How to Dispense a Prescription in 5 Easy Steps

How to Dispense a Prescription in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1

Check the name of the patient, age, date and prescribers details.

Look out for the following;

Name – This will give you a rough idea about the patient’s gender, although not very important but it is just good to know. Sometimes it maybe difficult to tell the gender by name, that shouldn’t worry you – doctors will always indicate if that’s necessary.

Age – is the patient elderly, middle aged or young


Know when the prescription was written. Is it new or old? For some reasons they might not have filled the prescription on time if so do they really need the medicines? Probably they need another evaluation.

Maybe they already filled the prescription the first time and they are coming to get a repeat dose for not seeing any changes.

Or it’s just a long term prescription that has to be dispensed monthly.

Prescriber’s information

This will help you understand where the prescription is coming from and the diagnosis. Is it from a dentist, a gynecologist or a pediatrician?

The clients are usually in a hurry so don’t spend too much time on this, it should take less than a minute.

Step 2

Go through all the medicines prescribed.

Make sure you are able to read all the medicines prescribed including the dosage form and frequency.

You must know the indications for each drug.

If anything is not clear, refer to the reference material available in your pharmacy.

Figure out the diagnosis, some prescriptions will have the diagnosis written most of them will not. Get hints from the prescribers details, age and the gender of the patients.

This should take less than a minute.

Now you are ready to retrieve the medicines from cabinets, drawers or wherever they are stored.

You can either check prices first and then bring out the medicine or bring out the medicine first and then check prices.

Step 3

Confirm any drug interactions, correct dosages and frequency.

Tell the client the cost of the medicines and the duration that they’ll be taken.

For instance;

“I am seeing your doctor has prescribed some antibiotics and painkillers, antibiotics for a week and painkillers for three days which will cost you Ksh160”

Try to answer all of the client’s questions before or after providing them with the price, usually they want to know side effects or there might be a problem with the price.

Call the doctor if there is anything that is not clear.

Let the client know the reason why you are calling the prescriber. It could be an unusual dosage, a new drug you have not seen or maybe you need to give a substitute.

Step 4

Assuming they have paid you, write prescription labels (how the medicines is going to be taken).

Explain what each medicine has been prescribed for if possible how they work.

Ensure they understand the instructions clearly and let them ask questions if any.

If not sure about anything, tell your client you need to refer. Use the reference materials in your pharmacy.

You may ask a colleague to assist you if they’re not serving another client.

Step 5

Pack the medicines nicely, wish the patient quick recovery.

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