Pharmacist assistants are responsible for the dispensing and distribution of medicine under the supervision of a qualified pharmacist. There are four categories of pharmacist assistants:
General pharmacist assistants who perform all the duties of an assistant in the public and private sector.
Public sector pharmacist assistants who dispense stock, which includes pre-packaging of tablets / capsules, stocktaking, filling and labelling of containers, dilution and packing of antiseptics and disinfectants and ordering of stock. These assistants also dispense ready-made or pre-packaged medicines to outpatients, internal and external clinics and departments. They may also update medicine profiles on computer.
Private sector pharmacist assistants who dispense stock, which includes stocktaking, pricing and arranging dispensary stock; dispensing ready-made medicine, including the reading of prescriptions, preparation of labels, making medical aid copies, the pricing of prescriptions; and computer work.
Industry pharmacist assistants who are responsible for the dispensing operation, which entails checking and verifying the identity and mass of ingredients during the weighing, and supply thereof. These assistants may be involved in the manufacturing operation, including checking the addition of ingredients into a batch mix and handling the packing operation.
- assisting and working with people
- usually pleasant working conditions
- sometimes having to work overtime, especially when stocktaking, and work on Saturdays
- working under the relatively close supervision of a qualified pharmacist
A pharmacist assistant should:
- be responsible and accurate;
- have integrity;
- be hardworking and motivated;
- have good interpersonal relationships.
National Senior Certificate.
Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
If you want to become a pharmacist assistant, you need to register with the South African Pharmacy Council (SAP) as a trainee. Training consists of theoretical and practical work:
Theoretical training: covers issues such as medicines, the human body and dispensing practice
Practical training: in-service training conducted by an approved trainer pharmacist
Duration of course: 2 years.
Final examination: Conducted by the SAP
After the pharmacist assistant has completed the training it is necessary to register with the South African Pharmacy Council in one of the four above-mentioned categories.
- hospital pharmacies
- community pharmacies
- pharmaceutical industry
South African Pharmacy Council
P O Box 40040
Tel: 0861 727200 Fax: (012) 321-1492
Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa
6 de Veer Lane
Tel: (012) 301-0820 Fax: (012) 301-0828
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