6 Reasons to Become a Pharmacy Assistant

Do you value working in a busy environment that relies on customer service, accuracy, and organization? Are you looking for a career that will challenge you to perform a wide range of essential tasks? If you want a job that will consistently challenge you and are interested in the medical field and helping others, you may want to consider becoming a pharmacy assistant. With increased pressure and demand on healthcare processes, the role of a pharmacy assistant is growing within the medical field.

What does a pharmacy assistant do?

By working as part of a team headed by a registered pharmacist, a pharmacy assistant takes on multiple roles in the workplace to help improve public health. The breadth of responsibility will often depend on the size of the pharmacy. Generally, a pharmacy assistant can be expected to handle the following responsibilities:

  • Answering customer concerns and questions on-site or over the phone
  • Generating stock purchase lists and medical product labels
  • Packing, assembling, and labelling medications
  • Referring patient questions to the managing pharmacist
  • Receiving deliveries and restocking the pharmacy floor
  • Placing orders for drugs via the pharmacist’s directions
  • Offering suggestions and advice concerning over-the-counter medications
  • Assisting in dispensing medications
  • Managing the cash register
  • Taking in prescription orders for pharmacy processing
  • Delivering medicines to other pharmacies or health centres
  • Handing out medications to customers
  • Maintaining electronic files and information on patients

The pharmacy assistant position includes the above duties but can consist of many more assignments depending on pharmacy size and the level of customer demand.

6 reasons to become a pharmacy assistant

Why should you consider a career as a pharmacy assistant? Aside from the primary responsibilities associated with this position, this career field offers challenges that increase your interpersonal and communication skills as well as provide you with the necessary background should you advance to higher positions within this field. Here are 5 reasons to become a pharmacy assistant:

1. Healthcare is a growing field.

Many career fields in healthcare are expanding, and positions for pharmacy assistants are no exception. With an ageing population and continued advancements in pharmaceutical research, more patients will need medical care and advice. Pharmacy positions are expected to grow by 36,000 jobs over the next 5 years.

2. You have many options for work locations.

Many people hear “pharmacy assistant” and automatically think of a position in a retail pharmacy. However, there are many other settings to work in as a pharmacy assistant. Some of these locations include:

  • Hospice care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Nuclear pharmacies
  • Compounding pharmacies
  • Mail-order pharmacies
  • Corrections facilities

The variety of options available means that you can choose the type of pharmaceutical environment that best fits your interests.

3. Your work makes people’s lives better.

Unlike some other jobs that may seem menial, as a pharmaceutical assistant, you will directly impact the lives of other people in your community. You will experience the fulfilment of helping others whether you are cashing out customers, measuring medications, or interacting with a customer. A career as a pharmacy assistant is one where you will make a difference every day at work.

4. You will have a variety of hands-on roles.

The pharmaceutical field is ideal for a person who doesn’t gel with a traditional office job or who wants a position where movement is a constant. Pharmacy assistants have tactile responsibilities that are not limited to inputting data. Filling medications, measuring prescriptions, and organizing stock will keep your days filled with purposeful action.

5. This healthcare field provides advancement opportunities.

Becoming a pharmacy assistant is only the first step of a long and lucrative career path. You may be at the starting point in this field, however, as you gain experience you can use that knowledge to advance further in the pharmaceutical field or even branch out into different roles within the healthcare industry.

6. You can get your initial qualification quickly.

It takes as little as 6 weeks with ICI UK’s Pharmacy Assistant program to complete a diploma for initial qualification. From here, you can enter the job market for a pharmacy assistant position. The next step in this field is to require a Level 2 knowledge and competency-based dispensing assistant qualification, a process that takes 6 to 12 weeks to complete. Within a year, you can advance two steps into your career as a pharmacy assistant.

Make a difference with a career as a pharmacy assistant

Can you envision yourself in a career within an exciting healthcare field? Do you enjoy problem-solving and working with a team? Then a career as a pharmacy assistant may be the right job for you. Enrol in ICI UK’s Pharmacy Assistant courses to complete your initial qualifications and start your new career today.

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Gladys Mae

Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.