I hate my new pharmacy tech job! How can I cope with it since I cant afford to quit?

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Tech for Target in Whittier, California

51 months ago

Hell yeah I hate the phone. I hate my pay and I hate how people want you to do everything for them. Before you know it they will want you to drive to there home and place the freaking capsule or tablet in their mouth and help them swallow. I went to American Career College where they told me its a great job they neglected to menchane the part where its super stressful and what I learn in that school willcount for nothing when applying. Ive been at Target for a little over a year finally Im an ok tech,maybe im a slow learner idk. I do know tho that I dont get paid enough for the stress i go thru Im super nice always smiling even nicknamed SMILEY at work. My co workers are awesome the Pharmacist are awesome aswell its just stupid ppl with stupid question and stupid complaints that piss me off. YOur lucky Ryan0526 I envy you thats what I want to work at a Hospital but their picky overhere in California.

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Former CVS Tech of 6 YEARS in Fresno, California

51 months ago

Retail pharmacy (CVS in particular, but I'm sure this applies to others as well) is the absolute WORST environment to work in. You are grossly underpaid, understaffed, under-trained and overworked. Corporate is well aware but the well-being and safety of their empatients is far less important than the size of their paychecks.

In order to survive retail pharmacy...

#1) you need to not take things to heart. Your pharmacists and lead techs will yell at you (because as bad as you feel, they feel worse. They have a lot more pressure on them), ignore it. In pharmacy, you can't be sensitive, but that doesn't mean you have to take it. If it goes beyond what's reasonable... walk away, report it, talk to them about it... do whatever makes sense.

#2) Keep a cool exterior. Patients love to push your buttons and tell you that you're wrong. But, the calmer you remain... the quicker they are to give up. They see that you have control of the situation and there's no way around it. (Don't confuse "calm" with "fake and condescending"...a common mistake.)

#3)Pay attention to ONE customer at a time. If you're helping someone and the phone rings; answer it and tell them to please hold. If that is not your stores policy... make it the policy. There is NO reason to help several people at once. If you're thinking, "but we dont have enough staff, we HAVE to help a few people at once." You DON'T. I often worked entire shifts by MYSELF, and this was the only way I could survive it. When you focus on too many things at once, you complete every task much slower, with less attention and with more mistakes.

#4) Cover your ass. Mistakes happen. If someone throws you under the bus, speak up for yourself. There's no reason not to.

#5) NEVER stop job-hunting. There are better opportunities out there. Retail pharmacy is a nice start, but it's not something you'll want to do for the rest of your life.

Good luck!

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wolfganghunter in Dallas

35 months ago

Charlie in Fort Madison, Iowa said: I feel for you folks. I am a pharmacist, and I have been thrown under the bus by pharmacy techs many times. The best pharmacy jobs are independent stores. The big chains are absolute salt mines to work in. It never gets better at Walgreen's or CVS . Sorry. My current job is at a nice hospital .
There are better jobs out there in other retail positions. Hell, I would rather sell shoes at Penney's than work retail pharmacy again.
Some hospital jobs are nice to work in.

Charlie - if you are a pharmacist how are you thrown under the bus, unless of course you don't have a clue what you're doing. Hopefully someone will be looking into your license before you poison someone.

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leahsodyssey in Portland, Oregon

34 months ago

Well after a great deal of trouble with my new supervisor at Wal-Mart, I ended up going to Rite Aid. They dropped me right into the Pharmacy, they would not let me do my computer training, and today I was told I wasn't picking things up fast enough or being fast enough in general and they will likely send me packing. I am so exhausted from standing all day without breaks and only a rushed half hour lunch. I am pretty sure I do not want to be a tech anymore, but now I don't know what to do. I can't go back to Wal-Mart (long story as to what happened there) and I can't keep up the pace at Rite Aid. I feel so lost. I was a tech for about a year and a half at Wal-mart (after being a cashier for about 2.5 years), but they always had me be a back-up cashier so I don't feel like I got the training the other techs have.

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Lara maciendi in Bullard, Texas

33 months ago

I am sooooo glad I saw these posts. I HATE HATE HATE HATE my job. This is my very first job ever and I work at one of the busiest CVS pharmacies in my area. I hate my co workers and I feel so stupid everyday because i'm always so lost. I just wanna quit and I actually wanna throw up when I think about my next shift. Reading these posts make me feel better because I'm not the only one going through this.

