What is On-the-job Training?
On-the-job training (OJT) is a crucial component of becoming a skilled and competent pharmacy technician. It involves learning and acquiring practical skills while working under the supervision of experienced professionals in a pharmacy setting.
OJT refers to the process of training pharmacy technicians by providing hands-on experience in real-world pharmacy environments. This type of training enables individuals to apply their theoretical knowledge, gain practical skills, and develop the necessary competencies required for a successful career in pharmacy.
There are numerous benefits associated with on-the-job training for pharmacy technicians:
- Practical Skill Development: OJT allows pharmacy technicians to learn and practice essential skills, such as prescription processing, medication dispensing, inventory management, and customer service.
- Real-world Experience: Working alongside experienced professionals provides valuable exposure to the daily operations and challenges of a pharmacy. This experience helps technicians develop problem-solving skills and prepares them to handle various situations confidently.
- Industry Insights: OJT provides an opportunity to understand the intricacies of the pharmaceutical industry, including compliance with regulations, medication safety protocols, and ethical considerations.
- Networking: During on-the-job training, pharmacy technicians have the chance to build professional relationships with pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and fellow technicians. These connections can be beneficial for future career prospects and mentorship opportunities.
- Employment Opportunities: Completing on-the-job training successfully enhances the employability of pharmacy technicians. Employers often prefer candidates with practical experience, making OJT an essential step in the career progression of a pharmacy technician.
Types of Training
On-the-job training for pharmacy technicians can take various forms, depending on the pharmacy setting and employer. Some common types of training include:
- Structured Training Programs: Many pharmacies offer structured training programs that provide a comprehensive curriculum and systematic approach to learning. These programs may include classroom-based instruction, online modules, and hands-on experience in different areas of pharmacy practice.
- Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships involve working under the guidance of experienced pharmacy technicians or pharmacists. This type of training allows individuals to gain practical skills while earning a salary. Apprenticeships typically have a set duration and may require completion of specific coursework or exams.
- Externships: Externships are shorter-term training opportunities that provide hands-on experience in a pharmacy setting. They are often part of formal education programs, such as pharmacy technician certification courses or associate degree programs.
- Mentorship Programs: Mentorship programs pair new pharmacy technicians with experienced professionals who provide guidance, support, and ongoing training. These programs focus on individualized learning and skill development based on the mentee’s needs and goals.
It’s important for aspiring pharmacy technicians to research and inquire about the specific on-the-job training opportunities available in their area. Additionally, candidates should consider factors such as the reputation of the training program, the credentials of the supervising professionals, and any associated costs or requirements.
For more information on becoming a pharmacy technician and the various aspects of this rewarding career, you can visit authoritative websites such as:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics – Pharmacy Technicians
- Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
- Pharmacy Times
Remember, on-the-job training is an essential stepping stone towards a successful pharmacy technician career. It provides the practical skills and experience needed to excel in this dynamic and important healthcare role.
II. What is Networking?
Networking is a crucial aspect of any profession, including the pharmacy technician career. It involves building relationships and connections with professionals in your field and related industries. By actively engaging in networking activities, pharmacy technicians can gain numerous benefits that can enhance their career growth and success.
Networking, in the context of the pharmacy technician career, refers to the process of establishing and nurturing professional relationships with individuals in the healthcare industry. This can include fellow pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, healthcare providers, educators, and representatives from pharmaceutical companies.
Networking offers several advantages for pharmacy technicians. Some of the key benefits include:
1. Knowledge and Information Exchange: Through networking, pharmacy technicians can stay updated on the latest trends, advancements, and best practices in their field. They can gain valuable insights and learn from the experiences of others, helping them improve their skills and knowledge.
2. Career Opportunities: Networking opens doors to potential job opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry. By connecting with professionals in various healthcare settings, pharmacy technicians can learn about job openings that may not be advertised publicly. These connections can also serve as references or provide recommendations for career advancement.
3. Mentorship and Guidance: Building relationships with experienced pharmacy technicians or pharmacists can provide mentorship and guidance throughout your career journey. Mentors can offer advice, share their expertise, and help you navigate challenges or decisions you may face in your professional life.
4. Professional Development: Attending networking events, conferences, and workshops allows pharmacy technicians to expand their professional network while gaining valuable continuing education credits. These opportunities provide a platform to enhance skills, gain certifications, and showcase expertise in specific areas of pharmacy practice.
