"Why you don't want to start off your pharmacy technican experience at CVS/Pharmacy"

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brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts

61 months ago

I never could figure out why pharmacists had what I call a personal grudge with pharmacy technicians or interns. One thing you will notice about working at the pharmacy is verbal abuse by the pharmacist is an all too common problem. I started out as a pharmacy associate with CVS/Pharmacy and I can share quite bit of knowledge about my experience as a pharmacy technician at CVS/Pharmacy. As a newly hired employee at CVS/Pharmacy the training for new pharmacy technicians is extremely poor.

They hand out training manuals and learning is computer based. By this I mean you will receive a user i.d number on their corporate website a CVS pharmacy technician training manuals/modules in PDF format and you have to download and read those training manuals on your own good luck. CVS pharmacy assigns all its employees a 6 or 7 digit I.D number that you use to access the register and you use to clock in and out for work.

In some cases, meaning if you stay long enough CVS/Pharmacy will send you to a training center which is a mock pharmacy, by this I mean it’s usually a fake CVS store complete with a pharmacy inside of a building and they will train you on inputting and interpreting prescription information into the CVS/Pharmacy computer system, interacting with customers.

The pharmacy system that CVS uses is RX2000, which is not very user friendly at all. In order to become a confident and competent pharmacy technician you need extensive training. If you are not certified when you start at CVS/Pharmacy it’s common for the pharmacist on duty to place you as a pharmacy cashier and also as a drive thru cashier. CVS/Pharmacy is divided up into workstations. Pickup, Drive Thru, Assembly, Verification Area, Drop Off.

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brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts

61 months ago

Although I am done with CVS for good in the process I was able to earn my pharmacy technician license and certification. Sometimes I look back and ask myself was it all worth it in the long run and the answer to that question is “No”. Would I recommend someone go through the process of becoming a certified/registered pharmacy technician? The answer to that question is also “No”.

There are much better career options out there than becoming a pharmacy technician. If you’re really interested in entering the medical field becoming a pharmacy technician is one of the worst ways to do this. You are probably better off sacrificing the time at a 2 year community college (see Obama’s government program to return to community college to earn a degree and learn real skills at www.college.gov ) and earning a degree in a biomedical laboratory technician, surgical technician, radiology technician or enrolling in a nursing program.

Since there are shortages in these career fields the compensation rates are much better than a pharmacy technicians. Unfortunately pharmacy technicians just starting out or without certification/registration and no experience usually end up working in the retail sector of pharmacy. However, the ideal place for a pharmacy technician is in a hospital setting preferably or in a long term care facility which fills medication on time dosage cards. Currently, I am certified/registered pharmacy technician in the state of Massachusetts.

-Good Luck

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Brandon in San Francisco, California

59 months ago

I was hired at $10 an hour told I'd be full time. Hours now cut down to 24 a week.

I'm a certified and licensed tech but was hired as pharmacy service associate and told it will take 1 year before they will upgrade me to tech.

So I bust my ass working hard (and often doing tech work) but not being paid tech pay.

They don't even give us breaks in the pharmacy. Isn't that illegal?

This company does not care about employees whatsoever. Who can make ends meet on less than $200/week take home pay?

Not to mention them short-staffing and then having to deal with customers who are ticked off because they have to wait longer due to there not being enough people staffed in the pharmacy.

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tina in Houston, Texas

58 months ago

Those are my exact words and feelings toward being a pharmacy technician. It is not even worth being certified for all I care because it doesn't hold any meaning to it at all just because you look profesional the environment is not merely as comfortable as it seems due to verbal abuse from customers, coworkers and Pharmacists. The large amount of stress from work itself discourages most pharmacy techs to give up and leave because the pay is way too low. It draws us to make more careless mistakes and be short handed at all the times; thus we describe this as "just a job " and think "is it time to go home yet?". There is no passion in this so-called a "career" as I say we are not treated with respect. I wonder what the pharmacy would be like if there was no pharmacy technicians as part of the team and it would just be the Pharmacists by themselves, but I plan to move on and never to look back or reconsider to work as a pharmacy technician ever again.

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X-walgreens employee in Port Saint Joe, Florida

58 months ago

X-walgreens employee in Port Saint Joe, Florida said: Ya know, I too went to school for to get the pharm tech "diploma" and worked at walgreens for 3 years. and the only thing that going to school helped out with was passing the PTCB exam. You dont learn the insurance, cant learn computer systems because each pharm uses a different system..However, if one was to try to get a job at a hosp pharm then i would say go and take the classes because the majority of the classes tought more on that angle..

For example, they teach you how to give injections properly, How to mix IV fluids for the IV bags, IV flow rates etc..etc.. The only thing I can remember that helps me now in retail would be measuring recons..compounding..sig codes, proper dosaging, stuff like that.

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Candy in Los Angeles, California

57 months ago

brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts said: low-pay, injurious gossip, high stress, mind numbing repetitive tasks as well as dealing with angry/rude/sick customers on a daily basis. After a while it takes its toll on you mentally, physically and spiritually. .

So true :<

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ReginaM in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Candy in Los Angeles, California said: So true :<

I have put in over 20 yrs in the Customer service/telemarketing industry. As most of you know that industry is dead in the US so I became a Pharmacy Tech. I graduated from Los Angeles ORT in Oct 09,had an excellent instructor and I'm in the process of finding my first job. I did my externship at CVS and discovered that the type of person that I will have to deal with will be the same as a customer service caller except that they are on drugs. I can handle it.

