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Summary Report for:
29-2052.00 - Pharmacy Technicians

Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.

Sample of reported job titles: Accredited Pharmacy Technician; Billing and Quality Technician; Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT); Compounding Technician; Lead Pharmacy Tech, Certified Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech, CPhT); Lead Pharmacy Technician (Lead Pharmacy Tech); Pharmacy Technician (Pharmacy Tech); Senior Pharmacy Technician; Technician; Technician, Inventory Specialist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Receive written prescription or refill requests and verify that information is complete and accurate. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepack bulk medicines, fill bottles with prescribed medications, and type and affix labels. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Answer telephones, responding to questions or requests. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain proper storage and security conditions for drugs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Assist customers by answering simple questions, locating items, or referring them to the pharmacist for medication information. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Price and file prescriptions that have been filled. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Establish or maintain patient profiles, including lists of medications taken by individual patients. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Order, label, and count stock of medications, chemicals, or supplies and enter inventory data into computer. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Receive and store incoming supplies, verify quantities against invoices, check for outdated medications in current inventory, and inform supervisors of stock needs and shortages. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mix pharmaceutical preparations, according to written prescriptions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate cash registers to accept payment from customers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Clean and help maintain equipment or work areas and sterilize glassware, according to prescribed methods. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare and process medical insurance claim forms and records. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transfer medication from vials to the appropriate number of sterile, disposable syringes, using aseptic techniques. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supply and monitor robotic machines that dispense medicine into containers and label the containers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Restock intravenous (IV) supplies and add measured drugs or nutrients to IV solutions under sterile conditions to prepare IV packs for various uses, such as chemotherapy medication. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Compute charges for medication or equipment dispensed to hospital patients and enter data in computer. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Deliver medications or pharmaceutical supplies to patients, nursing stations, or surgery. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Price stock and mark items for sale. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain and merchandise home healthcare products or services. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Benchtop centrifuges — Centrifuges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bi distillation units — Water distillation equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cash registers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Compact disc CD or labeling printers — Label printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dry heat or hot air sterilizers — Sterilizing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Filling or sealing auger dose machines — Automatic unit dose strip packaging machines; Tube filling and crimping machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators — Incubators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fume hoods or cupboards — Horizontal and vertical flow hoods See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gas burners — Bunsen burners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hydrometers — Specific gravity testing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits — Intravenous IV supplies See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory balances — Equal-arm balances; Single-beam balances; Torsion balances; Unequal-arm balances (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers — Blending/agitating machines; Total Parenteral Nutrition TPN compounders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders — Graduated cylinders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory mills — Benchtop colloid mills; Colloid mills; Grinding and shearing colloid mills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory vacuum pumps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory washing machines — Flask washers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laminar flow cabinets or stations — Laminar flow hoods See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medical syringe without needle — Syringes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Medication or pill dispensers or accessories — Robotic dispensing systems See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microscope slides — Agar slides See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Multipurpose or general test tubes — Test tubes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Petri plates or dishes — Petri dishes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pharmaceutical filters or ultra filters — Filtering devices See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS computer terminals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Autoclaves See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sterile or aseptic processing or filling machines — Automatic bottle filling machines; Computer-based dispensing equipment; Semiautomatic sterile solution transferring devices See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet counters — Tablet counting machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers — Evacuated blood collection containers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Billing and reimbursement software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Drug compatibility software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Pharmacy management software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Inventory management software — Cardinal Health Pyxis CII Safe See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Label making software — Label-making software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Medical software — Compounder software; Patient record maintenance software; Pharmaceutical software; Prescription processing software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Point of sale POS software See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Record patient medical histories. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Verify accuracy of patient information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Enter patient or treatment data into computers. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Sterilize medical equipment or instruments. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean medical equipment or facilities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Process medical billing information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Merchandise healthcare products or services. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Telephone — 95% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 80% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 91% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 80% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 88% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 76% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 80% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 72% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 63% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Very close (near touching).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 58% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 69% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 63% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Consequence of Error — 47% responded “Extremely serious.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 29% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 25% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 31% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
60   High school diploma or equivalent Help
14   Post-secondary certificate Help
13   Some college, no degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: CR

  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $14.33 hourly, $29,810 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 355,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 105,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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