Dispensing assistant

What is a dispensing assistant?

A dispensing assistant, also known as a pharmacy assistant,  is an important member of the pharmacy team. Dispensing assistants work on the front line of health care supporting patients in a range of community settings.

They work under the supervision of a pharmacist and help the pharmacist and pharmacy technician.

What does a dispensing assistant do?

Dispensing assistants are often the first point of contact for patients. They play an essential role in:

  • receiving prescriptions
  • assembling prescribed items 
  • assisting in the issuing of prescribed items
  • ordering, receiving and maintaining medicine stock
  • listening and providing advice to patients
  • efficient running of the dispensary

How do I become a dispensing assistant? 

Dispensing assistants work under the guidance of a pharmacist.

  • Training to become a dispensing assistant is vocational and you will need to be employed by a community pharmacy either full time or part time.
  • The entry requirements vary by employer but applicants usually require GCSEs or equivalent.
  • While employed, you will need to take the relevant modules of the Level 2 certificate in pharmacy service skills. This qualification must be recognised or accredited by the General Pharmaceutical council.

How much do dispensing assistants get paid?

Community pharmacy salaries are constantly reviewed based on the current circumstances and, as such, may vary.

A dispensing assistant working in community pharmacy can expect to earn around £18,500-£20,500 per year.

This will depend on experience and responsibilities, benefits, number of hours worked and where in the UK they are based.

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