Location: Ottawa, ON
Salary: $15.50–$23.60 an hour
Job type: Full-time, Permanent
Shift/Hours: Morning, night, overnight
Currently we are looking for a motivated, organized, experienced individual for the position of Pharmacy Assistant. Knowledge of Pharmaclix and compliance packaging would be a definite asset.
What skills and qualities are important for a Pharmacy Assistant?
To be an effective Pharmacy Assistant, certain skills and qualities are important to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the role. Here are some key skills and qualities for a Pharmacy Assistant:
- Knowledge of Pharmaceutical Terminology: A Pharmacy Assistant should have a basic understanding of pharmaceutical terminology, including common medications, drug classifications, dosage forms, and prescription abbreviations. This knowledge allows them to communicate effectively with pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and customers.
- Attention to Detail: Attention to detail is crucial for a Pharmacy Assistant. They must accurately read and record information from prescriptions, ensure the correct medication and dosage are dispensed, and double-check labels for accuracy. Mistakes in the pharmacy can have serious consequences, so being meticulous is essential.
- Organizational Skills: Pharmacy Assistants handle a variety of tasks, including inventory management, prescription processing, and customer service. Strong organizational skills help them keep track of medications, maintain an orderly work environment, and efficiently manage their daily responsibilities.
- Customer Service: Pharmacy Assistants interact with customers on a regular basis. Excellent customer service skills are important to address customer inquiries, provide assistance with medication information, and handle customer concerns or complaints with empathy and professionalism.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication is vital for a Pharmacy Assistant. They must be able to communicate clearly with customers, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. This includes listening attentively, asking appropriate questions to clarify information, and providing clear instructions to customers regarding medication usage and precautions.
- Computer and Technical Skills: Pharmacy Assistants often work with computerized systems for prescription processing, inventory management, and patient records. Proficiency in using pharmacy software and computer applications is essential to perform tasks efficiently and accurately.
- Discretion and Confidentiality: Pharmacy Assistants handle sensitive and confidential information, including patient health records and medication details. They must maintain strict confidentiality and adhere to privacy regulations, ensuring that patient information is kept secure and only shared with authorized individuals.
- Ability to Follow Procedures: Pharmacy Assistants must follow established protocols and procedures for prescription processing, medication dispensing, and inventory management. They should be detail-oriented and adhere to regulatory guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of pharmaceutical services.
- Teamwork and Collaboration: Pharmacy Assistants often work as part of a team alongside pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare professionals. They should be able to collaborate effectively, communicate information, and assist colleagues when needed to ensure smooth pharmacy operations.
- Adaptability and Multitasking: Pharmacy settings can be fast-paced and dynamic, with multiple tasks and priorities. Pharmacy Assistants should be able to handle interruptions, prioritize tasks, and manage their time effectively. The ability to adapt to changing situations and multitask efficiently is important for success in this role.
It’s worth noting that the specific skills and qualities required may vary depending on the pharmacy setting, such as retail, hospital, or community pharmacy. Additional training or certifications may also be required based on local regulations and the specific responsibilities assigned to Pharmacy Assistants in different jurisdictions.
What education and certification are required to become a Pharmacy Assistant?
The educational requirements and certifications to become a Pharmacy Assistant can vary depending on the region and the specific employer. In some cases, a high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient, while in other cases, formal education or certification may be preferred or required. Here are the common educational paths and certifications for aspiring Pharmacy Assistants:
- High School Diploma or Equivalent: A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement to pursue a career as a Pharmacy Assistant. Basic education provides a foundation in communication skills, math, and science, which are relevant to the role.
- On-the-Job Training: Many Pharmacy Assistants acquire the necessary skills and knowledge through on-the-job training provided by their employer. They learn the specific processes and procedures related to pharmacy operations, such as prescription processing, medication dispensing, inventory management, and customer service.
- Post-Secondary Education: While not always required, some employers prefer or may require candidates to have completed a post-secondary education program related to pharmacy assistance. These programs, offered by vocational schools or community colleges, provide formal training in pharmacy-related subjects, such as pharmacology, pharmacy calculations, medication dispensing, pharmacy law, and ethics.
