Top 6 Qualities of a Great Pharmacy Assistant

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    ood Pharmacy Assistants are always in demand, but like any competitive profession, you need to stand out of the crowd to get employed faster. Pharmacy assistants receive an average hourly wage of $23.86 in Alberta. Although pharmacy assistants may not release a prescription without the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, the position can prepare you for additional success if you decide to further your education in the field of medicine. Being a good pharmacy assistant gives you the work experience to understand the medical profession and the qualities you need to succeed within it.

    To most people in the field, being a Pharmacy Assistant is an important and meaningful career option. While they might not be on the front lines like doctors and nurses, they play a vital role in patient health nonetheless. We have compiled a guide of 6 top qualities that will make you stand out to employers and customers alike.

    Collaborative Communication

    In the detail-oriented environment of a pharmacy, precision and accuracy are paramount. Collaborative communication serves as the cornerstone of effective teamwork even more so than similar professions. Pharmacy assistants play a crucial role in supporting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in their mission to deliver safe and appropriate medication to patients. However, with clear and seamless communication among all members of the team, achieving this objective becomes significantly easier.

    Collaborative communication is the lifeblood of a pharmacy team, fueling synergy and cooperation in pursuit of a common goal: delivering safe, effective, and compassionate care to patients. By prioritizing open communication, active listening, and a spirit of collaboration, pharmacy assistants play a vital role in promoting positive health outcomes for those they serve.

    Attention to Detail

    Prescription bottles from a local pharmacy
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    Attention to detail is not just a desirable trait for pharmacy assistants; it's a critical aspect of their role that directly impacts patient safety and well-being. In the fast-paced environment of a pharmacy, where numerous prescriptions are processed and medications dispensed daily, even the slightest oversight can have serious consequences.

    Every task, pharmacy assistants perform demands unwavering attention to detail: gathering and entering patient information and doctors' prescriptions, verifying the completeness and accuracy of prescriptions, meticulously preparing and packaging medications, and ensuring the proper storage and security of drugs. By prioritizing attention to detail, pharmacy assistants uphold the highest standards of quality and safety in pharmaceutical care, earning the trust and confidence of both patients and healthcare providers alike.

    Approachability and Friendliness

    A friendly Pharmacist assists a customer with helpful advice
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    Aside from assisting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants often help customers find non-prescription items and provide non-drug product information. 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.

    With the overburdened state of healthcare, many patients are rushed through doctor visits and might forget to clarify relevant questions and concerns. Pharmacists and assistants offer patients an important opportunity to clarify and comfort.

    Compassion and Empathy

    A compassionate pharmacy assistant explains the dosage and frequency of a medication to an elderly customer
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    In the realm of pharmacy assistance, being approachable is often considered a fundamental quality. However, there's a deeper layer to exceptional service in this field – one that goes beyond mere accessibility. It's about embodying compassion. Compassion is the essence of understanding and empathy. It's the ability to recognize and resonate with the emotions and concerns of others, especially when they're vulnerable, such as when they're seeking medical help. In the context of a pharmacy, where customers may be dealing with health issues or uncertainties about medications, compassion plays a pivotal role.

    When a pharmacy assistant demonstrates compassion, it's more than just a professional gesture – it’s a commitment to the well-being of the customer. It's about taking the time to listen attentively to their concerns, offering reassurance, and providing clear explanations tailored to their needs. This human connection fosters trust, making customers feel valued and understood.

    Law and Ethics

    Due to the sensitive nature of the job and the potential for abuse, there are many laws governing pharmacology. Adhering to them all is a bare minimum. 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 own mistakes and speak up if you feel something is wrong. 

    In terms of drug abuse, in 2019 Canada ranked third in the world for death rate per capita. It is a shameful statistic and emphasizes the importance of careful regulation and the necessity of ethical pharmacists.

    Quality Education

    A proud graduate of the Pharmacy Assistant Online Diploma Program
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    While the other qualities will ensure that you excel, building those upon a solid educational foundation is vital. The online Pharmacy Assistant Diploma program at ABM College offers comprehensive training that can prepare you for roles in community and retail environments and medical and hospital environments.

    Course topics include principles, math, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and compounding. In our digital era, popular software such as industry-standard Kroll and Microsoft Office are taught as well. In addition to the Capstone Career Preparation, students will gain real-world experience with an intensive 8-week practicum in both retail and institutional settings.


    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 allows you 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 allows 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 Course training program at ABM College today. You can also read more fascinating industry-related blogs here.

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