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Regret in Hesperia, California

32 months ago

I'm so glad I found this thread. I just typed into google "I hate my new job" and was RELIEVED to see that specifically a pharmacy tech post came up. I got hired as an on call tech at my local Walgreens and I CANNOT stand it. I knew from the minute I started there, that I wouldn't enjoy this job at all. They threw me in there with NO training whatsoever and are all very rude when I need help. I've expressed my disdain for being a pharmacy tech to family and friends, and they have told me to stick it out and see if I feel differently about it later on. But honestly, it won't change. I'm not happy and after reading all these posts I feel more certain about my feelings. I'll be changing my career path as soon as I can. Luckily I do have another job that I can resort to when I finally pull the trigger. They sell you this job as if it's the greatest, but definitely not a long term career. For me anyways...

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Poison Ivy in Reno, Nevada

29 months ago

I cried on my third day too working as a Pharmacy Technician at CVS. They just threw me there without teaching everything that I'm supposed to know and the Pharmacy is so busy and we are understaffed. There are some situations that I don't know how to resolve or handle. Using the register is a new thing for me and they only trained me at the front store register for 4 hours and didn't tell me all the functions of or what I am supposed to do if this certain incident happens. I've only been working at the pharmacy for 5 days. I am so clueless with what's going on at other things. I couldn't ask anyone to help me cause they are always busy. I've even made a few mistakes and now I'm wondering if they would soon fire me. :((

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cphtlifer in Berwick, Pennsylvania

21 months ago

Poison Ivy in Reno, Nevada said: I cried on my third day too working as a Pharmacy Technician at CVS . They just threw me there without teaching everything that I'm supposed to know and the Pharmacy is so busy and we are understaffed. There are some situations that I don't know how to resolve or handle. Using the register is a new thing for me and they only trained me at the front store register for 4 hours and didn't tell me all the functions of or what I am supposed to do if this certain incident happens. I've only been working at the pharmacy for 5 days. I am so clueless with what's going on at other things. I couldn't ask anyone to help me cause they are always busy.

I can sympathize with you, I'm a cpht and I've been with cvs for 8 weeks now and yes, the training is horrendous!! They want you to go to a ton of classes (all out of town mind you) and none of those classes actually prepare you for what will come up when you are actually at work- I wanted a full time position but was told cvs wasn't hiring full time and was only given part time status (Apparently I now realize I was hired more or less to cover for someone out on a medical leave and recently told my hours would drop down when she came back) so I essentially will continue to work 40+ hours a week until January with no benefits and then get dropped to maybe 12 hours a week- I now feel used and abused and am sure I will just be tossed to the side in January. Awesome way to take advantage of a hard worker that just really needed a job:( I feel like such a fool.

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Sandhya60 in Redding, California

6 months ago

I have to tell you, first off, I am probably older than everyone here. I am training for after retirement. I started my externship and (I am an instructor in technical subjects) so I know what I speak....

The retail pharmacy I am at is understaffed.....and the first day of my externship (which I paid for to do ) put me right to work, second day..same thing, and I still have had no formal training on the computer system. Needless to say I am going to be demanding money back from my school or tell them give me the DAMN certificate.

I already work in the health care industry and we are short staffed there too.. Cannot learn pharmacy under these circumstances. So if you are sad, confused, stressed, you should be and the retail pharmacy job market is a joke in what they pay you. YES you are not hallucinating!

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Sandhya60 in Redding, California

6 months ago

Is anyone still monitoring and getting updates from this thread. I really am interested in knowing who exactly is still in this profession....please let me know.

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nicolereed64 in Traverse City, Michigan

4 months ago

I have been a pharmacy tech for 4 years. It sucks. You are expected to be certified and licensed, take "ownership" for everything that happens in the pharmacy (I was told by my pharmacist that both pharmacists and techs can be sued for any errors) you have to do all the work while the pharmacist does as little as possible and you get paid the same or less than a normal retail worker. Pharmacy techs should either demand higher wages or look for something else. Long stressful hours, standing all day. It's not worth it. Why would anyone want to put this much time and effort into a job that gives almost nothing in return?

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clark.janessa in Washington, District of Columbia

2 months ago

Sandhya60 in Redding, California said: Is anyone still monitoring and getting updates from this thread. I really am interested in knowing who exactly is still in this profession....please let me know.

