Career outlook for pharmacy technician
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would prepare and supply prescription medicine to treat people’s illnesses and health conditions.
You could be based in a community, hospital pharmacy or primary care (for example, GP practices or care homes). You’d work under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist.
- select the correct items to make up a prescription
- weigh out ingredients, measure liquids and count out tablets
- put together ointment mixtures, and medicines
- make sure prescriptions are legal and accurate
- create labels which give information about the medicines and how to use them
- order new stock using computerised systems
If you work in a hospital pharmacy you might be responsible for making up medicines for patients who are having cancer treatment. These need to be made in special sterile conditions to avoid contamination. It is especially important in these cases to be as accurate and methodical as possible.
You would also be responsible for making sure that each department in the hospital has the right amount of medicine in stock. With experience, you could specialise in a particular area such as quality control, clinical trials or medicines information services.
If you work in a community pharmacy, you would talk with customers to:
- advise them about prescription medicines and over-the-counter products
- advise about healthy living
- explain how to deal with minor illness
Some pharmacy technicians also provide a stop smoking service.
You’d need to be able to explain things clearly. People may be embarrassed about their health conditions so you’d need to have tact and discretion.
You would refer them to a pharmacist or healthcare professional when necessary.
You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Pharmacy technician page on the NHS Scotland Careers website.
UK employment status
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- Positive attitude
- Verbal communication
- Social conscience
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- Taking responsibility
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