What Does a Hospital Pharmacy Technician Do?

HealthcareJune 01, 2022

If you’re considering a career as a pharmacy technician, you could choose to work in a variety of settings, including a retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, or a “closed-door” pharmacy, such as in a nursing home or assisted living facility. 

Some of the duties in these different settings overlap but working in a hospital pharmacy is a bit different from other pharmacies. As a hospital pharmacy technician, you’re working closely with the pharmacist to ensure the hospital pharmacy runs smoothly. You assist with preparing drugs, fill prescriptions, take inventory and order supplies, and fill out hospital paperwork. Here’s a closer look at what a hospital pharmacy technician does. 

Fill Prescriptions for Healthcare Providers

Unlike a retail pharmacy, where you interact directly with customers, in the hospital pharmacy you fill prescriptions for other healthcare professionals. The hospital pharmacy’s role is to supply the hospital’s medical providers with medications. That means you’re working more closely with medical staff and providers, and you’ll need a greater understanding of medical terminology and medications than you would for a retail pharmacy position, according to 

As the pharmacy technician, you’re helping healthcare providers determine the best type of medication and dosage for their patients for a procedure in a medical setting. For example, filling a short-term prescription for a patient going into surgery or for recovery after they come out of surgery. Filling prescriptions is the primary duty of a hospital pharmacy technician’s job.

Compound Medicines

Hospital pharmacy technicians also compound drugs. That means mixing together one or more drugs, per the doctor’s instructions, to customize a prescription for a patient. For example, they might have an allergy to a specific medication, so they need an alternative prescription. Pharmacy technicians weigh drugs and mix them together in appropriate proportions. 

Other Duties

Although a hospital pharmacy technician’s primary duty is filling prescriptions, you might also handle tasks like delivering medications to different hospital areas such as the nurse’s station, operating room or emergency department, making sure crash carts are adequately supplied, and managing the inventory in dispensing machines, according to Pharmacy Times

Hospital pharmacy technicians also obtain medicines from pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers. That includes contacting the companies for supplies, making sure medications are stored properly, and fulfilling hospital lab and clinic requests for medications. 

If you're interested in a career as a pharmacy technician in a hospital, Fortis offers a pharmacy training program at campuses in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee. Learn more by visiting our pharmacy programs pages or calling today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our admission representatives!