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CVS NO MORE in Largo, Florida

52 months ago

I worked at CVS for 12 years, I started when they were the new kids on the block and were interested in haveing good employees and they were interested and valued all their employees not just the pharmacist and pharmacy technicians. Slowly as time progressed and they acquired Eckerds pharmacies their attuded changed, because CVS was now the chain drug store on every block of pinellas county florida. Thus their interest in employees fell below any standard set by any company. Yes gossip and rude customers and less educated pharmacist, and pharmachy DM who believe only what their buddy the pharmacist says is actually the way CVS pharmacy wants their stores to be. The district I worked in (5) is managed by a pharmacy DM who see's the pharmacy techs as pawns in a popularity contest, if you kiss his but, and the pharmacist (PCI) the probability of being one of the players in the game is good. The game consists of targetting 1 tech at a time and the pharmacist and technicians provide abuse, false documentation of errors, your hours are cut back, plus if you make an error it is not brought to your attenshion for weeks until the pharmacy DM comes in and waits in the break room where there is no vidio camera of what is transpiring and presents you with all these terrrable thing you have done. And guess who the DM has as a witness to this policy game he is smiling and grinning about, yes the Pharmacist (PIC). Then after as much humilateshion as the 2 pharmacist can derive from enpuning your dignity, they request you to sign the write-ups, because if you don't you as an employee are sending a bad message to managemant. And if several break room games and talking in the stock room by the back pharmacy door, again where no vidio camera is recording the ordeal and no other witness is there to suppervise, this is what they use to get your to leave with at least 2 weeks notice to them, because they do not want to pay unemployment. WANT TO BE A VICTUM WORK FOR CVS

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brown_dude_CPhT in Boston, Massachusetts

52 months ago

The most interesting part of reading this forum is reading all complaints lobbed at the retail pharmacies such as Walgreen’s, CVS/Pharmacy, Rite Aid, etc. I call them the “Big 3 Evil Billon Dollar Corporations”, which fail miserably to pay livable wages, provide decent healthcare benefits and a comfortable work environment to the majority of their employees.

You will never see any retail pharmacy on the “Best Places to Work” list. I can guarantee that because retail pharmacy is following the same business model of the “Fast Food Industry”. When is the last time you saw McDonald’s or Burger King, Taco Bell’s on the best places to work list? I am sorry to say this but you won’t, that’s just the way it is and it will not change until retail pharmacy starts losing millions of dollars in mega lawsuits and pharmacy technician mistakes. Due to poor training and working conditions. That is the gamble retail pharmacies are taking so good luck with that scenario.

The corporate heads that run retail pharmacies have one goal and it’s all about making money by cutting costs and increasing profit in everyway they can. Now back to the fast food industry, even though the so called food they serve, which is really “industrial chemical” because the composition of the food has been altered so much a Filet O’ Fish sandwich is really not what its supposed to be.

The fast-food industry has altered the composition of the food with brain addicting chemicals making little more than users/junkies of their customers and that’s what the fast food industry secretly refers to their patrons as. Also, when you end up with high blood pressure and sugar diabetes because of years of consumption of that bad food you run to your doctor, who gives you a prescription for synthetic chemicals which mask the problem and don’t cure the problem.

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brown_dude_CPhT in Boston, Massachusetts

52 months ago

Americans are sick by design because of bad food, way too much salt, sugar, a diet high in meat and fat in all processed food it’s a vicious cycle that’s setup that way by design. Nevertheless, in 5 years every American will be covered by a government healthcare plan. The food is in those establishments are just plan bad for your health too much processed meat, salt and too much sugar.

Which means you will be heading to your nearest retail pharmacy for your monthly prescriptions of high blood pressure and diabetes medications. This is by design. People come and they go in retail pharmacy and they are easily replaced by new immigrants looking for a job in America. All the complaints are true I used to work for CVS/Pharmacy and was very happy to resign in late 2008.
Unfortunately, sorry to say this but as a newbie pharmacy technician with very little experience, placed in a retail setting is the absolute worse entry-level experience you can imagine...

Furthermore, when you read about how difficult it is to obtain entry-level pharmacy employment as a pharmacy technician, this is also very true, especially in this dismal economy. Granted, that I was very fortunate in 2005, fresh out of a vocational pharmacy technician program, to find a job as an entry-level technician in a private long term care pharmacy and acquire experience without certification.

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brown_dude_CPhT in Boston, Massachusetts

52 months ago

Later on I decided to try out the retail pharmacy experience which I did not find rewarding at all. However, this employment opportunity led me to pursue certification which I acquired in 2008. It’s just unfortunate that there are so few opportunities for entry-level technicians and this “deep recession” makes it increasingly difficult for new pharmacy technician hires.

Besides, reading the threads on this forum provides a great place for aspiring, frustrated and disgruntled pharmacy technicians to vent and pass along critical knowledge to others. For example, if you can stop a person from taking out a $10,000 school loan in order to become a pharmacy technician and direct them to some other healthcare opportunity that pays more and has better working conditions may god bless you.

By this I mean I really feel sorry for those individuals who took out those huge loans and went to school and when they graduated were surely disappointed by not finding immediate employment. But then again that seems to be an absolute with this profession. First time employment opportunities are defiantly hard to acquire in most cases.

Although, I am not sure why, perhaps it’s over saturation of pharmacy technicians in the field. Then there are those who are frustrated by the low pay, high stress and poor working conditions of the retail pharmacy setting. In conclusion, kudos goes out to all the pharmacy technicians that have passed the national PTCB exam and have given advice regarding what programs and books to buy in order to pass the PTCB, as well as tips of the trade to there fellow aspiring pharmacy technicians.

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bill in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania

44 months ago

I worked as the help desk or tech support for cvs caremark for almost 7 years sure we started as EHS then Pharmacare but when you close up your best help desk for one not doing as well as the numbers showed it showed company politics not based on helping the company. also, the pay we got was not even average for our location they have some major issues at cvs caremark.

