A pharmacy assistant is an unlicensed assistive personnel employed in a pharmacy setting. Pharmacy assistants are employed in retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and mail-order pharmacy settings. No formal training or certification is required to be employed as a pharmacy assistant. Employers generally require a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training programs. Employees with access to prescription medications are usually required to pass a background check and urine drug screening prior to employment. A pharmacy assistant assists the pharmacist and pharmacy technician. Daily duties include accepting new prescriptions from patients and obtaining personal information needed to fill a prescription. The pharmacy assistant may answer phones (including multi-phone lines) from both customers and medical providers, and may perform general clerical duties. The pharmacy assistant may also manage inventory, including ordering and replacing stock and retuning expired items. Computer skills are required, as the pharmacy assistant must maintain a prescription record and customer database, as well as provide checkout register services to customers. Work is completely indoors, in climate-controlled conditions. Some lifting is required, usually no more than 20 pounds. Working hours can vary and are based on the pharmacy's peak times. Some pharmacies are open on nights, holidays, and weekends and require staffing. A position as a pharmacy assistant is ideal for those interested in pursuing education as a pharmacy technician or pharmacist. Overall, the pharmacy assistant is expected to provide prompt, courteous customer service.
Pharmacy Assistant Tasks
- Accept prescriptions for filling, gathering and processing necessary information.
- Assist pharmacists and technicians with customer service.
- Receive, store and inventory pharmacy supplies within specified guidelines.
- Performs clerical support; answers telephone inquiries, files, compiles and maintains prescription records and database.