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Careers: Pharmacy Technical Assistant

Overview

Pharmacy technical assistant is an entry level position for trained medical professionals pursing careers in the healthcare, elder care and/or pharmaceutical industries. Success as a pharmacy technical assistant relies on a knowledge of pharmaceuticals, sterile and non-sterile application techniques, parenteral and non-parenteral drugs, pharmaceutical calculations, pharmaceutical application software and skills managing inventory and records. Training in this field equips graduates with a range of core skills applicable to the three principle work environments of the industry: community pharmacies, hospitals and long term care facilities.

Pharmacy Technical Assistant Job Description

While a pharmacy technical assistant’s job may vary depending on what type of environment they are hired to work in, there are some responsibilities that apply regardless of the occupation setting. These include but are not limited to:

• Maintaining an inventory of medications
• Maintaining prescription records
• Ensuring the accuracy of prescription information
• Maintaining a client database
• Understanding and applying legislation pertaining to pharmaceutical drugs and the healthcare industry
• Preparing medication
• Compounding oral solutions, ointments and creams
• Billing third-party insurers

Pharmacy Technical Assistant Projected Demand

The demand for prescription drugs per person is constant. The need for pharmaceuticals typically increases with age and as the largest segment of Canada’s population – the baby boomers – get older, opportunities in the pharmacy technical assistant field are expected to steadily increase. Pharmacy technical assistants earn on average $14.47 an hour in Canada. This is an entry level positon, with possibilities for career advancement over time.