Meet a Pharmacy Technician: Denise | Health Sciences Education | Cleveland Clinic

What interested you in becoming a Pharmacy Technician?

My interest in becoming a pharmacy technician started in 2000. I joined Walgreen's as a cashier in the pharmacy. Walgreen's taught me the retail portion of being a pharmacy technician and paid for my National Certification through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).

What physical and/or soft skills do you need to succeed?

To succeed as a pharmacy technician you must be organized, alert, observant, and precise. This is a job with a lot of responsibility where errors can sometimes be a matter of life or death. In general, technicians receive written prescriptions and process insurance claim information. Then they count, weigh, and measure the medication, compound pharmaceutical components, select the proper containers, and prepare and apply the labels.

Pharmacy technicians who work in hospitals or long-term care facilities are also responsible for reading and documenting in patients’ charts and delivering the medications to the nursing station or to the patients themselves. In high-tech facilities pharmacy technicians may use robotic equipment to assemble doses for each patient and dispense them when needed.

What interested you in working for Cleveland Clinic?

I came to Cleveland Clinic wanting more of this exciting career. I want to know how to make intravenous (IV) medications and to learn to compound medicines together, I wanted to see just how much I could learn.

What excites you about working as a Pharmacy Technician?

The constant learning is what excites me. Everyday there are new drugs, new developments. It is constantly changing and this makes it exciting.

What has been your most gratifying experience as a Pharmacy Technician?

Knowing that I have the knowledge to help someone or passing on my knowledge is gratifying to me.

What career options do you have as a Pharmacy Technician?

As a Pharmacy Technician that is certified, there are many options in this field. Pharmacy Technicians can work in a wide variety of settings and institutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 71 percent of technicians work for retail pharmacies, drug stores, or chains.

Pharmacy technicians can also work in the military and for hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities. They can also work for home health care companies, mail-order pharmacies, and managed care facilities. In addition, they can work for educational or training companies, colleges, or for the pharmaceutical industry as sales personnel or trainers. In fact, some pharmacy technicians go back to school and become pharmacists themselves.