Why Math is Important for Pharmacy Technicians

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    September 11, 2019

    You have likely picked up a prescription from the pharmacy at some point in your life or accompanied someone who has. Typically, the individual who hands you your medicine and checks you out is a pharmacy technician. While you may think that pharmacy technicians hold a higher level degree, and some do, you do not need to attend years of post-secondary school to become one.

    While we mentioned that you do not need an advanced degree to work as a pharmacy technician, you will need to have a good grasp on math. There are many math concepts that are used in this career role such as addition and subtraction, fractions, determining percentages, weights, and even measurements.

    It is vital that you are skilled in math computation and have a strong background in math to ensure patients are receiving the correct dosage of medicine. Even the smallest math error can lead to injury or death.

    Think you are ready for a career as a pharmacy technician? Think you have the math skills it takes? Keep reading on to learn what type of math you need to know.

    Basic Accounting and Algebra Skills

    If you took the back seat in the class and slept through algebra, you may be wishing you paid attention. Pharmacy technicians need to know and have a strong grasp on basic algebra. For example, as a pharmacy technician, you will find yourself completing equations to determine how much of one ingredient you need to add to another.

    While you do not have to know in-depth accounting skills, it pays off to have a background in accounting. In your role, you will be responsible for inventory, insurance claims, and knowing just how much a patient must pay for their medication.

    Conversions and Measurements

    Well, just when you thought you would not have to worry about the metric system, it pops back up. One of the most important things you will need to know and understand as a pharmacy technician is measurement systems and conversions to arrive at the measurement you need.

    Often, you will find that medicines, especially liquids, are measured using milliliters and liters. Powdered medications, tablets, and capsules may be measured using grams or milligrams.

    Knowing the metric system will come in handy but knowing how to convert from one to the other is even better. It is possible that you will find yourself computing milliliters for a customer’s medication and then computing that measurement back into teaspoons, ounces, or even drops.

    Why Do I Need to Know Math?

    You may be wondering why you need to know the math and why you cannot just use a calculator on the computer or on your phone. Unfortunately, it is just not that simple. You must know your measurements and how to arrive at them. Since medicine is about providing patients with the right dose, you MUST know how to get the right dose.

    An error in math, no matter how small, can lead to serious illness, injury, or even the death of a patient. If you are unsure of your math skills, do not be afraid to brush up on them or hire a tutor to help you out. Fortunately, you can skip all the hard stuff and focus just on what you need to know to be successful as a pharmacy technician.

    Train to Be a Pharmacy Technician Today

    Pharmacy technicians are in demand and employment is expected to grow at a rate of 12% until 2026. The median pay for pharmacy technicians is estimated to be $15.72 per hour or $32,700 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Training to become a pharmacy technician at a UEI College campus is a great opportunity for you to utilize your skills and build upon the skills you have. Our program can be completed in as few as 10 months and provides you with the hands-on skills and training you need to be successful.

    Whether you want to compound medications or you want to focus on becoming certified, there is opportunity for you to grow in this field. If you would like to discuss enrolling in our pharmacy technician program, contact UEI College today!

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