Labor Shortage Results in Long Waits at Local Pharmacies

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Prescriptions were filled and ready for pick-up in an hour only a couple of years ago. Today, it may take a day to get that prescription filled or refilled with long lines due to the labor shortage of pharmacy technicians. Many pharmacies are understaffed.

Many people do not realize they can become certified pharmacy technicians without a four-year degree. This is an essential healthcare position that welcomes young people in Texas who have a high school diploma or GED.

Pharmacy Technician Responsibilities

The pharmacy technician fills the prescriptions. The job includes:

  • Locating the correct medication
  • Counting out pills or tablets
  • Mixing compounds including liquid medications
  • Labeling bottles and packages
  • Securing all refill authorizations when required.

This is only part of the work performed by trained pharmacy technicians. They learn how to complete the sale and help patients with additional information when necessary. This is a position that requires a pleasant personality and the desire to interact with the public.

Information Processing

The trained pharmacy technician must also learn to work with medical insurance. This includes handling insurance claims once the prescription is ordered. Many patients have a prescription co-pay and the technician must learn to work with this requirement.

Using the pharmacy’s computer system is a major part of the job. The computer programs will provide the necessary information on costs and copay if the patient’s information is entered correctly. The technician will understand how the insurance billing programs work through the computer system. A technician may have to explain copay requirements, deductibles, and costs to patients who are often confused about insurance coverage. This includes Part D Medicare billing.

The pharmacy technician also has to learn about the over-the-counter supplements and other options available to patients. This information is offered to people who ask questions about vitamins and other products. They may ask the technician for a comparison between a prescription and a product on the shelves.

A pharmacy technician may be asked to conduct an inventory of the medications and recommend restocking when necessary. Technicians also learn the procedures for filling prescriptions for controlled narcotic medications. Technicians work with professional pharmacists, and they can connect the pharmacology expert with the patient.

Become a Pharmacy Technician in Texas

Pharmacies need you. Southern Careers Institute offers a hybrid program of in-person and online training for people who want to work as pharmacy technicians. The hours are flexible, and a student can qualify to take the Pharmacy Certification Technician Exam (PCTE) as soon as training is completed. Southern Careers Institute will pay for the exam if it is taken within three months of completion of the program.

We assist certified technicians find work in pharmacies throughout the state. This includes major drug store chains, supermarkets, and local pharmacies. In addition, jobs are available in pharmacies in nursing homes, hospitals, and mail-order services.

There is a need for healthcare workers everywhere. Start as a pharmacy technician and move on to other positions within the healthcare industry. Contact us at Southern Careers Institute in Texas for more information on class programs at our eight campuses that will lead to rewarding careers in healthcare.

This article was published on: 02/21/22 1:01 AM

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