Pharmacy Assistant

Work Environments to Explore After Graduating from Pharmacy Assistant School

July 23, 2021

Pharmacy assistants serve an important function within a pharmacy setting, performing duties such as filling prescriptions, maintaining inventory, organizing prescription records, managing sales transactions, compounding medications, and speaking to customers. 

If you’re considering a rewarding career as a pharmacy assistant, you’ll be able to work in a number of different environments once you gain certification. With demand for pharmacy assistants rising as Ontario’s population grows and ages, there are a variety of employment opportunities available to these professionals. Below, explore three different work environments available to you as a trained pharmacy assistant.

After Pharmacy Assistant School, You Can Work in a Retail Pharmacy

Once you’ve completed your pharmacy assistant training, one of the most common employment opportunities you’ll encounter will be within retail pharmacies. In this setting, pharmacy assistants spend much of their time interacting with customers–both in person and by phone. Pharmacy assistants will process patient insurance claims, keep inventory stocked,  maintain inventory records, update patient information, and operate the cash register. As much of working in a retail pharmacy revolves around performing duties and providing good customer service, you’ll be a great fit for this position if you love working with people. 

Professionals with pharmacy assistant training may work in retail pharmacies

You May Find Employment in an Assisted Living Facility

Some pharmacy assistants may choose to work in an assisted living facility or a long-term care home. Within these environments, pharmacy assistants support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions and provide medications for those living within the care home. A pharmacist will counsel patients and provide recommendations to prescribers or doctors, review a patient’s medication history, and determine the best treatment path forward. As a pharmacy assistant, your job will be to help the pharmacists fulfill these prescriptions, keep patient files in order, and ensure that inventory is well stocked.

Pharmacy Assistants Can Work in Hospitals

If customer service isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy a career as a pharmacy assistant. After graduating from pharmacy assistant school, many professionals choose to work in hospitals. In this work environment, pharmacy assistants spend the majority of their time keeping up with prescription orders for patients within the hospital. Within hospitals, doctors request prescriptions for their patients, which are fulfilled by the hospital pharmacy. 

There is demand for pharmacy assistants in hospitals

Instead of interacting directly with customers, hospital pharmacy assistants will instead assist with preparing prescriptions that are sent for delivery to the patient. When working in hospitals, pharmacy assistants will also spend plenty of time maintaining inventory. This is a greater task in hospitals, as the demands for medication are often higher than they would be in retail pharmacies. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment, working as a pharmacy assistant in a hospital could be right for you.

In addition to these three work environments, pharmacy assistants can also find work in public health service clinics, pharmaceutical manufacturing sites, and in other settings. If you’re seeking a rewarding career with plenty of employment opportunities, working as a pharmacy assistant could be right for you.

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Why Technology Skills Are Important for Those with Pharmacy Assistant Training

June 09, 2021

Today, technology shapes much of the modern world, and the pharmaceutical industry is no exception. Advances in technology have fundamentally altered the workflows within many pharmacies, leading to improvements in both efficiency and the quality of care provided to patients. If you’re considering a career as a pharmacy assistant, you’ll be using technology to fulfill a number of duties and responsibilities. From entering prescriptions to managing inventory to updating patient profiles, your technology skills will be essential when it comes to doing your job efficiently. 

Read on to discover how technology is used in today’s pharmacies, and why it’s so important. 

After Pharmacy Assistant Training, You’ll Use Technology to Fill Prescriptions

Technology is taking the pharmaceutical industry by storm in the form of e-prescriptions. These types of prescriptions are electronically-filled forms which are digitally transmitted from the patient’s caregiver to the pharmacy. The use of e-prescriptions can prevent errors in the dispensing of medications, avoiding the confusion which often ensues when a healthcare provider writes a handwritten prescription that’s difficult to read. E-prescriptions also offer an easy way to access and update a patient’s prescription records and profile, ensuring that all information is verified and patients are receiving the correct dosage.

During your pharmacy assistant career, you’ll use technology to fill prescriptions

E-prescribing enables pharmacies to save both time and resources, and makes workflows more effective. Building technology skills during pharmacy assistant training will enable you to use e-prescription software to safely and accurately fill prescriptions, while ensuring that they are delivered into the right hands.

Patient Records Will Be Kept Digitally

As a pharmacy assistant, technology skills will also come in handy when it comes to using pharmaceutical software to update and maintain patient records. With advancements in technology, pharmacies are increasingly reliant on digitized versions of patient records stored using software. These digitized records contain accurate, up-to-date information pertaining to a patient’s history of prescribed medications. 

