How to Become a Medication Technician

If you’re interested in a career in the medical field, you may be wondering how to become a medication technician. Medication technicians are responsible for dispensing medications to patients under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

Becoming a medication technician generally requires completing a training program and passing a certification exam. Some states also have additional requirements, such as background checks. Once you’re certified, you can begin working in a hospital, retail pharmacy, or long-term care facility.

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Introduction

A medication technician is a professional who works in the medical field and is responsible for the dispensing of medication to patients. In order to become a medication technician, one must first complete a training program that is approved by the state in which they wish to work. After completing the training program, the individual must then pass a state-administered exam.

What is a Medication Technician?

Definitions and duties
A medication technician is a certified nursing assistant (CNA) who has received additional training and certification in administering medications. The specific duties of a medication technician may vary depending on the state in which they work, but generally include tasks such as checking patients’ charts, measuring and preparing medications, documenting patients’ responses to medications, and observing patients for side effects.

Becoming a medication technician typically requires completing a CNA program and passing a state-approved medication administration certification exam. Some states may also require medication technicians to complete continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their certification.

The Role of a Medication Technician

A medication technician is a certified professional who works under the supervision of a licensed nurse or physician. Medication technicians are responsible for administering medication to patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living communities.

To become a medication technician, you must complete a state-approved training program and pass a competency exam. Some states also require certification by a national organization, such as the National Healthcare Association (NHA). Once you have met all of the requirements for your state, you will be able to work as a medication technician.

Key Skills and Qualities

Becoming a medication technician requires completing a certification process that includes both academic and practical components. During the academic portion, students learn about the different types of medications, how to dispense them, and how to administer them to patients. The practical portion of the certification process requires students to complete an internship in a healthcare setting.

In order to be successful in this career, medication technicians should have strong communication and customer service skills. They should also be detail-oriented and able to follow instructions carefully.

Education and Certification

Most states require that medication technicians complete a training program and pass a competency exam before they can begin working. There are a few states that do not have specific education requirements, but most employers prefer that candidates have at least a high school diploma or equivalent.

There are many different types of medication technician training programs available, both online and in person. Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate or diploma programs that can be completed in as little as six weeks. These programs typically include both classroom instruction and clinical training. Some programs may also offer an externship component, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience before they begin working.

Once you have completed a training program, you will need to pass a competency exam in order to become certified. The exam is usually administered by the state in which you plan to work, and it may be offered online or in person. After passing the exam, you will be placed on the state’s medication technician registry. In some states, you may also need to complete continuing education credits on a regular basis in order to maintain your certification.

Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $32,700 in May 2015.1 The salary range for the middle 50% of pharmacy technicians was $27,710-$39,290. The lowest 10% earned less than $23,380, and the highest 10% earned more than $46,980.1 Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest number of pharmacy technicians were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private: $33,610
Grocery stores: $31,860
Pharmacies and drug stores: $30,920
Management of companies and enterprises: $30,550
Elementary and secondary schools: $29,700

From 2014-2024, employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 9%, about as fast as the average for all occupations.1 Competition for jobs should be strong because many people are attracted to this occupation.

Conclusion

There are many ways to become a certified medication technician, and the best way to find the right program for you is to research your options and contact several programs to compare. Once you’ve chosen a program, complete the necessary coursework and pass the certification exam to earn your credential.

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