Are you tired of the constant rush of a busy pharmacy? Do you need someone to take care of the mundane tasks that are taking up all of your time?
Then a pharmacy assistant is the ideal solution for you.
Not only will an assistant give you the time you need to focus on growing your business, but they’ll also help you achieve better customer service and higher productivity levels.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what a pharmacy assistant is, their responsibilities, the benefits of hiring one, their expected salary, how to hire one, and more so that you can hire the perfect assistant for your needs.
What is a pharmacy assistant?
Pharmacy assistants are responsible for helping licensed pharmacists with a number of administrative and customer service duties within pharmacies.
Generally, these assistants work full-time — with their working hours aligning with the hours of the pharmacy.
Although they work with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and other healthcare professionals, they often don’t have formal education requirements — aside from a high school diploma.
However, those with education, job training, and prior experience may be preferred over those without.
Prior clerical and customer service experience and knowledge of anatomy and physiology are also highly beneficial.
At Hello Rache, our assistants have a background in healthcare and are equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise to help your pharmacy grow. Hire a virtual pharmacy assistant from Hello Rache.
Pharmacy assistant responsibilities
A pharmacist assistant has several job duties. Some of the most common duties include:
Pharmacy assistants will be required to help with administrative and clerical duties, such as greeting customers, dealing with queries, managing the pharmacist’s diaries, scheduling meetings, printing, photocopying, taking minutes at meetings, and more.
Collect and maintain patient information
They need to make sure that customer information is kept up to date at all times. This is vital since inaccurate information could result in the wrong medication being given to customers. Additionally, they need to ensure that patients have the approval for prescription medication.
Answer calls and emails
They must take care of customer communications and ensure that all phone calls and emails are answered within an acceptable time. They may also be required to make external phone calls to suppliers or customers — for example; they would make phone calls to customers who ordered medicine and did not collect it on a specified date.
They’ll often need to educate patients on the appropriate way to take medications, and they will warn them about what could happen if they don’t follow instructions. For patients who need to use specific medical equipment or tools, such as syringes, they’ll teach them how to do so appropriately.
Take inventory and order supplies
Pharmacy assistants will need to make sure that inventory doesn’t run out. They need to take stock at the end of the day to see if there are any medications that need to be ordered. From there, they need to communicate with suppliers and make the orders so that they arrive before stock runs out.
As new medications and supplies arrive from suppliers, assistants need to restock pharmacy shelves and make sure that everything is in its appropriate place. This way, pharmacists will be able to locate the medications quickly and will deliver better service.
Benefits of hiring a pharmacy assistant
Here’s a list of some of the main benefits of hiring a pharmacy assistant for your business.
1. Saves time
Having a pharmacy assistant will save a lot of time since many mundane tasks will be taken care of. Pharmacists won’t have to worry about client communications via phone calls or email. Instead, they can spend more time focusing on their customers and other high-impact tasks that could lead to the growth of the pharmacy.
2. Better customer service
According to Salesforce, 89% of customers say that a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to do repeat business with an organization.
Assistants will take care of customer communications and ensure that all queries are answered. This means that patients will receive exceptional customer care and feel like they matter.
As a result, they’ll start trusting the pharmacy more, leading them to come back whenever they need medicine or medical supplies.
In turn, this will lead to a better brand image and higher revenue.
3. Higher levels of productivity
Since pharmacy assistants take care of all the administrative duties and other repetitive tasks, in-house staff members will have more time to focus on their own job responsibilities.
This will lead to higher levels of productivity since processes will run far smoother, and all tasks and deliverables will be completed on time.
Furthermore, due to reduced stress of other staff members, the company culture will improve, and you’ll have a happier work environment.
4. Saves money
If you choose to hire a virtual assistant, you’ll also be saving a lot of money as these assistants are far less expensive to hire than office-based assistants.
The majority of pharmacy assistant duties, such as customer communication, administrative tasks, ordering supplies, and more, can be completed virtually. This means you'll be getting many of your tasks done at a fraction of the cost.
At Hello Rache, our virtual assistants come at a flat rate of $9.50 per hour. Learn more about our pricing and what’s included.
How much do pharmacy assistants get paid?
In the U.S., pharmacy assistants earn around $17.45 per hour or an annual wage of $47,100.
However, their salaries can greatly vary based on several factors, such as location, experience, and skill set.
