Care + Career

      Resources, news and fun for NHA certification candidates and alumni.

      The Surprising Skill Employers Look for in Pharmacy Technicians

      Pharmacy technicians must possess hard knowledge and skills, which can be proven through certification. But as professionals who spend a lot of time working with patients and pharmacists, soft skills are also essential in this role. In our recent survey of employers in the  2020 Industry Outlook , the soft skill that's most important for pharmacy technicians isn't communication or professionalism—which also scored highly—but  critical thinking . Surprisingly, it's also the most lacking.
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      Pharmacy Technicians in 2020: What You Need to Know


      It's a time of opportunity and advancement for the pharmacy technician. The industry is changing, and this role is being elevated in new and exciting ways. Want to get on the path to professional success as a current or aspiring pharmacy technician? We gathered insights and data from 159 pharmacy employers to uncover factors that can impact your journey. Here are three key findings to guide you through 2020 and beyond.

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      What does a hospital pharmacy technician do?

      Pharmacy technician employers can be grouped into four main categories: community pharmacies (retail pharmacies), specialty pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies and hospital pharmacies.

      Education and certification requirements for these roles roles can largely be the same with some extra emphasis placed on specific tasks based on the working environment. However, the day-to-day tasks of a pharmacy technician in a hospital are unique to that environment.

      Whether you're currently working in a community or retail pharmacy and considering making a career change, or you're working toward your CPhT certification and are trying to decide which working environment would best suit you, it's helpful to know some key differences.

      Here are 5 tasks unique to pharmacy technicians working in a hospital setting.

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      Shifting the perception of the Pharmacy Technician

      Authored by Denise Propes, CPhT, Pharmacy Technician Coordinator at University of Michigan Medical Center and NHA Pharmacy Technician Advisory Board Member

      Based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the pharmacy technician field is expected to be above the national average for all careers over the next 10 years. There are a couple of well-known causes for this growth:

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      The ExCPT exam — what to expect and how to prepare

      For April S. in New York, the decision to become a certified pharmacy technician was easy,

      "I started my career in pharmacy ringing up prescriptions at a small retail pharmacy. Watching the impact the pharmacists and technicians had, I knew I had to become one myself! I studied and worked really hard and eventually became #NHACertified. I'm now right at the forefront of medical advances and I feel so honored to have such a pivotal role in patient care."

      Do you have a dream like April's?

      To become a certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), you'll need to sit for NHA's ExCPT exam. In this post, we'll share what you need to know about the exam — eligibility requirements, format, content and tools that can help ensure you are prepared come test day.

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