Meet Mona, a Mental health Pharmacist who tells us all about her role and why she chose pharmacy as a career.Read transcript
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist and are registered healthcare professionals that are responsible and accountable for their own accurate and safe practice.
Mental Health pharmacy technicians work within a wide of employment locations including hospitals and secure units where you could be involved in the aseptic preparation of medicines, taking medication histories from patients, reviewing medicines, providing advice to patients about how to make the most of their medicines and giving advice on different treatment options. Your role will support the relationships between the wards and clinical areas, patients and pharmacy services.
In community pharmacy, as well as managing the supply of medicines, you may offer advice to patients and carers on public health initiatives such as stopping smoking, and provide expertise on different treatment options for patients in a specialist area, such as mental health or general practice.
Many pharmacy technicians work in primary care roles in general practice and care homes. These roles involve reviewing and recording the medication the patients should be taking, ensuring sufficient supplies, administering medicines, and counselling patients to support their understanding on how to use their medicines safely.
The entry requirements will vary depending on the course provider. However, as a guide, you might be expected to have the equivalent of four GCSEs at Grade C and above, including mathematics, English language, science and one other subject. You will also need to be working in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
GPhC-approved courses/qualifications are also available through a level 3 pharmacy technician apprenticeship. To apply, you'll need to be employed and working in a pharmacy to meet the required minimum number of experience hours working within the pharmacy environment, under the direct supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
Employers, including the NHS, offer jobs for trainee pharmacy technicians.
Pharmacy technicians must be able to communicate effectively with the wider healthcare team, patients and the public, whilst ensuring and maintaining confidentiality and privacy.
In addition, as a pharmacy technician you need to be:
In order to work in some specialist areas, you may be required to undertake additional post-registration training / qualifications.
To become a pharmacy technician involves the completion of a two-year training programme which combines practical work experience and study. Courses cover:
You will be required to undertake annual continuing professional development (CPD) with formal revalidation from the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Pharmacy technicians are responsible for much of the technical aspects of dispensing services and manufacturing medicines in hospital and industry, Your career could lead to senior pharmacy technician role, management and leadership roles, responsible for the work of other pharmacy technicians and support staff.
You could also specialise in a particular area of clinical practice such as mental health, oncology (cancer treatment), paediatrics or to work within the military or health and justice care (prison service). Pharmacy technicians also specialise in areas such as medicines management, manufacturing, quality control, education and training, information technology, supplies procurement, clinical trials or medicine information services.
Once qualified, many pharmacy technicians join the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK(APTUK), the national professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians working in all pharmacy sectors across all four countries of the UK.