Role: Dispensary Assistant
Dispensary assistants help pharmacists order, prepare and dispense medicines.
Pharmacy assistants work as part of a pharmacy team under the direction of a registered pharmacist.
Taking in and handing out prescriptions
Using computer systems to generate stock lists and labels
Receiving, loading, unloading deliveries
Selling over-the-counter medicines
Answering customers questions face to face or by phone
Pre-packing, assembling and labelling medicines
Referring problems or queries to the pharmacist
It would be an advantage if you have worked in a customer service role.
Pharmacy assistants work as part of healthcare teams in hospitals or community pharmacies. Some work in retail pharmacies in supermarkets or on the high street, or for other employers that provide NHS services.
There are no set entry requirements to become a pharmacy assistant. Employers usually expect good literacy, numeracy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications.
Employers often ask for relevant work experience. Even where this is not specified, it would be an advantage if you have worked in a customer service role.
Pharmacy assistants need to be:
Accurate and methodical
Able to pay attention to detail
Able to understand law and guidelines on medicines
Able to read and carry out instruction
To be interested in people’s health
Able to explain clearly to members of the public
They’ll also need excellent communication, customer service, IT and manual skills.
Training and development
You will be given the training you need to be a member of the pharmacy team. This includes health and safety, use of IT systems, manufacturing medicines and dispensing prescriptions.
You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as:
NVQ level 2 in pharmacy service skills
BTEC level 2 in pharmaceutical science