YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Pharmacists are very important for those looking to obtain medication, but behind the scenes, they’re getting help from a pharmacy tech, who not only helps fill that script but may also help make it.
Cathy Russell was displaced while working at Delphi. She went back to school to become a pharmacy tech and got her license in nine months.
She says it is important work.
“Because this isn’t just counting capsules, you’re actually making what you’re giving to people,” Russell said.
At RC Compounding, Russell will mix the ingredients — even add some flavoring — and then smooth it out on a sheet to make lozenges or fill capsules. When they cool, she pops them out and fills prescription bottles.
It all starts with a formula sheet, which basically like a recipe.
“It tell you on here, what it is, how many it’s going to make, what you need to make it and how you need to make it,” she said.
Those combinations are much different than just counting pills out of a bottle from a manufacturer. There is some math involved in the job, but all that’s needed is a high school diploma.
Megan Lapushansky got her training at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, just like Russell. It’s possible to complete the degree in nine months, but school is not a requirement. Lapushansky said you can prepare and then go take the certification test.
If you get licensed, you can work in any state.
The pharmacy tech field is expected to grow faster than the average for all other occupations in the next eight years.
“It’s a good field to get into because you don’t have to spend five years at school, thousands of dollars,” Lapushansky said. “You can get right into it and start learning.”
RC Compounding even makes pet medications.
For more information about pharmacy techs, visit OhioMeansJobs.com.