Pharmacies today benefit from the advantages of digitally managing patient profiles

During your pharmacy assistant career, the use of digital patient records will make it easier for you to maintain patient profiles. You’ll be able to quickly access their information, update it with any changes to their prescription, and determine how to handle billing based on the information in their file. Using digital records also prevents unnecessary communication between multiple parties, improving the efficiency of your workflow and giving you more time to assist customers.

With Barcode Identification, You’ll Use Technology to Track Inventory

After pharmacy assistant school, you’ll also be responsible for managing inventories of the medications your organization dispenses. Barcode identification technology is a pharmaceutical technology which will make it easier for you to accurately record the amounts of treatments and compounds you have in stock. Today’s pharmaceutical software enables pharmacies to create labels with barcodes containing information with the quantity and type of a drug. Pharmacists effectively use this software to track medications going in and out of the pharmacy, improving the accuracy of the pharmacy’s inventory management system.

When you choose a pharmacy assistant training program like that offered by Medix College, you’ll have the opportunity to build skills in the operation of pharmacy software and technology. With these skills, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge necessary to enter a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Interested in Pharmacy Assistant Training? Here’s How Technology is Changing the Field

April 26, 2021

In recent years, some intriguing technological advancements have arrived within the pharmacy industry. As a result, various processes have become easier for those working in pharmacies, as well as helping to improve pharmacy services to customers. These advancements have made it easier for pharmacy employees to keep records, provide information to clients, monitor prescriptions, and automate refill requests—allowing for more efficient ways to keep clients safe and healthy.

Even if concerns exist that these forms of technology could take jobs away from people in the pharmacy industry, it does provide interesting insight on what the future of this field could look like. Here’s what you need to know about the impact of technology in pharmacies.

Different Ways Technology Is Helping the Field of Pharmacy to Evolve

As much as the advancement of technological resources can be challenging for people in any industry to adapt to at first, the changes being seen in pharmacies appear to be worth that adjustment period. For example, dose counting for medication is increasingly being done automatically, which allows the verifying of the quantity of individual doses to be sorted and verified more quickly than ever before. Machines have been built to take care of this precision-based task, with errors showing up if there are any discrepancies. With these advancements in mind, students who have done their pharmacy assistant training can apply what they learn about dosages and dispensary to these new technologies.

Technology has made it easier for pills to be counted and prescriptions to be filled

An ADC (automated dispensing cabinet) also allows for the storage and dispensing of medications in hospitals, taking the burden of filing prescriptions off of hospital staff. Systems for e-verification have gotten more sophisticated and efficient. What once required many different steps to be done manually (writing info, filling prescriptions, having them verified by pharmacists) has become less time-consuming and easier to process. There are also devices to remind clients of their medications, which lock after taking their required dose in order to avoid misuse. The proliferation of smartphone apps that are capable of providing information on prescription drugs are another great example of this type of technology.

Why This Evolution Is Important, Explained for Pharmacy Assistant School Students

These kinds of advancements are certainly a boon for improving pharmaceutical efficiency, as well as making the process of verifying and preparing drugs faster. They can also reduce errors with medication and prescription filling that would otherwise be made by humans, therefore improving safety for clients. Pharmacy assistants can save time they’d otherwise be spending counting pills or updating files, for example, while the pharmacists they work under can have more time available to help clients with their health concerns. Monitoring prescriptions also becomes easier, as well as the identification of excessive use of medications.

Even if automation is speeding up the process, humans will still need to verify these drugs

As great as these advancements are from a technological standpoint, some may argue that these modernizations may cause problems for students taking a pharmacy assistant course who want to find work in the field—taking the view that certain jobs may be replaced outright by automation. However, humans will almost certainly always need to be relied upon to do one last verification check on the drugs that have been put through these advanced systems, as technology isn’t always foolproof. Regardless, these technological advancements could help expand what pharmacy services are available to citizens, as well as improving the care that they receive.

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How to Recognize Prescription Fraud: For Students of Pharmacy Assistant School

April 21, 2021

Prescription fraud refers to obtaining medication illegally via a fraudulent prescription–whether for personal use or with the intention of selling medication for profit. Prescription fraud fuels illegal opportunities for the use of drugs. When a drug is not used for medical purposes, this can lead to the endangerment of users. 

If you’re on your way to becoming a pharmacy assistant, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of prescription fraud in order to act appropriately if it occurs. Here’s what prescription medication fraud can look like, and what to do upon recognizing it. 