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Tia in Hampton, Georgia

40 months ago

Today I will be going to work with my two weeks notice in hand to personally deliver it to the pharmacy manager. I am a certified pharmacy technician at CVS who has been abused since starting in June of last year. I previously worked for the Kroger pharmacy, and although it wasnt the best experiance it sure was a heck of a lot better than CVS. As previously stated, I am a certified tech. I am stuck at the register all day and people refuse to rotate. There are many unethical practices going on along with the lead technician dating another tech and together, the two of them assume they are supreme beings and over everyone else. Every tech in the place kisses their butt and its ridiculous; I refuse to do it, so the girlfriend of the lead tech is constantly on my case about any and everything. The pharmacy manager sees whats going on and does nothing about it, and the assistant pharmacist partakes in gossip and constantly talks crap about everyone in the place behind everyone elses back, and frankly I am sick of the drama. I spoke with the district manager about being transfered to another pharmacy and he said he'd call me back but never did. The last straw for me was when my mother needed surgery out of town so I requested a few days off to the pharmacist that makes the schedule. I come back and my hours are cut to 12hrs a week! Also, a tech called me and let me know that my mothers illness was being discussed with everyone. I only get paid 8.50 an hour, I am graduating from college soon and I've finally realized that I dont need this.

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suzanne leto in tampa, Florida

40 months ago

I have worked for cvs for 3 years while going to school. It boggles my mind as to the responsibility techs are given and the little bit of pay they make. I love how the techs are spoken to over the workings of the store and how they should "help" the store meet all the goals for the region. My question is "what would the pharmacists do without the help of the technicians? and if its true that yes pharmacists are more educated however, technicians are educated and worth more then a minimum wage!

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brown_dude_CphT in Boston, Massachusetts

39 months ago

Tia in Hampton, Georgia said: Today I will be going to work with my two weeks notice in hand to personally deliver it to the pharmacy manager. I am a certified pharmacy technician at CVS who has been abused since starting in June of last year. I previously worked for the Kroger pharmacy, and although it wasnt the best experiance it sure was a heck of a lot better than CVS. As previously stated, I am a certified tech. I am stuck at the register all day and people refuse to rotate. There are many unethical practices going on along with the lead technician dating another tech and together, the two of them assume they are supreme beings and over everyone else. Every tech in the place kisses their butt and its ridiculous; I refuse to do it, so the girlfriend of the lead tech is constantly on my case about any and everything. The pharmacy manager sees whats going on and does nothing about it, and the assistant pharmacist partakes in gossip and constantly talks crap about everyone in the place behind everyone elses back, and frankly I am sick of the drama. I spoke with the district manager about being transfered to another pharmacy and he said he'd call me back but never did. The last straw for me was when my mother needed surgery out of town so I requested a few days off to the pharmacist that makes the schedule. I come back and my hours are cut to 12hrs a week! Also, a tech called me and let me know that my mothers illness was being discussed with everyone. I only get paid 8.50 an hour, I am graduating from college soon and I've finally realized that I dont need this.

Your story sounds like countless pharmacy technicians who have worked at CVS/Pharmacy.
I used to work at CVS/Pharmacy a few years ago and the same situation you described is common place in many CVS/Pharmacy locations throuhout the U.S.

CVS/Pharmacy = the workplace for entry-level pharmacy technicians, if you want to be abused then apply for a job at CVS/Pharmacy.

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susan green in Calabasas, California

39 months ago

I agree with all the comments about CVS. THE WORST PLACE ANYONE CAN WORK IN AS A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN. THE NEWLY HIRED ARE PLACED AT THE PICK UP WINDOW ALL DAY WITH ANGRY, RUDE, DRUG ADDICTS ON EVERY MEDICATION IN THE PHARMACY. THEY ARE ANGRY BEFORE THEY GET THERE AND WAITING IN LINE MAKES THEM MEANER AND ANGRIER. COMMIT SUICIDE BEFORE WORKING THERE, IT WILL BE BETTER TO END IT THEN WORK IN CVS.

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DenaDina in Elk Grove, California

39 months ago

Your experience rings very true, however, believe me when I say that Walgreen's is no different at all. Walgreen's has the same atmosphere that you described at CVS. One thing I can add, to all of the above, is the filth that I encountered. The bathroom in the Walgreen's pharmacy, where I completed my externship, looked as if it hasn't been cleaned in years! It was absolutely disgusting!!! I actually would wait until my lunch break and run across the street to use the bathroom at McDonalds!

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Jonnyde1 in Mooresville, North Carolina

38 months ago

All I can say is no retail pharmacy is going to treat or pay any pharmacy technicians well. The corporations that run them are not ever going to pay a technician well no matter what certification. All they care is that you get the work done, just use you until you realize nothing is ever going to change and leave. Then they just start the whole process over with a new hire. Nothing will ever change unless pharmacy technicians form a national union and are recognized as an important part of the pharmacy. We actually do most of the work. The pharmacist just went to school for an ungodly amount of time to learn what a computer can tell them now anyway. The are definitely overpaid for the amount of work that they do, it is all about their responsibility. It is a good job to have while looking for another job or going to school for some other career. I worked in retail pharmacy for 7 years and it will never change until the techs have some kind of real representation like carpenters unions or plumber unions or any other service type union. I can honestly say that all the retail chains are not good places to work. The environment seems to be that the good employees end up leaving and the bad employees stay because it is easy and they get paid for really not contributing to the work. It isn't a hard job just the way it is run makes it an extremely stressful job. And that is what makes it not worth little amount of money you get paid. I was offerer 8.50 in salisbury nc to start out and told would get 10.00 if i went and took the national certification which we all know means NOTHING.

