Pharmacist vs Pharmacy Technician
Have you ever been to a hospital pharmacy or a private pharmacy with a prescription in your hand? You must have been greeted by a person who asks your name, address and about your medical insurance details before looking up the prescription. He is the guy who is most probably a pharmacy technician. The other guy, the pharmacist, checks the drugs taken out of shelves by the technician and after matching them with the drugs mentioned on your prescription, hands you over the drugs. Both seem to be doing similar jobs, yet a pharmacist is superior to a pharmacy technician and gets a salary that is almost three times as much as a pharmacy technician gets. Ever wondered why? This has to do with the difference in the nature of roles and responsibilities of the two jobs, and also because of the difference in the type and duration of schooling the two posts require. Let us take a closer look at the two jobs.
It is pharmacy technician who is responsible for performing most of the administrative duties and a pharmacist does them only if he is alone. Another notable difference between the two is that while both know a lot about drugs and their side effects, it is only a pharmacist who can give advice to a patient regarding a drug and its side effects to a patient. Probably this is because of his greater experience. A pharmacist spends many years learning names of medications and their composition so that he knows a lot more about their side effects than a pharmacy technician. New customers in a pharmacy are handled by the pharmacist only while pharmacy technician can attend to those who are regular or returning customers. In cases where people spell out prescriptions over phone, only a pharmacist is allowed to note them down.
It is only a pharmacist who counts the drugs and matches them with the prescription finally handing them over to the patients. Though this practice may look discriminatory, it is because of the difference in length of schooling of a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician. While the course of a pharmacy technician can be done in under a year, the course of a pharmacist is a bachelor’s degree and may take 4-6 years to complete.
The difference in the two jobs is also reflected in their earnings. While a pharmacy technician may earn around $25000 per annum, a pharmacist earns between $80000- $120000 every year.
Pharmacy Technician vs Pharmacist
• There are many differences in the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician
• A technician can be considered as a helper or an assistant to the pharmacist.
• It is only a pharmacist who can take prescriptions from new customers and also take prescriptions on phone
• Only a pharmacist can give advice to customers about the effectiveness or side effects of drugs
• It is pharmacy technician who performs all the administrative tasks