insurances....

feel free to add to what I might have left out

Happy Holidays everyone:)
 
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wolfpackhal

UNC PharmD class of 2013
10+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2008
151
0
NC
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Ehh, there are a few things that a tech/intern can do that would help free up time for the pharmacist.

There was this one time we had a floater pharmacist come in because my boss had to take a day off, and she freaked out.

A few things that my boss lets me do that she freaked out about:

- Reconstituting and compounding medications.
- Verifying insurance re-bills (refill was too early 1 week ago, patient came back, I edited it with the current date, insurance goes through, I go to verify screen and verify it out and ring it up)
- Verifying recounts (customer doesn't want 90 day supply, so I count out 30 and verify it out)
- Taking doctor calls.
Oh yeah, I agree. I was only being general...if you want to get real technical with the laws and responsibilites of what a technician can do (and it varies among work settings) you would have to write up a whole manual.
 

Sparda29

En Taro Adun
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Mar 25, 2008
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Pharmacist
From my limited experience working at a few pharmacies, let me differentiate the duties between tech and intern that sparda outlined:

Tech duties: All Clerk duties plus reconstitute suspensions, compounding, counting medications sometimes.

Intern duties: All of tech duties including counting and verifying medication (Intern work should be verified by the preceptor/pharmacist in charge). Take new prescriptions over the phone from licensed Presribers. Give consultations to patients.

Sparada, I'm not sure why your Relief/floater pharmacist would be shocked with running insurance for the current date to process claim. (Medication was too soon in the past and put on hold. Now, it should be covered. This is a common procedure at the pharmacy)

btw, predominately, processing insurance is the duty of techs but interns should learn this trade since they will be future pharmacists and need to know the in and outs of dealing with medical, medicare, and private pharmacy insurances....

feel free to add to what I might have left out

Happy Holidays everyone:)
I'm not sure how the chain of command goes at pharmacies but I thought it is like this.

Pharmacy Manager > Staff Pharmacist > P4 Intern > P3 Intern > P2 Intern > P1 Intern > Lead Technician > Technician > Service Associate

I think the floater was freaked out with me using her initials without asking her, which my boss lets me do in certain situations.

Also, like when a customer wants refills on a box of syringes, that's something that my boss lets me fill + verify. Basically, the only thing you gotta do is enter the refill, print out the label, check to make sure the NDCs match, enter the initials.
 
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