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Pharmacist Assistant Description

Pharmacist assistants are responsible for the dispensing and distribution of medicine under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist. Pharmacy forms the link between the manufacturer, the doctor and the patient, and the patient and the community.

What am I going to do in this occupation?

Pharmacist Assistant (General)
These assistants can perform the duties of both the Pharmacist Assistant (Public sector) and the Pharmacist Assistant (Private sector).

Pharmacist Assistant (Public Sector)
Their duties are threefold in nature and should be performed under the personal supervision of a pharmacist:

» Dispensing of stock which includes duties like pre-packing of tablets/capsules, taking stock, filling of containers and labeling, dilution and packing of antiseptics and disinfectants and ordering of stock for pharmacy from bulk pharmacy stores.

» Dispensing of ready made or pre-packed medicines which includes duties like dispensing of medicine to outpatients, checking, monitoring and assembling orders or pre-packed medicines for internal and external clinic's and/or departments.

» Computerization, where a computerized dispensing system exists, the assistants must be able to update the medicine profile, the production of a label, a copy prescription and reference to the drug interaction file.

Pharmacist Assistant (Private Sector)
Their duties are threefold in nature and should be performed under the personal supervision of a pharmacist:

» Dispensing of stock which includes duties like routine stock checking and ordering of replacement stock, checking, pricing and arranging dispensary stock on storage levels, quarterly checking of stock for expired and/ or damaged stock and ensuring that all medicines are stored correctly.

» Dispensing of ready-made medicines which includes duties like reading the prescriptions, sometimes removing the patient's medicine profile card from the file and placing it with the prescription for checking by the pharmacist, preparation of the label and preparation of the medical aid copy including the pricing of the prescriptions and sometimes giving notification to patients when a prescription is due for a repeat.

» Computerization, where a computerized dispensing system exists, performing the same duties as the pharmacist's assistant (public sector).

Pharmacist Assistant (Industry)
Their duties are threefold in nature and should be performed under the personal supervision of a pharmacist:

» Dispensing Operation: Checking and verifying the identity and mass of ingredients during the weighing and supply thereof.

» Manufacturing operation: Checking the addition of ingredients into a batch mix.

» Packing operation: Opening of packaging lines as defined in the Good Manufacturing Practice document.

Requirements

What kind of personality do I need? Prospective pharmacist assistants must be hardworking and motivated. Accuracy, responsibility and good interpersonal relationships are also important.

Where can I work?

Upon successful completion of the course pharmacist assistants will be permitted to work in any hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy or industry depending on the category in which they are qualified.

Can I work for myself in this occupation?

Pharmacist assistants cannot work on their own.

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