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Shawna in Diana, Texas

38 months ago

I worked for CVS/Eckerd for 16 years! Everything that has been said is completely true! I left because on top of all the stress, I was pregnant and was put on bed rest in the hospital for a month until my daughter was born. No one ever called to check on me to see how things were going. After I had my daughter, no one ever called to say congratulations or anything. I had worked there for 16 years! Talk about not caring for your employees.

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worthless servant in Marietta, Georgia

38 months ago

Wow, I thought I was all alone in this, but after reading what you guys had to say I now realize that its not me...it's CVS. I just started working for them about 3 months ago (but feels like a lot longer) and ALREADY I'm waiting for the right opportunity to quit...and I'm debating whether I should put in my 2 weeks notice prior to that or just up and leaving...and I'm highly tempted to do the latter just out of spite. Anyways, I am not even certified yet and, I repeat, I've been there for about 3 months doing the same simple yet frustrating tasks over and over again. To be honest I think they're just looking for an excuse NOT to move me forward because that means having to pay me more...and if I may I add by more I mean what I just found out would only be 40 measley cents more, even though I was told it'd go up a dollar right after being hired. And to make matters worse I'm only getting paid $7.40 per hour, which is EXTREMELY underpaid...I swear I'm not lying. Oh, and let me add the fact that I'm living pay check to pay check right now and they drastically cut my hours this week just because another tech who's been there way longer than i have obviously returned from school or wherever she was and now she's picking up all of MY hours. I just feel so unwanted and worthless there...kinda like that "new kid on the block." And I just sense this air of gossip floating around, particularly between the lead tech and one of the pharmacists. Ugh, I cannot wait until leave that job. The plan was to stick around until I got my certification, but I don't think its worth it anymore. I shouldn't be waiting around for them to finally make up their minds because in the meantime I can find a way better job that pays a lot.more than just minimum wage for someone like me with a bachelors degree in biology. I deserve way better than that and so do all of you.

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prius in Largo, Florida

38 months ago

Yes, you do deserve better pay and all the other things that go along with being a Pharmacy Technician CPhT., RPT. Please keep in mind that in the state of Florida you have to acquire 1500 hours working as a pharmacy assistant and learning procedures that are required by law. And I guarantee that the pharmacy staff only use you to cashier, and for being a pharmacy assistant there are 12 modules to be completed before starting your on the job training. Then the PTCB requires math calculations, for prescriptions and IV's, inventory, etc. There is quite a lot of training required for the PTCB Board, Plus state license. And the PTCB must be renewed every 2 years and also the state license. The responsibility that comes alone with this is if a mistake is make in the pharmacy

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amanda

37 months ago

when i worked for eckerd (now rite aid) if you worked 6 hours and didn't take a lunch the clock took 30 minutes away from your time. If you didn't take your vacation or personal days you lost them. But eckerd never told you this. Most employees had trouble with the company.

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ally in Duluth, Georgia

35 months ago

Tia in Hampton, Georgia said: Today I will be going to work with my two weeks notice in hand to personally deliver it to the pharmacy manager. I am a certified pharmacy technician at CVS who has been abused since starting in June of last year. I previously worked for the Kroger pharmacy, and although it wasnt the best experiance it sure was a heck of a lot better than CVS. As previously stated, I am a certified tech. I am stuck at the register all day and people refuse to rotate. There are many unethical practices going on along with the lead technician dating another tech and together, the two of them assume they are supreme beings and over everyone else. Every tech in the place kisses their butt and its ridiculous; I refuse to do it, so the girlfriend of the lead tech is constantly on my case about any and everything. The pharmacy manager sees whats going on and does nothing about it, and the assistant pharmacist partakes in gossip and constantly talks crap about everyone in the place behind everyone elses back, and frankly I am sick of the drama. I spoke with the district manager about being transfered to another pharmacy and he said he'd call me back but never did. The last straw for me was when my mother needed surgery out of town so I requested a few days off to the pharmacist that makes the schedule. I come back and my hours are cut to 12hrs a week! Also, a tech called me and let me know that my mothers illness was being discussed with everyone. I only get paid 8.50 an hour, I am graduating from college soon and I've finally realized that I dont need this.

My starting pay was $8.50 last year. After being reviewed for working at CVS for a year and being certified just this year, guess how much CVS raise my current pay? $0.17!!! Yes, you saw it correctly! Total the whole pay and my new page, AFTER certification is $8.67!! YAY!! NOT!! As a matter of fact, I'll be leaving CVS soon for COSTCO and Walgreens .

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lgd925 in Los Angeles, California

35 months ago

Hi. I've been reading the comments about working as a pharmacy tech. I have questions that I would like some feedback on. I'm thinking about going back to school to learn to be a pharmacy tech - certified. I'm 59 and can no longer sit behind a desk and keyboard as an export sales coordinator all day long. Feedback and comments please. Thanks. Linda

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Eileen in Largo, Florida

35 months ago

I AM RESPONDING TO THE PERSON, WHO IS 59 AND CAN NO LONGER SIT BEHIND A DESK TO WORK. i AM 53 YEARS OLD, AND HAVE BEEN A Phamacy Technician for 35 years, CPhT. and state license. I would recomend you consider another line of work other than pharmacy technician, the abuse is not only from the customers, the pharmacist and the pharmacy management team (who are pharmacists) are 100% more abusive than any customer. I have worked in retail, LTC, compounding and hospital and IV's. By far retail is the worst invirement, one reason the pharmacy technician is the lowest man on the totum pole and is subject to the over educated pharmacists who concider them selves the most valuable person working in a retail store. Lets look at their value, the pharmacist is responsible for everything that happens in the pharmacy, and everything a technician does reflects what the pharmacist is doing or not doing. The technician answers the phone, waits on the customers, fills the prescriptions, cleans the pharmacy, empties the garbage, puts away the once a week truck order, types the prescription label, bills the customers insurance, greets the customer at the drop off window, tells the customer the pharmacist will be right with them when needed to be counciled or have a question for the pharmacist, also technicians order the needed medications, keep inventory stock to the proposed level, faxes doctors for refill requests, and medication overrides if the medication is not covered by the customers insurance, restockes the filling station and restocks what the pharmacist needs on their checking station, answers the drive thru window calls, helps the customer with picking up the prescriptions at the pick up window, directs customers to OTC medications they are requestiog. Last by not least stand in front of the pharmacist if a bullet is fired so they are not killed. The only function the pharmacist preforms and is very very important is the final check, of the prescription .

