Pharmacy Technician Schools in Florida
A pharmacy technician works with licensed pharmacists to distribute prescription medications. A pharmacy technician may take down the information needed from the customer to fill a prescription, label and package prescriptions, and mix medications, among other tasks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), pharmacy technicians should have strong customer service and organizational skills and be detail-oriented, as the job requires balancing numerous responsibilities, dealing with customers on a regular basis, and filling prescriptions (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). If a pharmacist lacks an attention to detail while counting out tablets of medication for prescriptions or customer service skills while answering a customer's phone call, they won't be able to perform the duties of the job well, according to the BLS.
Tools and technology that a pharmacy technician uses
While some aspects of a pharmacy technician's job don't require technology or tools beyond a telephone or computer, there are some job duties that do. Here are two tools you can expect to use as a pharmacy technician and will likely learn about if you attend one of the pharmacy tech schools in Florida:
- Balance - This is used to weigh the material that will be used in the compounding of a prescription. To use a balance, pharmacy technicians must place their desired weight on one pan and the material they're weighing (the prescription medicine, presumably) on the other pan. Then they begin to balance it out, adjusting the prescription to the desired weight. This is a very common piece of equipment used at a pharmacy.
Spatula - In a pharmacy setting, spatulas are used to transfer ingredients (powders, creams, ointments) to the weighing pans (the balance). Pharmacy technicians will also use spatulas to mix ingredients together. There are different kinds of spatulas for different mixtures and transfers.
Pharmacy Tech Schools in Florida
There are a number of programs for pharmacy technicians in Florida, making the state a good place to both attend school and start a career. The pharmacy technician schools in Florida may prepare you for the pharmacy technician jobs the state has to offer.
As of May 2012, according to the BLS, there were 23,490 pharmacy technicians in Florida, earning an hourly mean wage of $13.66 and an annual mean wage of $28,410 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). Florida has the third-highest employment for pharmacy technicians in America, after California and Texas (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). The BLS reports that, as of 2012, the vast majority of pharmacy techs were employed in health and personal care stores, followed by general medical and surgical hospitals, other general merchandise stores, grocery stores, and department stores (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). The BLS projects that employment of pharmacy technicians will grow by 32 percent from 2010 to 2020 nationally, which is more than double the average for all other occupations (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). The projection stems from advances in pharmaceutical research leading to more prescriptions being used to fight diseases. Also, the older population is growing, demanding more prescription medications than younger people. The BLS expects excellent job prospects for pharmacy technicians, especially those who have formal training and have gained experience in retail settings. Pharmacy technician schools in Florida can provide formal education and training, which may give you an edge as an applicant for pharmacy technician jobs.
There are a number of places in Florida that hire pharmacy technicians, from pharmacies in stores such as Rite Aid to hospitals such as Florida Hospital (one of the largest not-for-profit hospitals in America, with 22 campuses in Florida and nearly 18,000 employees). Florida pharmacy technician schools may be able to provide you with the necessary skills to join the ranks of thousands of other pharmacy technicians in Florida.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13, Pharmacy Technicians, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012, Pharmacy Technicians, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292052.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages: Florida, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_fl.htm#29-0000
OoCities.org, Tech Lectures: For the Pharmacy Technician, "Section XXIV: Principles of Compounding," Joe Medina, 2008, http://www.oocities.org/techlectures/compounding.pdf
Florida Hospital, Florida Hospital System, "About Us," http://www.floridahospital.com/about