Why Those with Pharmacy Assistant Training Should Know About Prescription Fraud

While pharmacy assistants operate under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, they are still responsible for inputting prescription orders received into the system and confirming the accuracy of prescription information with providers, as well as maintaining and handling patient information and details. While pharmacists are trained in the identification of prescription fraud, as a pharmacy assistant your vigilance also matters in the process of detecting a potentially fraudulent prescription.  If you have pharmacy assistant training, here’s what you need to know about prescription fraud. 

If you have pharmacy assistant training, it’s important to know the signs of a fraudulent prescription

How Pharmacy Professionals Are Important in Counteracting Prescription Fraud

Pharmacies fulfill prescriptions for controlled substances, which are federally regulated under the Controlled Substances Directorate of Health Canada. Controlled substances include substances listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act–including controlled drugs, narcotics, benzodiazepines and more. A licensed physician’s prescription is required in order to obtain a controlled substance. Prescription fraud practices are used to illegally obtain controlled substances through a pharmacy. When a pharmacist is unable to detect that a prescription is fraudulent, the offender may continue to repeat the crime at the same location. Thus, it’s important that all professionals in pharmacies have an understanding of some key signs of prescription fraud.  

How to Identify and Prevent Prescription Fraud

Prescription fraud can be difficult to catch, especially in the age of computer-generated prescriptions. Prescriptions can only be fulfilled when they have been signed and dated by a registered provider or confirmed via phone (with proper verification measures). However, it’s important to consider many different elements and factors which could be signs of a fraudulent prescription, and pharmacies typically have routine procedures in place to verify the authenticity of the prescriptions they receive. After graduating from pharmacy assistant school, you may be asked to use a checklist similar to the one below to determine, together with a supervisor, whether a prescription could be fraudulent.

  • Does the quantity of the medication seem unusual?
  • Is the prescription inconsistent with a patient’s information or typical dosage?
  • Does the prescription contain spelling or grammatical errors or unfamiliar terminology?
  • Is the formatting inconsistent?
  • Does it look like a photocopy?
  • Does it appear that there have been changes made to the date or quantity specified?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these factors, it’s possible that the prescription is fraudulent. Most pharmacies will have a streamlined screening process for incoming prescriptions, and this can help to identify prescription fraud. 

Recognizing prescription fraud can be difficult, so it’s important to know what to look for

What to Do with a Potential Case of Prescription Fraud

If a prescription is potentially fraudulent, a pharmacy should hold the prescription, or make a copy if possible, and notify the police. For their own safety, pharmacy professionals should not attempt to detain suspects, but should wait for law enforcement officials to handle the situation.

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“You can get a career in less than a year.” – Kendra, Pharmacy Assistant program graduate

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Why Teacher to Student Ratio Matters to Those Taking Pharmacy Assistant Training

January 30, 2021

Over time, you may have noticed that you learn better in one environment as opposed to another—or that there are certain resources that you rely on to succeed. While taking a new course or program, for example, you might thrive in an environment where you can ask questions more frequently, or where you have access to a study group of peers. 

If you’re considering becoming a pharmacy assistant, there are many variables to consider as you search for your ideal learning environment. An especially important aspect to focus on is the teacher to student ratio. Here’s what that ratio means, and why it’s key when choosing a school for your training.

Here’s What Student to Teacher Ratio Means for a Pharmacy Assistant School

Student to teacher ratio is calculated by dividing a school’s total number of students by its total number of teachers. The higher the ratio, the more likely it is that one-on-one time with a teacher will be harder to come by. The lower the ratio, the fewer students a teacher instructs. At pharmacy assistant schools like Medix, with smaller classroom sizes, the lower student-teacher ratio makes it more likely that a teacher will have the time to give each student personalized attention and provide a higher level of support.

Small Class Sizes Allow for Individualized Learning

If you’re exploring your options for pharmacy assistant school, you’ll be interested to know how  smaller class sizes can add value to your learning experience.

Have you ever felt like a teacher didn’t even know your name? In larger classes, it’s often harder for teachers to get to know their students, and to address any problems they may be experiencing with course materials. With smaller class sizes, a student’s learning experience becomes much more individualized. Teachers have time to meet with students so they can observe their learning needs, and answer important questions. 

Becoming a pharmacy assistant requires developing an in-depth understanding of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and other complex subjects. With smaller class sizes such as those at Medix College, teachers can provide students with the right resources to help them learn the material in a way that works best for them. 