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ally in Woodstock, Georgia

35 months ago

lgd925 in Los Angeles, California said: Hi. I've been reading the comments about working as a pharmacy tech. I have questions that I would like some feedback on. I'm thinking about going back to school to learn to be a pharmacy tech - certified. I'm 59 and can no longer sit behind a desk and keyboard as an export sales coordinator all day long. Feedback and comments please. Thanks. Linda

Hey, Linda! I'm currently a student just working to get some experience; I'm certified through PTCB and is licensed to work in a pharmacy. My word of advice to you: DON'T GO TO PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SCHOOL!! IT'S A RIP-OFF!! I can surely assure you that you can go to any pharmacy and they'll still hire you! PLEASE DON'T GO TO PHARMACY SCHOOL! I didn't go, so how was I able to pass the test? Well, let me tell you: I studied through my work's website and some materials online FOR FREE. I can even give you a link FOR FREE OF CHARGE! JUST PLEASE DON'T GO TO A PHARM TECH SCHOOL!!

I had a lady who was an extern (by going to Everest institute) and she's now paying over $15,000 just to be a pharm tech. She told me when some of the retail pharmacies went to Everest and told them "it's a waste of money " and it's a waste of your time,too!

What I suggest you do is:

1.)Let me know if you want the link to study (it has all the necessary info). YOu know what? As a matter of fact, here's the link for you to study.

www.pharmacy-tech-study.com/

You just have to know your top 200 drugs (brands and generics), simple calculations (forward and backward), pharmacy laws/rules/regulations, hospital settings, etc.

2.) Go to your nearest public library and borrow a pharm tech study guide. ANY book is fine. Why waste money on even buying a book when you borrow it for free? I borrowed mine at my school's library to study.

3.) STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!!

Good luck! Update me on after you take the test or update me on what you're thinking right now!

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ally in Woodstock, Georgia

35 months ago

lgd925 in Los Angeles, California said: Hi. I've been reading the comments about working as a pharmacy tech. I have questions that I would like some feedback on. I'm thinking about going back to school to learn to be a pharmacy tech - certified. I'm 59 and can no longer sit behind a desk and keyboard as an export sales coordinator all day long. Feedback and comments please. Thanks. Linda

I'm not in pharmacy school yet,but everything Eileen (comment below your comment) is true. There are certain places that make you hate pharmacists,but there are other pharmacists who don't look down on those who "knows" (have a knowledge of what you know what you're doing.

I've worked at different locations at CVS and all I can say is, I love my homestore (I was first hired there:).

YOu just have to watch out for those pharmacists who make you count tablets all the time. I've met some pharmacists who won't even touch a counting tray, except for verification. They gossipped about other ppl, they even violated the HIPPA law. I'm not going to name names here,but you just have to know that being certified DOES get you recognized. A pharmacist I worked with last month at a different CVS store was impressed that I was EVEN CERTIFIED. YOu know how they "knew?" I boasted, of course, not in haughty way,but you just gotta give hints.

So long story short, follow my advices and you'll thank me later. If you truly enjoy pharmacy, any difficulties or hurdles will get you through regardless or stupid customers who talks to much, yells/curse at your, etc. Enjoy your income and ignore those who do that (aka the BAD customers). I actually cursed at them when they fuss at me (only in my head) LOL. That makes me feel better.

But anyway,please update me on your situation.

Thanks, Linda.

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Mr.Wilson in Nashville, Tennessee

34 months ago

DenaDina in Elk Grove, California said: Your experience rings very true, however, believe me when I say that Walgreen's is no different at all. Walgreen's has the same atmosphere that you described at CVS. One thing I can add, to all of the above, is the filth that I encountered. The bathroom in the Walgreen's pharmacy, where I completed my externship, looked as if it hasn't been cleaned in years! It was absolutely disgusting!!! I actually would wait until my lunch break and run across the street to use the bathroom at McDonalds!

I definitely agree with this post. I just quit walgreens 4 months ago. I worked pharm tech and everyone in the pharmacy was nasty and racist. I complained and they put me cashier, but they woudlnt let me take breaks even though I had to use the restroom. The manager said that they dont allow bathroom breaks. I was the only cashier in the store and it stayed busy-like constantly a like of 4 people. They woudln't let me go to photo because there were racist people working back there. The store managers were either racist or very rude. The bathrooms were filthy, and Walgreens was a hel*hole.

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Mr.Wilson in Nashville, Tennessee

34 months ago

I completely agree. I was with walgreens for 6 months. All of the pharm techs and pharmacists were very rude and dishonest. I had finally quit because after being demoted to the only cashier in the store, they said I could not take restroom breaks until lunch. One break in 9 hours shift. My walgreens was filled with racist immoral aweful workers. I wish it will be shut down.

