Hospital pharmacy technicians work as part of the pharmacy support team across a number of areas within the hospital and surrounding communities. They work alongside pharmacists and pharmacy assistants as well as with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in the wider hospital team.
Hospital pharmacy technicians undertake a variety of roles including:
As hospital pharmacy technicians gain more experience and competence they can specialise in their area of practice, train other colleagues or take on more senior management roles.
Community pharmacy technicians work as part of the team in retail pharmacy businesses in cities, towns and villages.
In their immediate team they work with pharmacists, dispensary and medicine counter assistants. However, they also work with colleagues in GP practices, nursing homes and other healthcare professions.
Pharmacy technicians can play an integral role in the running of a community pharmacy by:
With professional development and experience, a community pharmacy technician can oversee the operational running of a dispensary or pharmacy and take on responsibility for the training and supervision of other pharmacy team members.
Pharmacy technicians combine work and study over two years as student pharmacy technicians before qualifying.
In Northern Ireland you can apply and study to be a pharmacy technician by undertaking the Level 3 Diploma: principles and practice for pharmacy technicians, at the South Eastern Regional College (SERC)
To be currently working in a pharmacy environment as a trainee pharmacy technician or have secured a placement as a trainee pharmacy technician, by the start of the course
4 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths and science
Equivalent qualifications will be considered individually
An acceptable reference for good character and an acceptable self-declaration for health
Some employers offer alternative training routes which combine work and distance learning through education providers such as Buttercups and the NPA or their own accredited courses. A list of approved course providers can be found on the General Pharmaceutical Council website which will link to course details and the criteria for application.