During your training, smaller class sizes can help ensure you get individualized attention from instructors

Students Receive More Guidance

Kendra, a graduate of Medix College’s Pharmacy Assistant program, valued the small class sizes at Medix. “I love the classes because of their small size, so there’s a better student to teacher ratio. You could understand anything—unlike from a larger post secondary education, where I know that when you need to speak to someone, you have to book an appointment.” At Medix, Kendra felt surrounded by an environment where “you could just drop in and speak to anyone. They’ll help you select the proper goals, and guide you along the path that you choose.” 

If you’re ever unsure of your goals or career path during your pharmacy assistant training at Medix, you can rest assured that you’ll have access to staff and teachers who know you. These professionals will make themselves readily available to answer your questions and will help you to make a plan for your success. 

Medix instructors are available to help students

Smaller Classes, Greater Community

In a school with smaller class sizes and a more optimal student to teacher ratio, there’s a sense of community simply because everyone gets to know each other so well. At Medix, Kendra felt that the staff truly “wanted the best for you.” 

If you’re looking for a supportive, personalized environment in which to complete your studies, Medix College could be the right fit for you. 

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Pharmacy Assistant

Could Blockchain Revolutionize Careers for Pros With Pharmacy Assistant Training?

November 27, 2020

There is a vast network of manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and players that make up the pharmaceutical supply chain. Pharmacies are on the other end of this spectrum, receiving and tracking shipments of treatments and therapies which are then distributed to clients. They are also responsible for indicating the amount of a treatment they’re distributing and to whom, and updating inventory records and client medical records accordingly. 

All of the regulations that pharmacies must follow while keeping track of treatments and supplies contributes to accountability across the medical supply chain, and ensures that drugs aren’t getting lost or going missing. As it turns out, blockchain technology could provide a platform to improve how pharmacies operate. Read on to find out how.

Those With Pharmacy Assistant Training Might Want to Know About Issues With the Medical Supply Chain

The medical supply chain network has its fair share of problems. Products are often distributed through global supply chains, passing through many different borders and regulatory bodies along the way. Documentation is often manual, and information is stored in various locations. This makes products susceptible to theft and other problems, and the lack of a uniform system for tracking drugs and other medical supplies can cause greater issues. Those with pharmacy assistant training might already be familiar with some of the frustrations commonly experienced with discrepancies along the pharmaceutical supply chain, but what they might not know is that these problems could potentially be resolved. How? With blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology could make the pharmaceutical supply chain more effective, accurate, and secure

Blockchain Technology: What Is It?

Blockchain technology can be a confusing concept. Try thinking of it this way: a decentralized, digital platform allowing for the recording of economic transactions between multiple stakeholders. Among a user network, such as the pharmaceutical network’s stakeholders, the platform provides access to stored data and information from any location. Transactions are also transparent and verifiable. Businesses are already using blockchain technology for tasks like tracking supplies, improving customer support, and payment tracking. Because of the security blockchain can provide to transactions, it can improve any kind of network that depends on the reliability of supply chains. 

Blockchain Technology Could Revolutionize the Pharmaceutical Industry

As those in pharmacy assistant school might know, the pharmaceutical industry depends on accountability and accuracy every step of the way—from the sharing of data to the storing of client records to the tracking of treatments from manufacturer to client. The pharmaceutical industry needs to verify drugs and correctly track and trace them to the various facilities they are shipped to. Blockchain can make this easier by allowing manufacturers to comply with regulations, and reduce errors by storing and facilitating transactions within a traceable digital platform. In turn, pharmacies will benefit from increased accountability and the ability to view client medication history, as well as record any changes or updates, within this platform. This eliminates risks and ensures that treatments are going to the right places, while all information and updates are stored securely within the platform, which can be accessed by all verified users. 

While blockchain technology’s integration with the pharmaceutical industry still has a long way to go, as it would require a change in industry standards and for all users to adopt the compatible systems, its potential to make treatment distribution more effective and secure is exciting for the industry’s future.

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Customer Service Tips That Will Help You After Pharmacy Assistant School

October 23, 2020

Customer service skills are important for any professional to have. At some point in our lives, we’ll likely encounter a situation where we’re communicating with a client. For some jobs, this can be more important than others. As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll be working with clients almost all day, speaking to them, updating their files, and more. Since this is such a big part of the job, it’s important for anyone interested in becoming a pharmacy assistant to be well-versed in good customer service practices.

This will not only make clients happy, but will ultimately make your job easier and more enjoyable, as you’ll benefit from having good interactions and relationships with clients on a daily basis. Here are some customer service tips that every pharmacy assistant should know. 