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Mr.Wilson in Nashville, Tennessee

34 months ago

lgd925 in Los Angeles, California said: Hi. I've been reading the comments about working as a pharmacy tech. I have questions that I would like some feedback on. I'm thinking about going back to school to learn to be a pharmacy tech - certified. I'm 59 and can no longer sit behind a desk and keyboard as an export sales coordinator all day long. Feedback and comments please. Thanks. Linda

My response is that you will be in hel*. First off, you do not need to go to school to be a pharm tech. Second, you will be paid 8 dollars an hour. Third, you will do all the work while everyone "whips" you like a slave. This is the life of a PT at Walgreens or cvs.

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Mr.Wilson in Nashville, Tennessee

34 months ago

I worked pharm tech at walgreens. Walgreens only allows one bathroom break in a 9 hour shift. That is why I quiet. I had to go to the restroom like every 3 hours. I was the only one working while the pharmacist and other two tech "whipped" me like a slave. Harrassing me and laughing while they sat around talking. They would take breaks to go get some fried chicken, while I was "salving" 9 hours. Everyday at walgreens I planned my 2 week notice. Finally I just walked out the door. No notice ofcourse. Why in the hel* would I want to notify them of how much I hate them? Me and all the local churches in Nashville are going to protest Walgreens and start a rally. We pray every sunday during church that the Walgreens in Nashville get shut down, permanently.

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Mr.Wilson in Nashville, Tennessee

34 months ago

Walgreens is the devils tool to punish society. Rich wicked demons "whip" you like a slave. No bathroom breaks. The other workers sit and make fun of you and eat fried chicken, and take 70 minute bathroom breaks. Thanks Walgreens, as a reward a lot of churches in Nashville are protesting and praying every sunday that Walgreens will shut down. The devil must be stopped!

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kitty in Yukon, Oklahoma

34 months ago

Wow! I must be lucky then. I work with an amazing staff. The two pharmacists I work with are so sweet and have helped me greatly. I am a young mother of one, working part-time, and going to school. They do their best to keep their employees happy. I have worked their for exactly 2 years. I suggest anyone who want to become a tech to start at a small store. Like I do.

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CVS/corporate slave in Grand Rapids, Michigan

34 months ago

brown_dude34 in Hyde Park, Massachusetts said: Personally, I have never read a post regarding working at CVS/Pharmacy as a positive experience. In my opinion the majority of pharmacy technicians who work at CVS/Pharmacy go there in order to gain 1 – 2 years of experience(that’s if they last that long ) and then they become certified the smart ones check out of CVS/Pharmacy and go work in a hospital or long term care facility.

The main reason for this that as an employee of CVS/Pharmacy or any other retail chain pharmacy are faced with the absolutes of working in the retail pharmacy environment which are low-pay, injurious gossip, high stress, mind numbing repetitive tasks as well as dealing with angry/rude/sick customers on a daily basis. After a while it takes its toll on you mentally, physically and spiritually.

By this I mean you can only grin and bear it for so long. Think about standing on your feet all day and shuffling around to different workstations within the pharmacy within a 6 -8 hour period. In my opinion and my personal observations the pharmacists in CVS/pharmacy were there to verify prescriptions at $42.00 - $60.00 an hour, spew injurious gossip, belittle pharmacy technicians/interns/associates.

As a pharmacy technician in training with CVS/Pharmacy you will start out at $10.00 in most cases in Boston, MA. However, if you’re a certified pharmacy technician it’s possible to negotiate a starting rate of $12.00 -$13.00 an hour. There must be some unwritten code among CVS/pharmacists to make your life as a pharmacy technician extremely stressful and difficult as possible. In my short stint I had to tolerate one to many ingrate pharmacists some I reported to CVS management because they weren’t promoting a harmonious working environment.

I work for CVS and I a fall short of 10 dollars an hour try under 9. I work long shifts 10-12 hours. My pharmacist treats me badly and she plays favorites among her techs.

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CVS robot

33 months ago

CVS is the worse company I have worked for. I have been working for them for 3 years and I have not gotten a penny raise even though I do my job very well, quickly and efficiently. I stand on my feet all day long, run from here to there, deal with customers who are extremely rude, liars, think they should get everything for free and right then and there. We are always short staffed so some of us have to do the jobs of two people. Running from Drive Thru to Drop Off 1 or Pick up 1 to Production 1. They act like we don't get to use the bathroom or if we say we have to go they tell us to hurry up and run. We never get lunch breaks and if we say we're gonna take a break they make a big deal or ask us to wait and then we never get to take it, so we end up living off Red Bull and chips. They expect us to be robots, and we get no praise if we do great jobs or work on our days off or stay longer than scheduled. I have a fellow tech who has been at this store for 15 years, FIFTEEN YEARS, and she really only knows how to run a cash register, doesn't know how to do insurance billing, put things in QI, she doesn't even know how to send a fax, she asks every time how to do it. 9 and then 1 and the fax number. I am honestly not exaggerating when I say these things. She should be our go to woman, she should be lead tech, instead she is our Pick Up 1 everday. And the current Bi Annual module, she is getting someone else to do for her because she can't pass it. I don't know how she has been getting away with her performance and lack of knowledge. They recently allowed her to just stand by the pick up and make pcq calls and that's it. She makes more money than most, she had been there the longest, and yet she gets away with everything and has gotten her job made easier recently. She gets her raise every year and back pay when it doesn't go through ASAP but I have been there for 3 years and have not gotten a single penny increase, except the spare change I find on the floor.

