Good pharmacy assistants are in high demand1 and this competitive profession requires you to stand out of the crowd in order to get employed faster. Pharmacy assistants receive an average hourly wage of $23.34 in Alberta.1 Although pharmacy assistants may not release a prescription without the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician,2 the position can prepare you for success if you decide to further your education in the field of medicine. Being a good pharmacy assistant gives you the work experience you need to understand the medical profession and the qualities you need to succeed within it.
Five Qualities of a Good Pharmacy Assistant
Here are some qualities that will make you stand out.
1) It is All About Communication
Communication is essential to any collaborative work environment. Since pharmacy assistants aid pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in delivering the appropriate medication to patients, proper communication among members of the team is critical to get the job done right.
2) Attention to Detail
Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of pharmacy assistants include gathering and entering patient information and doctors’ prescriptions, assessing completeness of prescriptions, preparing and packaging medications, and maintaining proper drug storage and security, to name a few.3 All of these responsibilities require pharmacy assistants to pay close attention to detail to prevent any potentially dangerous mishaps.
3) Are You Easy to Talk to?
Aside from assisting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, some pharmacy assistants may also help customers find non-prescription items and provide non-drug product information.3 Sometimes, however, customers may not fully understand their symptoms and what they need before entering a pharmacy. That is why being approachable can help break the barrier between customers and medical professionals. It will also help customers to open up more about their experiences and can lead you to provide them with better and more accurate recommendations.
4) Show You Care
Being approachable is only one aspect of being a good pharmacy assistant, however. Being compassionate is another key quality. These two assets need to come together to provide excellent customer service. Compassion builds trust and understanding, something customers will not soon forget.
5) It All Comes Down to Ethics
At the end of the day, the significance of the work you do will come down to one thing — ethics. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and speak up if something is wrong.
In 2016, Canada had one of the highest prescription drug abuse rates per capita.4 In 2020, Alberta’s chief medical officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, warned of prescription-dispensing abuse for drugs that have been linked, but not conclusively, to fighting COVID-19.5
Practice These Qualities and Get Employed
Whether you’re a student, on a practicum, a recent graduate, or a newly hired pharmacy assistant, keep these qualities in mind. It is your personal touch that gives you the opportunity to differentiate yourself from other candidates and employees. Understanding the significance you bring to your role will help you in every stage of your career. Embodying these qualities allow you to present yourself as a reliable and knowledgeable candidate to employers, an invaluable team member to your pharmacy and a commendable pharmacy aide to customers.
Learn more about what it takes to become a good pharmacy assistant by getting the full details of the Pharmacy Assistant Diploma training program at ABM College today.