5. Industry Awareness: Networking helps pharmacy technicians stay informed about changes in regulations, policies, and emerging technologies within the pharmaceutical industry. This knowledge can assist in adapting to industry shifts and being proactive in professional growth.
C. Types of Networking
Networking can take various forms, depending on the context and purpose. Here are some common types of networking for pharmacy technicians:
1. Professional Associations: Joining professional organizations such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT) provides opportunities to connect with fellow pharmacy technicians, attend conferences, access resources, and stay updated on industry news.
2. Online Networking: Utilize online platforms like LinkedIn, where you can create a professional profile and connect with other pharmacy professionals. Engaging in discussions, joining relevant groups, and sharing industry-related content can help expand your network virtually.
3. Local Networking Events: Attend local pharmacy conferences, seminars, or workshops to meet professionals in your area. These events often offer opportunities for networking and learning from industry experts.
4. Pharmacy Technician Schools: While studying to become a pharmacy technician, networking with classmates and instructors can be beneficial. These connections may lead to future job recommendations or collaborations.
Remember, effective networking is not just about meeting people but also building genuine relationships based on mutual respect and shared interests. Actively engage in conversations, be open to learning from others, and always follow up with contacts after initial meetings.
By leveraging the power of networking, pharmacy technicians can broaden their professional horizons, stay updated with industry developments, and create opportunities for career advancement.
How Can On-the-job Training and Networking Benefit Pharmacy Technicians?
As a pharmacy technician, you have the opportunity to continuously improve your skills and expand your knowledge through on-the-job training and networking. These valuable experiences can greatly benefit your career in several ways:
A. Improved Job Performance and Skillset Development
On-the-job training plays a crucial role in enhancing your job performance and developing a diverse skillset. Here’s how it can benefit you:
- Hands-on Experience: On-the-job training allows you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life scenarios, helping you gain practical skills necessary for your role as a pharmacy technician.
- Exposure to Various Tasks: Working closely with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals exposes you to a wide range of tasks, such as medication preparation, prescription processing, inventory management, and customer service. This exposure helps you become more versatile and adaptable in your job.
- Keeping Up with Advancements: The pharmacy industry is constantly evolving with new medications, technologies, and regulations. On-the-job training ensures that you stay updated with these advancements, enabling you to provide the best possible care to patients.
B. Increased Professional Connections and Opportunities for Advancement
Networking is a powerful tool that can open doors to numerous opportunities within the pharmacy technician field. Here’s how it can benefit you:
- Building Relationships: Networking allows you to connect with pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, and fellow pharmacy technicians. These connections can lead to mentorship opportunities, job referrals, and collaborations.
- Access to Industry Events: Attending conferences, seminars, and workshops provides networking opportunities while also keeping you informed about the latest trends and developments in the pharmacy industry.
- Discovering Advancement Opportunities: Through networking, you may come across job openings, promotions, or educational programs that can help you advance your career as a pharmacy technician.
C. Enhanced Interpersonal Communication Skills
Effective communication is a vital skill for pharmacy technicians to ensure accurate information exchange and quality patient care. On-the-job training and networking contribute to the development of your interpersonal communication skills in the following ways:
- Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals: Working alongside pharmacists, nurses, and doctors improves your ability to communicate effectively within a multidisciplinary team.
- Interacting with Patients: On-the-job training exposes you to various patient interactions, allowing you to practice empathy, active listening, and clear communication when discussing medication instructions or addressing concerns.
- Networking Events: Engaging in networking events hones your ability to engage in professional conversations and build rapport with diverse individuals.
D. Improved Understanding of the Pharmacy Industry
On-the-job training and networking broaden your understanding of the pharmacy industry beyond the scope of your daily responsibilities. This expanded knowledge benefits you in the following ways:
- Learning from Experienced Professionals: On-the-job training provides opportunities to learn from experienced pharmacists and other healthcare professionals who can share their insights and expertise.
- Staying Informed: Networking helps you stay informed about industry trends, regulations, and advancements through conversations with peers and attending industry events.
- Gaining Different Perspectives: Interacting with professionals from various pharmacy settings exposes you to different approaches and perspectives, allowing you to develop a well-rounded understanding of the field.
In conclusion, on-the-job training and networking are invaluable for pharmacy technicians. They enhance job performance, develop skills, create professional connections, improve communication, and expand knowledge about the pharmacy industry. Embrace these opportunities to thrive in your pharmacy technician career.