Career Story: Pharmacy Technician At A Small Community Hospital

Pharmacy Technician At A Small Community Hospital

Job Title: Pharmacy Technician

Type of Company: A small community hospital.

Education: BA, Music Performance

Previous Experience: I worked my way through college in a small independent pharmacy and have had various pharmacy jobs over the years, one of which was at a large medical center.

Job Tasks: Right now I am doing billing and computer work. I maintain the Pyxis system, which is sort of like a vending machine for drugs. I also audit patient profiles to make sure nursing is charting all the meds they are administering. I check certain areas of the hospital to make sure all their meds have been accurately billed. This week our computer system had a virus so I spent 2 1/2 days with our service guy while he fixed that. I deal with whatever problems arise each day.

Billing involves running reports to see which meds were pulled from the machines and comparing those to the lists of meds that were billed to each patient. If I find something missing -- and which I almost always do -- I email that list to another person in the finance department who posts the charges manually. Auditing requires running another report and comparing what was billed to what was charted on each patient's profile. I have to write incident reports on any discrepancies I find there.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Mine is a good solid job. I have a nice office with windows, mostly I am working on my own and not too many people bother me. However, there is a lot of sitting in front of a computer, which can be hard on the eyes and tedious. I do get to work with other people in the hospital on occasion and I get to deal with service people who come to work on Pyxis. That part is very nice and I enjoy it.

Job Tips:
1. Becoming nationally certified in this field is now required at many institutions, and it can also pay more if you are certified.

2. There is a pharmacy tech course you can take which will make sure you get certified. This would be helpful if you don't have previous pharmacy experience. It will also be helpful in showing you the math that is involved in the job.

3. My state requires registration as well. Each is a two-year license which you have to pay for.

Additional Thoughts: Although this can be a decent job, if you are looking for a high-paying job or room for advancement, then you should become a pharmacist. This would be a good part-time job for someone who is not the major supporter of a family. Also, it is a decent job for someone who wants to be in healthcare without having direct patient contact.

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