So I just started my job 3 weeks ago and I hate it with a passion. The pharmacy is severely under staffed and I have not gotten the proper training whatsoever. The pharmacist and lead technician are always arguing and I have been yelled at several times just for asking a question. Mind you, I am still training and learning the ropes. I will be quitting soon and finding a new job. I was trying to wait till I found a new job but I don't think I can wait that long. The job wouldn't be so bad if they were willing to train properly.

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lauren.soo in Allen, Texas

1 month ago

My store is low volume so usually, it's just the pharmacist and one tech. I came into this job thinking I would meet more techs I could relate to that are around my age (18-20)and who were still in school. Instead, all of the techs I've met already have kids, are much older and have their skills in check. It's hard to relate to people that just talk about their kids and that aren't in school - so basically, the initial social bond wasn't made.
it's been about 5 months and I can tell that the pharmacists and techs are annoyed by my mistakes and questions. I didn't get proper training which means that there is stuff that I don't even know I have problems with. what's even more daunting is that we're going to start compounding. I can already tell I'm going to be all over the place with mistakes. I'm not certified yet and the last job I had was at a restaurant. After five months I don't know if I'll get better or if there's any hope for me.
They haven't been giving me a lot of hours (probably b/c I'm bringing the team down) which sucks because whenever I come back to work it's like I've gotten worse bc I'm not getting the practice I need. I'm now starting my junior yr at college (was thinking about becoming a pharmacist) and I'll be taking intensive classes which will make my hours go way down.

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Angie in Forest Hills, New York

1 month ago

I would suggest you do some self learning if you want to keep the job. If you really want to become a pharmacist, it will also help you down the road.

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Angie in Forest Hills, New York

1 month ago

lauren.soo in Allen, Texas said: My store is low volume so usually, it's just the pharmacist and one tech. I came into this job thinking I would meet more techs I could relate to that are around my age (18-20)and who were still in school. Instead, all of the techs I've met already have kids, are much older and have their skills in check. It's hard to relate to people that just talk about their kids and that aren't in school - so basically, the initial social bond wasn't made.
it's been about 5 months and I can tell that the pharmacists and techs are annoyed by my mistakes and questions. I didn't get proper training which means that there is stuff that I don't even know I have problems with. what's even more daunting is that we're going to start compounding. I can already tell I'm going to be all over the place with mistakes. I'm not certified yet and the last job I had was at a restaurant. After five months I don't know if I'll get better or if there's any hope for me.
They haven't been giving me a lot of hours (probably b/c I'm bringing the team down) which sucks because whenever I come back to work it's like I've gotten worse bc I'm not getting the practice I need. I'm now starting my junior yr at college (was thinking about becoming a pharmacist) and I'll be taking intensive classes which will make my hours go way down.

I would suggest you do some self learning if you want to keep the job. If you really want to become a pharmacist, it will also help you down the road.

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cphtlifer in Scranton

1 month ago

lauren.soo in Allen, Texas said:
it's been about 5 months and I can tell that the pharmacists and techs are annoyed by my mistakes and questions. I didn't get proper training which means that there is stuff that I don't even know I have problems with.I can already tell I'm going to be all over the place with mistakes. After five months I don't know if I'll get better or if there's any hope for me.

First off, take a deep breath Lauren! You've made it 5 months, that shows atleast you have been trying- I agree 100% the training at the chain drugstores are horrible. The team at the store is what really makes the difference between it being a good experience or a bad experience for a new tech that comes along. I've been a pharm tech for over 20 years but changed companies about 2 years ago and have seen things from both sides as a lead tech, and being the 'new' tech at a store. Most RPH's want accuracy over speed.
When I was a lead tech I helped to onboard the newer people, took them under my wing so to speak, and when I changed companies and needed some help learning their computer system I took notes, a lot! You don't want to be asking the same questions over and over, that's a sure way to tick off most of the experienced techs. It's not personal, they are often busy and stressed and don't have the time to keep repeating the same info. I happen to have a soft spot for new people esp with having to learn a new system myself and am now often tasked with training the newer people in my store bc the current lead techs are witches (that's putting it kindly) At work I will help anyone I can,anyway I can as long as I feel the person is really trying to improve. I currently work for cvs, I'm not sure where you are working but I will answer questions on here any cvs techs have bc I know how difficult it can be when you're in a store trying your best and can't get any help

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