Pharmacy tech school can offer you the chance to take a leap into the healthcare field in as little as ten months, depending on the program. Pharmacy technicians are in demand, and pharmacy tech school has never been more accessible or more affordable. You can even complete your programs online, so you don’t have to risk social distancing and other COVID-related risk factors.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the more important pieces of knowledge that you’ll obtain in pharmacy tech school. That way, you’ll get a better understanding of what you’re paying for and what a pharmacy technician actually does.
Here are five things you’ll learn in pharmacy tech school.
1. Anatomy And Physiology
Anatomy and physiology are covered in most pharmacy tech courses, though not in great detail. You need a rudimentary knowledge of these things to become a pharmacy technician, but since you’re not performing surgery or assessing illness, that’s as far as your training goes.
Remember that anatomy is the study of the body’s organs and systems, and physiology is the study of the chemistry and physics of how they work in relation to one another. It’s important to at least understand the basic functions of the body, so you have a better idea of why certain medications are prescribed. The more you understand your job, the more satisfied you’ll feel while you’re doing it, and the more rewarding it will be overall.
2. Medical Ethics
Ethics are a crucial part of a conscious and compassionate healthcare worker. In pharmacy tech school, you’ll learn the do’s and don’ts of being a pharmacy technician, including how to interact with patients, handle paperwork, file insurance claims properly, store medication, and so much more. A pharmacy technician can have a lot of responsibilities to manage on a day-to-day basis, so ethics will inevitably come into play some time.
Ethics also teach you not to engage in illegal or illicit activities while on the job. As a pharmacy tech, you’ll be around controlled substances and other drugs on a daily basis. Things like accepting money for illegal prescription drugs or controlled substances can not only cost you your job, but also land you in serious legal trouble. The bottom line? Pay attention in your ethics class—and use common sense when it comes to doing your job!
3. Attention To Detail
Perhaps one of the most important skills you’ll learn in pharmacy tech school is serious attention to detail. When you’re working with prescriptions, controlled substances, and personal information, attention to detail isn’t just a good skill to have—it’s a necessary one. The more attentive you are to the finer details of your job, the less of a chance there is to make mistakes. Mistakes with controlled substances can be dangerous to your job and your freedom.
You’ll need to learn to read over things carefully, double-check things like insurance paperwork, and always remember to verify personal info with the patient. You’ll also need to have some intuition as to when things don’t seem right. Insurance fraud is still a serious problem in the US, and you’d be amazed by how many people use their pharmacy to conduct illicit business.
4. Medical Terminology
Medical terminology is also crucial to your position as a pharmacy technician. You’ll need to know the names of prescription drugs, the medical terms for body parts and illnesses, and more. You’ll hear these terms at one point or another, and it’s just important to understand the terminology that relates to your field of study.
Medical terminology is something that you’ll take with you into higher learning, as well. You might be surprised how much a foundation in medical terminology can help if you seek out a higher position in healthcare. Many pharmacy technicians choose to go on to become pharmacists themselves!
What kind of pharmacy technician would you be if you didn’t know anything about the drugs you were helping to package and send off to patients? Pharmacology is an important part of your education. You’ll learn the names of common drugs, their chemical properties, and how they treat the conditions they’re assigned for. This can be especially helpful if patients start asking questions, or if you’re not sure how to tell two drugs apart aside from their names.
At its core, an education as a pharmacy tech is a simple but rewarding step into the healthcare industry. You’ll learn important terminology, the body’s structures and their functions, and much more. If this sounds like a career you’d be interested in, don’t wait to get started! There are thousands of programs to choose from, including online-only programs and work at your own pace programs. Best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune to get your education. Most programs cost less than $10,000 to complete.