a career in community pharmacy

What is a Pharmacy Assistant?

The first person a customer meets when they enter a Pharmacy is usually a Pharmacy Assistant. A Pharmacy Assistant has to deal professionally and confidently with customers on a large range of health, personal care and beauty issues. Pharmacy Assistants deal with everything from accepting prescriptions through to infant care, wound and skin care, cough and cold medication and beauty advice.

Community pharmacies are complex health and well being advisory centres and Pharmacy Assistants have a primary position in offering correct information to customers.

What do they do?

Pharmacy Assistants are expected to undertake duties such as;

  • Meet and greet pharmacy customers
  • Operate retail equipment
  • Apply safe working practices
  • Accept prescriptions for dispensing
  • Work effectively within the pharmacy industry
  • Apply point of sale handling procedures
  • Perform routine housekeeping duties
  • Minimise theft

Where can I go in Pharmacy?

There are a number of careers available in pharmacy and Pharmacy Assistants can become specialists in a number of different areas that lead to roles such as;

  • Cosmetic Consultants
  • Vitamin and Health Food Consultants
  • Dispensary Assistants
  • Stock Control Managers
  • Retail Pharmacy Managers

How do I become a Pharmacy Assistant?

There are many ways in which you can find employment as a Pharmacy Assistant. There is no guaranteed method of entry, but a few ideas are;

  • Through courses offered by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Victoria Branch
  • Previous retail/customer service experience
  • Word of mouth (through friends, relatives)
  • Traineeships
  • Advertisements through newspapers and on the internet
  • Recruitment agencies (there are some that specialise in Pharmacy)
  • Face to face marketing (going into pharmacies and expressing an interest in finding work and leaving your resume)