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Ttmcp

33 months ago

Idk, what cvs pharmacy you guys worked for but the one I work for is NOTHING like how you are describing it to be, we get breaks, it doesnt take long to get certified, its a pleasant experience....very busy but its expected. the owner is involved, he visits the pharmacy on a regular. my coworkers are great, there is no verbal abuse by the pharmacist at all. our 2pharmacist that we have are actually very helpful, when i was being trakned, it was at a different store. the classes are helpful. and the online courses are also. i like that if you are unsure about anything you can always refer back to recent courses through learnet. as far as making a career out of pharm. technician i know a couple techs. who have been with cvs for about 5+years. i guess it depends where and who your working with. pharm. tech was just a job i applied for and got hired. if anything comes from it...wondrful..if not at least i have a paycheck. i am already in school for my career anyway.

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Manvel Gamburyan in Brooklyn, New York

33 months ago

Reply to Ttmcp's response:

You're probably being honest about your experience. You probably are new to CVS since you refer to your boss as the "owner", that person is probably the Pharmacy Supervisor/District Manager/Store Manager. They do not own the store, the store is part of a large chain of stores owned by stockholders and executives who own shares of the company. I can only assume that your store isn't very busy, your script count is probably under 2000 per week, and the majority of the work is taken off your hands by the other workers(you may or may not have noticed this). In my district, breaks are mandatory, meaning, you HAVE to sign out for 30 minutes so that they can see you've been away for that amount of time as per labor laws, but realistically we're still working in the pharmacy. If you do not sign out, they will remove the time from your paycheck and falsify the permitted break by putting the "break-time" in. Every description I've read about working at CVS on this forum has happened to me, from lying customers to gossiping store managers. The worst of it all is that the company wants you to falsify filled script counts by filling refills that customers did not order. Many times, I've been told by customers that the medication that we refilled was no longer being taken by them because their doctor took them off the drug due to an adverse effect they had or allergic reaction that occurred. PCQ calls do this also because the higher-ups want to boost the script count. I hear Rite Aid has been starting the PCQ system as well. In general, retail pharmacy is terrible, leave if you can, and if you want to enter the business, don't.

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dresgirl in Rancho Cucamonga, California

33 months ago

for those of you that were "grandfathered" in to pharmacy and received your tech license- what do you put for your education of resumes and job apps? I am struggling with looking like i actually had schooling- and am legit. It looks so dumb just putting 'pharmacy training center'. really the only bad part of not 'paying' for my schooling.
also- i am state registered (16 years as a PT) but not certified. i am trying to get into a hospita setting and most are requiring IV knowledge (worked retail- no knowledge) and certification. is it worth getting certified and what is the best and least expensive way to do so?
i am returning back to work (at least trying to but no one wants to hire) after a 2 yr hiatus. i previously worked for Longs drugs (bought out in 09 by CVS) for 16 years.

thanks for any help!

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Barb

33 months ago

I actually graduated from a pharmacy tech program last year October, and I recently got hired at an independent pharmacy, which is starting me off at 8.50/hr... not to mention that I'm certified. And get this, when I become registered, the pharmacy manager said she raise me to 9.50. Really? At Walgreens, if you're not certified they start you off at 10.00. And when I'm certified and registered, Im only gonna be making $9.50? Retail is just ridiculous. I'm hoping and praying for a hospital job. But sooner or later, I'm just gonna change careers.

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Eileen in Largo, Florida

33 months ago

The job market is difficult to say the least, and with unemployment still sky rocketing it will remain that way for a while. What employers do not take into consideration is the fact that employees do not forget the bad treatment and no breaks, cut hours, that they exspect us to tolerate while they continue their daily work schedule with benefits and no loss ow wages or health insurance. Some day soon the tide will turn and Pharmacy Technicians that work for large chain drug stores will have the oppertunity to return the favor and leave for the benefits and perks they should have been getting. I would not even give notice, leagally you do not have to and they cannot give you a poor reference because you use the corporate address for other employers to call and the line is recorder and all they can legally verify is that you worked for then from A to B cant say why you left with or with out notice. I believe in giving as good as I get, so keep looking for that better job you will find it, then you will be able to give as good as you got!

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Eileen in Largo, Florida

33 months ago

The job market is difficult to say the least, and with unemployment still sky rocketing it will remain that way for a while. What employers do not take into consideration is the fact that employees do not forget the bad treatment and no breaks, cut hours, that they exspect us to tolerate while they continue their daily work schedule with benefits and no loss ow wages or health insurance. Some day soon the tide will turn and Pharmacy Technicians that work for large chain drug stores will have the oppertunity to return the favor and leave for the benefits and perks they should have been getting. I would not even give notice, leagally you do not have to and they cannot give you a poor reference because you use the corporate address for other employers to call and the line is recorder and all they can legally verify is that you worked for then from A to B cant say why you left with or with out notice. I believe in giving as good as I get, so keep looking for that better job you will find it, then you will be able to give as good as you got!

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Squadfather in Ballwin, Missouri

32 months ago

I'm trying to get on at my local CVS. My girlfriend, Maggie, is working so hard to sell used cars, and she thinks I should try to find a job. Any advice on how to proceed?

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4mer.Sin.R in El Cajon, California

32 months ago

lgd925 in Los Angeles, California said: I'm thinking about going back to school to learn to be a pharmacy tech - certified. I'm 59 and can no longer sit behind a desk and keyboard as an export sales coordinator all day long.

I will be 59 next month and developed dependent edema in my lower extremities as a result of sitting several hours each day processing data for years. Now, as a pharmacy technician extern (I'm in my second week of on-the-job training, having completed a classroom course), I stand for 8 hours per day. At the end of a day, my back aches and my feet throb. "Techs don't sit," is what I was told by my Lead Tech. Really? It's not about functionality; it's about class distinction, pure and simple. The techs and the pharmacists are being set up as opponents for the amusement of the capitalists. If this sounds kind of left-wing to you, you're not alone. It sounds that way to me too--and I'm the one writing it!

