Who Are You Talking to in the Pharmacy?

What does a pharmacy technician do? What's the difference between a technician and a pharmacist? Get to know who you're talking to an your independent pharmacy in Benton, Arkansas - Smith-Caldwell Drug Store!

Each member of an independent pharmacy staff has different roles to fulfill, from preparing medications to advising patients on dosage and potential interactions.

When you have your prescriptions filled, there are different members of the pharmacy staff you will interact with whether in person, over the phone, or at the drive-through window. These roles at an independent pharmacy in Benton, Arkansas include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and office staff. You may have wondered, “What does a pharmacy technician do?” and why it matters. We will get you better acquainted with the roles of each person you talk to at your local independent pharmacy.

The Pharmacist Serves the Community

Pharmacists have the most senior position in a pharmacy, along with the most responsibilities of anyone on staff. Their job duties include making sure that regulations are followed, preparing and dispensing medications to customers, and verifying prescriptions to reduce the risk of medication errors. Pharmacists also advise customers on medication topics, such as dosage and potential drug interactions. They also answer questions that customers may have about the medicines they take, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Pharmacists are required to receive a doctorate and study several subjects, including chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and pharmaceutics.

At a compounding pharmacy in Benton, Arkansas, a pharmacist will perform many of the same tasks as regular pharmacists, but they also mix ingredients to prepare medications to the specific health and dietary needs of the patient. A compounding pharmacy makes it possible for customers to take medications in different forms, dosages, or combinations that are not normally available.

When you talk to your pharmacist, keep in mind that you can bring up any concerns you have about your medications or ask questions about health-related topics in general. Your pharmacist will want to know whether or not your current medications are working for you so that they might offer recommendations on adjusting your dosages or discussing the possibility of switching to another medication if needed.

Pharmacist can review all of your medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, checking for any possible duplications or interactions that could occur. Your over-the-counter medications could potentially cancel out the benefits of your prescription. If you visit several physicians, you can end up having duplications in your prescription medications. Your pharmacist can act as a bridge between you and your physician that can help simplify any changes in your medication.

Pharmacists can also administer vaccines with no appointment, which is convenient if you have a busy schedule, and you avoid having to pay the copay that you would at your doctor’s office. As one of the most trusted professions in the medical field, the pharmacist is available for patient counseling on matters like embarrassing side effects or any questions you have about a prescription’s impact on your daily life. The pharmacist’s office staff is available to assist with your insurance claims and can contact the insurance company for you.

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

At an independent pharmacy, you will notice that pharmacy technicians have some of the same responsibilities as pharmacists—like preparing medications and handling sales transactions with customers—but they cannot advise you on your medications or health. Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist as required by the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy. They have several job duties, including filling prescriptions, helping customers who are dropping off or picking up medications, verifying your insurance coverage, and preparing prescription labels.

If you are looking for high quality service from an independent pharmacy in Benton, Arkansas, contact Smith-Caldwell Drug Store at 501-404-2740.