Those With Pharmacy Assistant Training Should Be Able to Listen to Clients

As a pharmacy assistant, it’s important to be able to listen to customers by making eye contact and nodding. Directly respond to the questions or requests you have the authority to answer–while referring customers to the pharmacist for more in-depth questions. It goes without saying, but being a good listener is also key to correctly fulfilling the client’s request—a basic principle of good customer service. Establishing a good connection by listening attentively to clients can help you to represent the pharmacy well, and to act professionally in their presence. If you’ve completed your pharmacy assistant training, you’ll know that attentively listening will help you be able to better understand what you can do to address the client’s needs. 

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Pharmacy assistants should listen to customers to provide the best service possible

Show Your Clients You Know Them as People, Not Just Customers

One advantage of being a pharmacy assistant is that you’ll probably be seeing a lot of familiar faces that you’ll get to know, as people come to pick up their prescriptions on a regular basis. This is a great opportunity to put your best customer service skills to use, making the customer happy, and bringing some joy to your day, too. Try to remember as many of your regular clients’ names as you can. Starting a conversation with some of the more familiar faces can also be a great way to solidify a friendly relationship. Gestures like these show clients that you personally care about their wellbeing, and this is something they might appreciate. This can help make your career truly rewarding after pharmacy assistant school.

Remember to Serve Customers with a Smile

This one goes without saying, but a smile goes a long way. As a pharmacy assistant, you might come across many clients who are feeling sick, who are stressed out, or who might otherwise be uncomfortable. By being a friendly, professional, and caring presence, you can help them feel a little better. You can always brighten someone’s day with a positive attitude, as you never know what a customer might be going through. They’ll appreciate a positive interaction, and it’ll boost your mood and make your job more enjoyable, as well.

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3 Ways in Which Pharmacy Assistant School Graduates Are Helping the Fight Against COVID-19

June 12, 2020

They’re frontline workers, but you don’t need to go to a hospital to see one! Pharmacy workers such as pharmacy assistants have been playing a role in helping their communities navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in numerous ways. 

It isn’t simply about dispensing medication to clients. Teams consisting of professionals like pharmacists, pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians have been helping keep the public safe and reminding them of the dangers of the novel coronavirus.

As a key part of any pharmacy team, a pharmacy assistant can help keep things rolling along smoothly as they help clients fight against COVID-19, and ensure they get the necessary services during this time. Read on to learn more about three ways pharmacy assistant school graduates are fighting the pandemic.

Pharmacy Assistants Are Taking All the Necessary Safety Precautions

Given the public-facing nature of being a pharmacy worker, those working as a pharmacy assistant are required to interact face-to-face with others, whether they’re clients or fellow colleagues. 

Thus, they must wear masks and practice physical distancing while on the job. They may also wear gloves, or even put plexiglass over counters to ensure their safety. In addition, pharmacy assistants will help to make sure that their workplace is cleaned and disinfected in accordance with government standards.  

Pharmacy assistants help keep records of prescriptions

Assistants Help Pharmacists With Various Tasks on the Job

Since pharmacy assistant training graduates work under a pharmacist’s direct supervision, they are able to perform a variety of different tasks that can go a long way during a crisis such as COVID-19. 

Although they aren’t able to do some of the things pharmacists can do in these times, such as triage clients or give them injections, a pharmacy assistant can do a number of simpler preparation tasks while supervised by a pharmacist. They also keep records and inventories of prescriptions and medications, as well as making sure products are labelled correctly — helping to ensure the pharmacy runs as smoothly as ever during a truly chaotic time.

Pharmacy workers ensure clients aren’t sick or have not travelled before entering

Pharmacy Assistant School Graduates Go the Extra Mile to Keep Clients Safe

For some pharmacy assistant training graduates, the importance of keeping clients safe doesn’t stop there. For instance, certain pharmacies will restrict opening at certain hours of the day so that more vulnerable populations such as seniors can do their shopping, or offer deliveries and curbside pick-up services for clients. 

They may also take steps to advise clients on what to do if they’re exhibiting symptoms, such as through posters and banners plastered on the store windows. Pharmacies not only act as an access point for clients in need, they also disseminate the information necessary to help the general public flatten the curve.

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3 Qualities You Should Have Before Enrolling in Pharmacy Assistant School

May 12, 2020

Pharmacy assistants are considered to be the glue that holds pharmacies together — and it’s easy to see why. As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll be working directly with a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, taking care of tasks such as filling prescriptions, maintaining prescription records, compounding medications, providing customer service to clients, labelling and packing pharmaceutical products, and numerous other responsibilities. 

