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Medication Technician Duties and Responsibilities
Medication technicians work for a variety of organizations, which can affect the duties they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, a medication technician's duties typically involve:
Administer Patient Medication Medication technicians administer the correct medications and dosages to patients on a daily basis. They may liaise with senior nurses or medical staff regarding any changes to a patient's condition or amendments to their required medication.
Perform Medical Check-Ups Medication technicians perform regular patient check-ups to make sure their symptoms aren't getting worse and to monitor the effects of medication. They report and resolve any adverse effects as quickly as possible for the well-being of the patient.
Update Patient Records After taking note of any changes in the patient's condition, medication technicians update their medical records as required. They may also help obtain medical histories.
Report Patient Complaints to Senior Nurses If patients have any concerns about their symptoms or complaints about how they're feeling, medication technicians listen to these complaints and report them to senior staff members so that they can be assessed.
Record Vital Signs Medication technicians take vital signs for patients and obtain electrocardiograms when required. These results can influence changes to a patient's prescribed medication.
Medication Technician Skills and QualificationsMedication technicians prioritize tasks efficiently, are comfortable working as part of a team, and have excellent communication skills. Typically, employers require a high school diploma and relevant postsecondary education or accredited certification, as well as the following skills:
- Organization skills - medication technicians must be highly organized to accurately perform numerous tasks for various patients
- Patience - medication technicians need a calm and tolerant disposition to work with angry or distressed patients
- Teamwork - medication technicians work closely with other medical staff to care for patients, so it's important that they work professionally with people of all different backgrounds and offer assistance in group situations
- Compassion - this job requires compassion and empathy for patients who are sick or injured, as medication technicians work with patients of varying degrees of illness
- Attention to detail - it's important that medication technicians have a strong attention to detail, as the medications they give patients could have adverse side effects if administered incorrectly
Medication Technician Education and TrainingThe minimum requirement to become a medication technician is a high school diploma, although some employers may require an accredited certification, such as a certified medical technician designation, or a postsecondary degree in pharmacy technology. Prior experience in a similar job is advantageous, as is experience of using software to conduct medical charting on computers. Medication technicians gain many of their skills through on-the-job training.
Medication Technician Salary and OutlookThe median annual salary for medication technicians is nearly $32,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Medication technicians in the 10th percentile earn around $22,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $47,000 a year. Some companies offer bonuses that can reach up to $1,000 based on individual or group performances, as well as profit-sharing opportunities. Just over half of medication technicians enjoy medical benefits, with even fewer receiving dental coverage. The BLS predicts this sector will grow 12 percent through 2026.
We've collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about a career as a medication technician:
Medication Technician Study Guide: Medication Aide Training Manual - this book offers an overview of a medication technician's responsibilities. It also discusses the principles of medication administration, how different drugs affect the body, and the history of medications
Mosby's Textbook for Medication Assistants - providing guidance on the essential concepts and procedures medication technicians need to know, this book helps readers to reinforce their knowledge and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to find success in their career
Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Jobs - with over 10,000 members, this LinkedIn group connects those in pharmacy roles with new job options, networking opportunities, and industry news and updates
Medical Abbreviations and Acronyms - this useful guide highlights and helps readers memorize the key terms medication technicians come across on a regular basis
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