So, you’re sold that Health and Social Care is the path for you. That’s great and all, but where on earth do you start...
- Serve customers and patients in pharmacies and hospital dispensaries
- You'll always work under the supervision of qualified pharmacists
- With further study and training progress into senior assistant or technician roles
As a pharmacy assistant, you'll work in a chemist's shop, a health centre, or hospital dispensary, serving customers and patients.
- Advising customers about non-prescription items
- Serving customers and making up orders
- Taking payments
- Labelling products
- Re-stocking shelves and display cabinets
- Taking calls from GP surgeries, nursing homes and clinics
- Delivering medicines to wards
- Entering medicine data on computerised dispensing systems
You could work at a health centre, at a store or in an NHS or private hospital. You may need to wear a uniform.
For this role, you'll need customer service skills, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to work well with others, thoroughness and attention to detail, excellent verbal communication skills, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, and the ability to read English.
You can learn some of the skills needed for this job by doing a college course in retail skills.
You may be able to start through a pharmacy services assistant or retailer intermediate apprenticeship.
Direct application for vacancies is possible if you have good reading, number and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs. Experience of handling cash and serving customers will be helpful.
With experience and a qualification like the Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills, you could become a senior pharmacy assistant. With further training, you could become a pharmacy technician.