To get the doctor’s prescription from a pharmacy, patients will have to deal with a pharmacy assistant. He’s the one behind the counter to greet the customers and patients who need medicine prescribed by doctors. This is a critical supporting role for a licensed pharmacist to keep his pharmacy running smoothly. The responsibilities of a pharmacy assistant include:
- Preparing prescriptions
- Updating patient records.
- Processing insurance claims and payments.
- Maintaining inventory.
- Answering the phone calls.
Typical Dynamics for Pharmacy Assistant Role
Considering all these responsibilities, one can imagine that there could be a new job for a pharmacy assistant for all the days of the week as this role includes a wide range of responsibilities making every day different from the previous one. So following dynamics are those that can display and how the day of pharmacy assistant might unfold.
- Let’s start with the prescription of the two patients who are new to your pharmacy. One of them has a blood pressure problem, and the other one needs some ointment to apply to his injuries. It is the job of the pharmacy assistant to enter the record of each patient as a new file on the computer and enter his name, birthdate, address and all known medical problems. The pharmacy assistant must inform the patient about their prescription to be ready for pick it up.
- Then the pharmacy assistant will start preparing the prescriptions. He will check the exact number of pills for BP medication and will prepare the prescription. In the case of the second patient, he might be allergic to preservatives. So, in that case, the ointment needs to be compounded so that there are no preservatives. The accurate mixing and weighing of ingredients play a vital role in the preparation of exact prescriptions.
Prescription Approval and Payment Process:
- After finishing the pharmacy, the assistant needs to label each packet of prescription and presented to the licensed, pharmacist to approve everything is done in the correct order.
- The next duty will be to maintain inventory by looking at the pharmacy shelves and ensuring that enough products are available for customers’ needs if some expired medication comes across to your notice. It becomes necessary to dispose off that expired medicine according to the protocol and order the new ones.
- The pharmacy assistant will enter the insurance details in the software of the pharmacy and will inform the patient about the cost covered by insurance and what he needs to pay, after processing the bills, he needs to process his credit card for payment and hand the prescription over.
Pick up & other Work:
- Now, it might be the time that the patient with BP pills prescription had arrived for pickup. So the pharmacy assistant will ensure that pharmacist has counselled the patient properly on the usage of medication, and then the pharmacy assistant will take him to the cash register and over medicene after payment.
- Next might be the responsibility of sorting out the capsules to prepare blister packs and the duties handed over by the senior who needs help for delivering the blister pack the next day.
The responsibilities mentioned above are a glimpse of a typical day for a pharmacy assistant. However, working at hospitals will make it a bit different or say that more or less the same.
Pharmacy Assistant Working at Hospital versus Retail Pharmacy
The exact primary responsibilities of pharmacy assistants remain the same everywhere. However, some key differences can be observed working in retail pharmacies and hospital pharmacies.
The pharmacy assistant working at a retail pharmacy will have to deal directly with customers and master their customer services skills. At the same time, they were working at a hospital pharmacy. The pharmacy assistant will have to deal with nurses and doctors instead of directly to patients. So, customer services skills are not focused in there.
Working at a retail pharmacy, assistants will have to be more careful while preparing prescriptions and compounding creams and ointments. While those working at hospitals will have to compound medication, they will also have to prepare IVs and nutritional solutions.
In short, the pharmacy assistant working at a retail pharmacy will have to give more working hours and have nights off. Those who are working at hospitals they will have to operate around the clock. So there night and weekend shifts are always on.
Career as Pharmacy Assistant:
Bay River College is offering a diploma program of 34 Weeks for pharmacy assistants. It also includes a Practicum of 200 hours. Moreover, the essential skills will consist of prescription preparation, customer services, inventory management, aseptic techniques, and compounding. Most of our trainers are hired by healthy noun pharmacies in Canada. However, for more queries and requirements of the application, feel free to contact our admission advisors. They are ready to help you in any way possible.