Salaries based on location
Some of the highest-paying cities in the US for pharmacy assistants include:
- San Diego, CA: $18.71 per hour
- Brooklyn, NY: $18.29 per hour
- Los Angeles, CA: $19.17 per hour
- Everett, WA: $17.92 per hour
- Redmond, WA: $17.53 per hour
- Phoenix, AZ: $15.59 per hour
Some of the highest-paying cities in the UK include:
- London: £10.68 per hour
- Derby: £9.64 per hour
- Northampton: £9.63 per hour
- Stockport: £9.38 per hour
- Edinburgh: £9.21 per hour
- Doncaster: £9.16 per hour
- Manchester: £9.15 per hour
- Stevenage: £9.10 per hour
Salaries by experience
Pharmacist assistants with more years of experience have the potential to earn higher wages than those with fewer years of experience.
For example, pharmacy assistants with 20+ years of experience can earn close to $10 more per hour than those with less than a year of experience.
If you do the math, this means that they earn around $80 more per day and $1,600 more per month.
Salaries by skill set
Pharmacy assistants who have different skill sets can also earn more. For example, those with the appropriate packaging skills can earn up to 16% more. Additionally, those with administration, order inventory, data entry, and customer service metrics skills can earn between 1%–3% more.
Additional benefits to consider
In addition to their salary, you’ll also need to keep employee benefits in mind. Some of the most common benefits of pharmacy assistants are:
- 401(k) matching
- Health insurance
- Paid time off
At Hello Rache, our virtual assistants come at a flat rate of $9.50 per hour. They also don’t require additional benefits, which makes our high-quality administrative support excellent value.
Skills to look for when hiring a pharmacy assistant
Here are some of the top skills to look out for when hiring a pharmacy assistant.
The processing of payments, operation of the cash register, and calculation of medication quantities are all part of the assistant’s job.
This means that they need to be great at math. Even though they may have software to help them, it’s good for them to verify the information on their own.
Your pharmacy assistant will be required to work alongside the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Therefore, it’s crucial that they have good collaboration and teamwork skills.
Ultimately, this will allow for higher productivity, less workplace friction, and better customer experiences.
Your assistant needs to pay exceptional attention to detail when it comes to patient medication, billing, and stock. They need to be able to catch mistakes easily and correct them to prevent any problems from occurring.
Furthermore, they must maintain accuracy throughout their duties and always verify information.
Customer service skills
To create a welcoming environment where customers feel comfortable asking questions, your assistant will have to provide exceptional customer service and assist customers with anything they need.
They need to be willing to go the extra mile. For example, if a customer asks a question that the assistant doesn’t have the answer to, they’ll need to request info from the appropriate staff member who knows the answer and report it back to the customer.
Your assistant needs to have knowledge of pharmaceutical drugs, pharmacy safety, and regulations.
This way, they’ll be able to better support the pharmacist and will be able to better assist customers — providing them with excellent patient education that’s easy to understand and implement.
Both verbal and non-verbal communication skills are important for your assistant to be able to communicate information properly to customers.
Verbal communication is important for face-to-face customer interactions and phone calls, whereas non-verbal communication is important for emails and other written communication.
Your assistant will be required to work on your chosen computer software to keep patient files up to date, send emails, order supplies, and more.
Therefore, they need to know how to use computer systems effectively and need to be able to learn quickly when you train them to use your specific software.
How to hire a pharmacy assistant
When it comes to hiring a pharmacy assistant, you have two options:
Option 1: Post a job listing
This option is best if you want to hire an in-office pharmacist. To post a job listing, you can head to job listing platforms, such as Indeed, and register for an account.
From there, you can post the listing, and people who visit these sites will fill out an online application for the position.
You’ll then need to filter through the applicants to find the best-suited candidates and arrange an interview with them — for which you’ll need to prepare questions so that you can determine whether they’re well-suited.
After the interviews, you may need to prepare for a second round of interviews until you’re satisfied with your decision to hire one of the candidates.
Option 2: Hire virtually
In-house recruitment can require significant time and financial investment. Another option is to hire virtually.
This option is perfect if you’re looking for flexible administrative support that can take many mundane, repetitive tasks off your hands, giving you time to focus on more important tasks.
Virtual assistants will offer many of the services that an in-office assistant would, such as customer care, ordering supplies, ensuring the accuracy of customer data, etc.
You can hire a qualified virtual assistant from HelloRache. In doing so, you’ll skip the entire job posting and interview process.
Simply contact our team, and we’ll help you find the perfect person to fill your pharmacy assistant position.
Hire a virtual assistant today
Having a pharmacy assistant will help you deliver better services and free up your time to focus on growth strategies.
Whether you hire locally or virtually, you’re guaranteed a more productive, happier workforce and customer base.
Are you interested in going the virtual route? Discover more about how you can hire the perfect virtual assistant for the job.