By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
If you are someone who enjoys science and medicine, as well as problem-solving and helping others, then a career as a pharmacy assistant could be right for you. This career field provides a job with daily challenges involving a range of tasks serving the general public. Pharmacy assistants are in demand due to the substantial and continuing growth in the healthcare field. Read more about this career field below and learn how it can change your life for the better.
Pharmacy assistants are responsible for a variety of duties each shift. Those obligations range from customer service to selling over-the-counter products to stocking inventory and medications to submitting insurance claims. Confirming prescriptions is one of the most common roles associated with this field, along with receiving and unloading deliveries and referring questions and concerns to the pharmacist on duty.
Due to the growth of the healthcare field, more people turn to pharmacists and their assistants daily for questions and concerns about their medications and care. While assistant pharmacists are most often associated with filling prescriptions, the position of pharmacy assistant involves much more than that role. Here are some reasons why you might fall in love with being a pharmacy assistant.
One of the best parts about being a pharmacy assistant is making a difference in people’s lives every day. This fulfilling career field allows you to use your specific skill set to assist others in a vital area of concern: healthcare. Helping other people resolve problems or answering questions for them will not only make you feel good but will also give your position a sense of purpose. From having a friendly conversation with a customer at the register to making sure a person gets the right kind of over-the-counter medicine, connecting with other people makes being a pharmacy assistant a job you will enjoy.
There are no mandatory entry requirements to be a pharmacy assistant; however, obtaining the training and job development skills necessary to do this job well, and advance further in this field, are essential for success. Online courses, like ICI UK’s Pharmacy Assistant program, allow students to obtain diplomas within a short period to stand out from other competitors in the job market. These courses will teach you about these core components of pharmacy:
Completing a pharmacy assistant diploma shows potential employers that you have a serious interest in this career field. After completion of your initial diploma, you can apply for qualifications to acquire an NVQ level 2 dispensing assistant qualification followed by a BTEC level 2 qualification in pharmaceutical science. These qualifications take from 6 to 12 months to complete, so within a year or two, you can have a more advanced role in your pharmacy community.
The pharmaceutical field offers a multitude of advancement opportunities, making it an ideal field for anyone who wants long-term professional possibilities and exciting, new challenges. With additional qualifications, you can move from a pharmacy assistant to a supervisory or team leader position. Many pharmacy assistants apply to train for jobs as a pharmacy technician and, eventually, if they so choose, a pharmacist.
As a pharmacy assistant, you can work towards becoming a technician and expanding your career horizons from there. Technicians work in a variety of locations, including hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and mail-order subscription businesses. Pharmaceutical science gives you a choice of the type of environment you want to work in.
If you want to enter a growing field that will increase in the next decade, pharmacy is the career to choose. The UK pharmaceutical market is expected to increase by $43 billion in 2020; thus, the demand for jobs in this market will be on the rise. With an ageing population and changing healthcare trends, there are more patients for pharmacies to service.
More pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy assistants are needed to prepare for the influx of older patients. Therefore, taking online courses and earning qualifications to become a pharmacy assistant can put you on the path to a lifetime of secure yet challenging jobs in this field.
The daily role of a pharmacy assistant isn’t for people who like to sit in an office cubicle and stare at a computer screen. A pharmacy assistant’s job is hands-on and encompasses various duties and responsibilities each day. An assistant works under the supervision of technicians and pharmacists, but may also be responsible for stocking shelves, packaging prescriptions, and manage customer transactions, all in the same shift. As a pharmacy assistant, you will be on the move, working a job that is different each day.
Help others while you help give your career and future a boost by enrolling in ICI UK’s Pharmacy Assistant courses. Earn your diploma and get started in a career field that is growing exponentially and that will provide fulfilment and a sense of purpose to your employment.