Pharmacy technicians are trained professionals that help licensed pharmacists with their daily duties. The state of Mississippi has certain requirements to become a pharmacy technician.
Becoming a Pharmacy Technician
In order to become a pharmacy technician in Mississippi, there are several requirements that must be met. Here are the steps that need to be done:
1. Educational requirements include a high school diploma or GED, followed by a 1-year pharmacy technician training program for gaining work experience. Pharmacy assistant jobs do not require any training in particular, but they can be easier to get if a person is in a college program to become a technician.
2. There are two-year programs taught at most state junior colleges. A background in anatomy, biology, algebra, chemistry and general health classes will be helpful for pharmacy technology students. Specific curriculums vary with each program, but all programs include courses in math, physiology, anatomy, and law. Students are also taught about drug classifications, drug side effects, the effects of various drugs on the human body, drug abuse and government regulation of drugs.
3. After completing a pharmacy technician certification program, perspective pharmacy technicians should take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Examination (PTCE) or the Exam for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians. Both examinations are nationally recognized by professional organizations and employers. The title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) is granted after the exam is passed.
4. After being given the CPhT credentials, it is mandatory that the technician register with the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy as a pharmacy technician to become licensed as pharmacy technicians with the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy. The fee for registering is $50.00.
5. Pharmacy technicians in Mississippi are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education per year.
Mississippi requires pharmacy technicians to register with the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy after passing the exam and within 30 days of accepting a pharmacy technician job. Technicians must fill out an application that the state board provides and pay the registration fee. The licensing must be renewed each year by March 31. Certifications can be withdrawn if a technician violates patient confidentiality laws or is found to be abusing drugs. Pharmacy technicians must notify the state board any time they switch jobs or their mailing address changes.
The average Mississippi pharmacy technician salary for is $12.17 per hour or $25,300 per year. A pharmacy technician starting out in MS earns an average of $10.09 per hour while an experienced and/or certified pharmacy technician can earn $15.80 per hour or up depending on how many years of experience they have and the work setting.
The pharmacy technician’s primary job is to receive and fill prescription orders for patients. These requests come in from hospitals, physicians, nurses or directly from the patient. Their work is overseen by a licensed pharmacist. Their duties can include:
1. Receive prescriptions
2. Count, pour, measure and weigh tablets and medications
3. Mix medications
4. Select the proper prescription container
5. Create prescription labels
6. After the prescription is filled, the pharmacy tech prices and files it. A licensed pharmacist then checks the completed prescription before it is given to the patient.
7. Interact with hospitals and patients
Some other, non-medication related duties include:
1. Prepare insurance claim forms
2. Maintain patient profiles
3. Complete cash register transactions
4. Answer telephones
5. Take inventory of over-the-counter medications
6. Be aware of the latest medicines and their availability
7. Advise the patient about diet and health requirements.
Pharmacy technicians work either part-time or full-time, and depending on where they work, can be required to work nights and weekends.
Mississippi pharmacy technicians are also expected to act according to Mississippi pharmacy laws, and drug laws. Preparing medications or prescriptions without the approval and oversight of a licensed pharmacist is prohibited in Mississippi.