- Certification Programs: There are certification programs available for Pharmacy Assistants in some regions. These programs assess an individual’s knowledge and competence in pharmacy assistance and provide a recognized credential. Certification requirements can vary, but they often involve passing an exam administered by a professional organization or a regulatory authority.
It’s important to research and understand the specific requirements and regulations in your region or the region where you intend to work as a Pharmacy Assistant. Different jurisdictions may have different requirements regarding education, training, or certifications. Contacting local regulatory bodies, professional organizations, or employers in the pharmacy field can provide more accurate and detailed information on the educational requirements and certifications needed to work as a Pharmacy Assistant in a specific area.
Who can apply to this job?
The employer accepts applications from:
- Canadian citizens and permanent or temporary residents of Canada.
- Other candidates with or without a valid Canadian work permit.
How to apply
Online: Apply On Company WebSite
What is the work environment like for Pharmacy Assistant ?
The work environment for a Pharmacy Assistant can vary depending on the setting in which they are employed. Here is a general description of the work environment for a Pharmacy Assistant:
- Pharmacy Setting: Pharmacy Assistants typically work in various pharmacy settings, such as retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, or community pharmacies. The specific setting can influence the nature of their work environment.
- Collaborative Team: Pharmacy Assistants work as part of a collaborative team, which may include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, other Pharmacy Assistants, and support staff. They interact and coordinate with team members to ensure efficient pharmacy operations and provide quality customer service.
- Customer Interaction: Pharmacy Assistants have frequent customer interaction. They assist customers at the pharmacy counter, answer inquiries about medications, provide information on over-the-counter products, process prescription orders, and handle payment transactions. Strong customer service skills and a friendly demeanor are important in this role.
- Workstation and Pharmacy Equipment: Pharmacy Assistants typically have a designated workstation within the pharmacy. They utilize various pharmacy equipment, such as computers, cash registers, barcode scanners, pill counters, and prescription label printers. Familiarity with these tools is necessary to carry out their responsibilities.
- Prescription Processing: Pharmacy Assistants are involved in processing prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. They enter prescription information into the pharmacy system, verify insurance coverage, prepare prescription labels, and ensure accurate documentation. Attention to detail and accuracy are crucial in this aspect of their work.
- Medication Dispensing: Pharmacy Assistants assist in medication dispensing. They may retrieve medications from the pharmacy inventory, count or measure the appropriate quantities, label containers, and package prescriptions for customers. Adhering to pharmacy regulations and safety protocols is essential to ensure the proper handling of medications.
- Inventory Management: Pharmacy Assistants play a role in inventory management. They monitor medication stock levels, assist with inventory ordering and receiving, and conduct regular inventory checks. Attention to detail, organizational skills, and familiarity with inventory systems are important in maintaining an adequate medication supply.
- Administrative Tasks: Pharmacy Assistants handle various administrative tasks, such as filing, record-keeping, and documentation of prescription orders and customer information. They may also assist with managing prescription records and coordinating with healthcare providers or insurance companies.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: Pharmacy Assistants are entrusted with confidential information, including patient health records and medication details. They must follow strict privacy regulations and maintain confidentiality at all times to protect patient privacy and comply with legal requirements.
- Compliance and Safety: Pharmacy Assistants must adhere to safety protocols and regulatory guidelines in the handling and storage of medications. This includes following proper medication labeling procedures, maintaining cleanliness and organization within the pharmacy, and ensuring compliance with pharmacy laws and regulations.
Fast-Paced Environment: Pharmacy settings can be fast-paced, especially during peak hours or in busy retail pharmacies. Pharmacy Assistants should be able to work efficiently under pressure, manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and prioritize their responsibilities to ensure timely and accurate service.
It’s important to note that the specific work environment for a Pharmacy Assistant can vary depending on the pharmacy setting and the size of the pharmacy. Retail pharmacies may have a higher volume of customer traffic, while hospital pharmacies may have a different focus on patient care. Additionally, different jurisdictions or employers may have specific policies and procedures that can influence the work environment for a Pharmacy Assistant.