Page 36 - B2B Spring19
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Dalton Black was born and raised in Helena, and has worked for two years as a Pharmacy Technician
at Osco Drug inside Albertsons, during which time he obtained his Tech in Training license and was certi ed almost one year ago. He
is currently working and taking classes locally, as he pursues his goal of becoming a Pharmacist. Dalton gave us a glimpse into his work as a Pharmacy Technician, a job he enjoys immensely, and one he wishes he had discovered earlier in his life.
A Pharmacy Technician is typically the  rst and last person a customer encounters when he drops a prescription off, or picks one up, at his local pharmacy. He is the
person who meets you at the drop- off window of a pharmacy, and veri es that the prescription can be  lled. He checks the information for accuracy, analyzes the script, checks for compliance with insurance, and dispenses the drug.
Many Pharmacy Technicians start out working as clerks or cashiers
in a drug store (in this area, at around $11-12/hour). If he/she wants to move into a Pharmacy Technician job, a certi cation process is required. An interested person applies to the State Board
of Pharmacy for a Tech in Training License, which allows him to
work with drugs in a pharmacy.
A background check is necessary as well. (With a Tech in Training License, one is typically given a pay raise of about $1/hour.) Once
a person receives the license, he has 12 months to complete the Certi cation, if that next step is desired. A Certi ed Pharmacy Technician earns around $15-16/ hour. Once certi ed, a Pharmacy Technician must renew it every two years, which involves earning 20 Continuing Education (CE) Credits. There are several ways to go about the Certi cation process, and each pharmacy handles it differently
for its employees; some help by providing training, and others expect a person to undertake it on his or her own time.
A Pharmacy Technician who works in a commercial pharmacy relies on a great deal of math as
a part of his job. He must learn
the top 200 brand and generic drugs, how they tie together, and which classes they fall under; understand the laws pertaining
to what drugs the pharmacy can and cannot issue (say, for patients with Medicare); know which drugs each insurance provider prefers; understand the DEA and FDA regulations; and have the capacity to do dimensional analysis, which involves converting between different units of measurement. Pharmacy Technicians who work in facilities like hospitals or inpatient facilities are additionally required to understand proportions for things like bedside medications, topical ointments and IV bags.
A person who is able to multi- task and work well in a fast-paced environment would do well as
a Pharmacy Technician; Dalton suggests that the job is well suited to a strong but quiet person who
is well rounded, caring, can be subtle and discreet, and works well with others. There is a good deal
of learning that takes place every day on the job, and once a person has mastered the basic skills, the job gets easier, though there is always more one can learn. Work hours are generally consistent; technicians typically rotate schedules and weekends. For many, working as a Pharmacy Technician becomes the gateway to becoming
a Pharmacist, which requires
a 2-year Pre-Pharmacy degree followed by four rigorous years of Pharmacy School.

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