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How Do I Become a Pharmacist Assistant?

A pharmacist assistant may be responsible for inventory management.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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There are three requirements to become a pharmacist assistant: post-secondary education, experience, and a criminal record check. A pharmacist assistant works in a drug dispensing role within a pharmacy. Under the supervision of the pharmacist, they are responsible for reviewing prescriptions, completing the order and maintaining detailed records.

As a pharmacist assistant, responsibilities include inventory management for a large store of drugs and narcotics. Many pharmacist assistants order supplies for the pharmacy and complete accounting records. The pharmacy team usually consists of one pharmacist, and two assistants.

In order to become a pharmacist assistant, you must complete a training program. These programs are available through a wide range of community and career colleges. The typically program is two years in length and focuses on chemistry, pharmacy and drug interactions. Admission requirements to this program include high school courses in English, chemistry, math and business.

Relevant experience includes customer service roles, positions where precision was required and the opportunity to interact with others. During the college program, most schools arrange a work term. This provides an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience and references to help you become a pharmacist assistant.

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A criminal record check is a standard requirement for anyone who wants to become a pharmacist assistant. The role involves unrestricted access to prescription medication. It is very important to ensure that all candidates have no history of selling or purchasing drugs. The local police station performs this check annually. The specific types of offenses included in a police report vary by state, so it is important to check this information in advance.

Pharmacist assistants can find employment in pharmacies, hospitals, seniors' homes, correctional facilities or the military. In all these roles, it is important to display integrity, and professionalism. The incorrect medication can be deadly, so precision and attention to detail are critical.

In some companies, pharmacist assistants are required to submit to random drug testing. The degree and frequency of testing varies widely. It can be part of a more widespread company policy. Either way, it is best to avoid any unauthorized drug use, as the risks are quite high.

Upon graduation, many pharmacist assistants take additional certification in specific industries, such as senior or pediatrics care. They can work closely with the pharmacist to discuss drug interactions, test new medications and different delivery systems options. All these programs enhance your employment opportunities and career advancement choices.

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Discuss this Article

anon191606
Post 5

I would like to see myself as a pharmacist one day.

latte31
Post 3

Sunshine31-I agree that customer service is important. Sometimes customers wait in long lines to pick up their prescriptions and when a pharmacist assistant does not acknowledge this it really leaves a sour note with the customers.

This used to happen every time I would have to go to Eckerd’s.

Thank goodness CVS bought them out because they do give excellent customer service. I love all of the coupons that they give me. These are the main reasons why I stick with CVS only.

sunshine31
Post 2

Cafe41-They also process discount prescription cards and try to offer generic equivalents to customers in order to save them money.

Pharmacy assistants have to display excellent customer service skills to ensure that customers return to the pharmacy to have their prescriptions filled.

Maintaining eye contact is important and if the customer has a question regarding their medication it is important to get the answers from the pharmacists for them.

cafe41
Post 1

The best thing to do if you are interested in learning how to become a pharmacy technician is to enroll in a program in a community college or trade school.

Most programs only require a commitment of one year. While you are enrolled in school, you can learn how to become a pharmacist assistant and work in a drug store.

You basically work as a clerk and stock shelves.

You will also pull prescription orders for customers and may call them at home to remind them when their automatic refill prescriptions are ready, or if they chose to leave a prescription order you also let them know that the prescription is available for pick up.

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