Types of Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in many of the important tasks relating to the research, science, and distribution of medicine. Different types of pharmacy technicians are needed to support the work of pharmacists in a variety of settings. Pharmacy technicians are placed in support roles that enable scientists and community pharmacists to concentrate on the major tasks or goals of an organization.

Ambulatory Pharmacy Technicians

As a type of outpatient care, ambulatory pharmacy technicians aid pharmacists who work to prevent the need for ongoing in-patient care at clinics and hospitals. Ambulatory pharmacies may perform medication infusions or counsel elderly patients on the appropriate use of medications. Ambulatory pharmacies may also work directly with doctors to determine an appropriate course of treatment for patients with drug interactions and other issues.

Pharmacy technicians at an ambulatory pharmacy are largely responsible for administrative work and assist with inventory control. General pharmacy technician graduates may be hired for this position.

Community Pharmacy Technicians

People are most familiar with community pharmacy technicians because they work in a retail setting at drug stores or in independent pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians at a community pharmacy may help answer questions about labels, provide access to information about medication, and help with the day to day operations of the pharmacy including bookkeeping, cashiering, and other administrative tasks.

General pharmacy technician graduates may be hired for this position.

Government Pharmacy Technicians

Government pharmacy technicians are those which work for the U.S. government, either in the military, for veterans, or in the FDA. Like other types of pharmacy technicians, they are responsible for assisting the primary pharmacists in running the pharmacy and distributing medicine.

General pharmacy technician graduates may be hired for this position, but certain entities search for candidates with years of experience in a pharmacy.

Hospital Pharmacy Technicians

This type of pharmacy technician works in a hospital setting and is primarily charged with assisting the in-house pharmacist. Technicians may work only in the pharmacy, or visit other hospital departments to help the pharmacist deliver medications to patients and departments.

Hospital pharmacy technicians may fill out paperwork and create reports for the pharmacist and hospital administration or finance departments. General pharmacy technician graduates may be hired for this position.

Managed Care Pharmacy Technicians

Managed care pharmacy technicians are a special type of healthcare worker that works under the supervision of a managed care pharmacist. This type of pharmacy is dedicated to managing the medication of patients covered by HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) policies.

The pharmacy technician is typically required to complete paperwork and fill-in forms as needed. General pharmacy technician graduates may be hired for this position.

Nuclear Pharmacy Technicians

Nuclear pharmacy technicians assist nuclear pharmacists in the composition and distribution of radioactive and nuclear medications and treatments. Because nuclear medicine is a very advanced field of medicine and the job market is very stiff, it can take many years to become a nuclear pharmacy technician.

The technician in a nuclear pharmacy is often tasked with administrative duties, as well. General pharmacy technician graduates need advanced training to apply to a nuclear pharmacy position.

Research Pharmacy Technicians

Research pharmacy technicians work in science labs where scientists are working to identify the benefits and hazards of medications. Research pharmacy is integral in improving medications. Research pharmacy technicians may be students of pharmacy schools, or pharmacy college graduates working in a university laboratory and other research facilities. General pharmacy technician graduates often need additional, scientific training to qualify for this type of job.

Radiopharmacy Technicians

Radiopharmacists are integral in treating patients with radioactive medications that treat cancer and other diseases. In this setting, a radiopharmacy technician helps the pharmacist handle and store hazardous drugs so that staff and the public are safe from harm. Pharmacy technicians that work with radiopharmacists may also be responsible for keeping records and maintaining inventory counts. General pharmacy technician graduates often need additional, scientific training to qualify for this type of pharmacy job.