Students in a pharmacy assistant program will not only learn how to perform tasks like these, but also get an opportunity to develop important skills to help them succeed in this profession. If a career in the healthcare field is one you want, a pharmacy assistant is a career that can move you forward, and especially if you have certain skills under your belt. Here are three qualities any pharmacy assistant student should have.

A Keen Eye for Detail is Vital After Pharmacy Assistant Training

Having a methodical nature with a strong emphasis on accuracy is an incredibly important quality to have in this industry. For one thing, you’ll have to understand the legal regulations relating to the pharmaceutical industry in your province. For another, you’ll need a solid understanding of medications and pharmacology, especially since you are often tasked with preparing and dispensing them, in addition to making sure medications and supplies are well-organized and in order. 

Attention to detail is important for tasks like organizing medication

Being a pharmacy assistant involves lots of numbers and technology, too, as you will need to prepare the billing information for medications, as well as generating lists and labels using various computer systems. In any case, having a detail-oriented nature will serve you well in this profession.

You’ll Also Need to Have a Passion for Helping Others

If you have worked in customer service prior to your pharmacy assistant training, you already have a leg up on students who have not. Above all else, you’ll need to have a strong passion for helping others, as your role as a pharmacy assistant is heavily customer-facing. In fact, pharmacy assistants are often the first person customers will speak to, and the person who can assist them with their prescriptions and answer their questions. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you understand how to interact with customers, and actively listen to them in order to give them the best possible advice. Above all, being a social animal and helping others with their pharmaceutical inquiries has to be something you enjoy!

You’ll need great communication skills to help inform and educate clients

Communication Skills are Also a Must in Order to Succeed

As we’ve mentioned, pharmacy assistants are often tasked with answering questions from clients. This is just one reason why communication skills are so important to have after pharmacy assistant school. Additionally, you’ll need to be able to explain instructions to clients clearly, and in terms they will understand. 

In any case, talking to clients either in person or on the phone, educating and informing them with regards to their medication, and liaising with pharmacists or doctors are all tasks that will test your ability to communicate with others.

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Ampoules vs. Vials Explained for Pharmacy Assistant School Students

March 04, 2020

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Throughout your career as a pharmacy assistant, you could work with a variety of different vials and ampoules. These are vessels used to store and transport medical compounds like drugs and samples, usually in liquid form.

Whilst they may seem identical to the untrained eye, ampoules and vials are different storage containers with different uses. Ampoules are smaller and used to hold single-dose medicines, whereas vials tend to be larger, and the product inside can be stored and reused. Read on to learn more about how pharmacy assistants use ampoules and vials.

Ampoules Are Small and Single-Use

The main difference between ampoules and vials is that an ampoule cannot be reused. This is because an ampoule is sealed at the neck using heat and has to be cracked open to access the product.

Unlike a screw top or rubber stopper, an ampoule cannot be resealed once it is opened. The way that an ampoule is sealed shut means that the chemical compound inside is protected from exterior elements like oxygen. Because they cannot be reused, ampoules are usually used to store and transport single doses of medicines or samples.

Ampoules are usually made of glass,but you may also encounter plastic ampoules in pharmacy assistant training.

Vials Can Be Reused in Pharmacy Assistant Training

In contrast, vials can be sterilized and reused multiple times. Vials are typically larger in size and are used to carry multiple doses of drugs. Vials are sealed with a screw on cap or rubber plug, which means they can be unsealed and resealed. Pharmacy assistants could also use a needle to extract the liquid sample from a vial by piercing the rubber stopper.

Like ampoules, vials are also available in plastic or glass. Vials usually have a flat bottom, meaning they can be easily placed on a counter or shelf.

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Unlike ampoules, vials have rubber stoppers or screw top caps that can be resealed after opening

Ampoules Can Be Used to Store Unstable Chemical Compounds

In pharmacy assistant school, you might learn about the differences between stable and unstable compounds. An unstable compound is one that is reactive and could change in the presence of oxygen or another element.

Ampoules are best for storing unstable elements as the seal protects the compound from contamination. To make sure that the drug remains stable, drug manufacturers may extract air from the ampoule before inserting the drug. In contrast, vials are best used to store stable elements.

Another important difference is that ampoules are used as temporary storage devices, whereas vials can store medicines for a longer period of time.

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Ampoules can store unstable chemical compounds as they protect them from exterior elements

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