I'm not a political animal. My maternal grandfather helped to found one of the worlds's first labor unions and the rest of my family is staunchly pro-union. I could take or leave it, being autistic and thus marginalized by the unions as well as the anti-union workers. But when you look at how the rich people who own these companies pit the pharmacists and the technicians against one another to control both groups for their own dark purposes, you begin to understand why labor unions were founded in the first place. It is amazing that so many people who enjoy such benefits as a protected minimum wage, higher wages for overtime, employer-provided health insurance and retirement pensions, and insurance for periods of disability and unemployment see fit to bad-mouth the unions. Who do they think created the Department of Labor and OSHA? The unions, did--that's

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NewbieTech in Boston, Massachusetts

31 months ago

I'm getting tired of seeing retail pharmacies getting trashed constantly.

Thankfully, my supervising pharmacists are amazing. They both take time to teach the new techs, like me, and aren't rude when we make mistakes. But they push us, too. My first week I learned production, and a little of drop off. Oh, and I started at 11.00. Sundays with time and a half, 16.

We can get completely slammed, because we're located by a major college, but we still push through. Yes, the customers suck. They're rude, they're unfriendly, and they will try and walk all over you if you let them (I personally don't take that ish). But you know what? At the end of the day, I'm not going home to them. I have a life outside of my lab coat. But you know, some customers are amazing. Some can just come in, and sweep away all of the negativity away, just because they crack a horrible joke, or compliment you on your earrings. Some will even sympathize with you, because the a**hole that was before them called you an incompetent a**, and stormed off. Those people, the genuine, nice, maybe a bit nutty, make my day.

One thing that I will agree on is that techs shouldn't have to deal with rude, or obnoxious pharmacists. If the customers are causing you stress, fine. Get over it. But if it's a colleague? Someone you work with? That's a different story. I know I wouldn't be able to stay either.

I admit, I haven't been in the field long. I'm around 600/700 hours now and am about to take my state exam. I don't plan on being at CVS long term...because I don't really like people, lol, but I am using it as a stepping stone. They're paying for my state, and national test. I'm getting the experience I need to get a better job. And I'm not paying a thing for schooling.

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anonymous cause im using there comp. in Chicopee, Massachusetts

31 months ago

jeez yall you dont seem to like pharmacy tech a whole lot

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Tim in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

31 months ago

I'm experiencing most of what has been written here, except I work with many wonderful pharmacists. I'm a CPhT, and working retail for the 1st time (I've worked in hospital pharmacy for 3 years prior), and would say to all new pharm techs to seek positions in hospitals if possible. In Oklahoma one not need national certification (compared to Texas) in order to obtain their state licensure, which means the pay stinks (I receive only a $1/hour more than the pharmacy clerks). Retail is extremely stressful, and when your store's script count is 2500+/week, and generally there is only 1 or (at most) 2 techs with 1 pharmacist, it's maddening. If you're interested in the medical field, I'd say try radiologic tech, or perhaps nursing...The pay is better, and your employer will care.

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Pulcher06 in Pahokee, Florida

30 months ago

I have an Associates in Science and I passed my PTCE in Sept of 2011. I moved to Florida because i've always wanted to live in Florida. Since i've been here i cant find a job as a pharmacy tech. I had an interview with CVS in West Palm Beach and everything was going good. The hiring manager was cool but the pharmacist acted like she had a problem with me. She wouldnt even recognize me as a pharmacy tech. She told me that i wasnt a pharmacy tech and that i had to complete training through them to become a pharmacy tech at the base pay of 7.75 if i'm not mistaken. I was a lil upset about what CVS was offering to pay me so I talked to the hiring manager and she had let me know that she was waiting for a reply from the supervising manager, whom she had emailed, on what to pay me because I have no experience in the pharmacy but I have an Associate In Science and I'm a nationally certified tech. She had let me know that she had never came across that before and that usually people who apply have experience and no degree or certification. She also told me twice that if i was to be hired that i would get paid 8.00 an hour since that is what everyone started out with if they had to do training so of course when i heard that i felt something fishy was going on in regards to what the pharmacist at CVS was willing to allow me to be paid working in her presence. Now dont get me wrong, I was willing if push came to shove to work for the 7.75 but i just didnt feel it was fair giving the fact that through the help of Jesus, I obtained a degree and national certification and the pharmacist was just looking over it like it was nothing all because i dont have any experience in a pharmacy setting. Which by the way is what i'm trying to obtain before i try to go back to college and become a pharmacist if its GOD's will, which i hope so. With that all being said, i ended up not getting the job. I was told they found someone else smh. Oh well. GOD will make a way for me. =)

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Jay in Yonkers, New York

30 months ago

I received my PTCB certification in September, and I haven't gotten any call backs from any of the retail chains. I just bought the books and studied on my free time, so thankfully I didn't have to pay a school to get certified. But from what I read regarding the retail setting, I'm beginning to think it's better if I just look for another job, and go into a nursing program. I can't live off $10 an hr, and I don't mind doing all the work that a tech needs to do, but verbal abuse is something I will not put up with from co-workers, no matter what their title is. Does anyone know how to get your foot in the door in a hospital setting? They obviously require experience, but you have to start somewhere. I'm just curious if anyone has any tips?

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dhavron in Apopka, Florida

29 months ago

buffer08 in Dayton, Ohio said: HAS ANYONE EVER THOUGHT OF A NATIONAL PHARMACY TECH PROTEST DAY? WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN IF EVEN JUST HALF OF US DID NOT WORK FOR 1 DAY?

Getting fired comes to mind. They do not care about you. Accept that and move on

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dhavron in Apopka, Florida

29 months ago

They do not care about you. Move on to something that treats u with respect

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