Last updated: 22 April 2021
Pharmacy Assistants help pharmacists order, prepare and dispense medicines. Pharmacy assistants can also be involved in manufacturing medicines when ready-made preparations are not available. For example, certain cancer treatments and intravenous feeding solutions need to be tailor made under sterile conditions for individual patients.
A day in the life
Pharmacy assistants work as part of a pharmacy team under the direction of a registered pharmacist. The work includes:
- taking in and handing out prescriptions
- dispensing prescriptions
- using computer systems to generate stock lists and labels
- ordering items
- receiving, loading, unloading deliveries
- delivering medicines to other parts of a hospital or health centre
- selling over-the-counter medicines
- answering customers questions face to face or by phone
- pre-packing, assembling and labelling medicines
- preparing medicines
- referring problems or queries to the pharmacist
You will be given the training you need to be a member of the pharmacy team. This includes health and safety, use of IT systems, manufacturing medicines and dispensing prescriptions.
You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as:
- NVQ level 2 in pharmacy service skills
- BTEC level 2 in pharmaceutical science
A level 2 apprenticeship for pharmacy services assistants is available in many parts of the country.
For more information regarding joining our team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Human Resources team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 286577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How did you become a Pharmacy Assistant? - "I started my career as a pharmacy apprentice after I qualified, I got a job as a dispenser before moving into the role I am in now as pharmacy stores."
What do you do on a day to day basis? - "As the pharmacy storeman we order all the drug bottles and cartons for the main dispensary. We place orders twice a day, one first thing in the morning for the afternoon and one at the end of the day for the next morning. Alongside this, I have other duties such as dispensing TTO’s, topping up wards, expiry checking, fixing errors with the robot and anything else I may be asked to do."
What do you enjoy about being a Pharmacy Assistant? - "I enjoy my job because it keeps me busy and has helped me to learn a lot of new skills. I have never worked in an environment like this before, coming from a customer service background. Also, the variety of my job means that I am rarely bored and helping others fills me with satisfaction."
Career plans - "My plans for the future are to do the technician course, so I can advance up the chain to management."