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Pharmacy Technicians: A Specialized Discourse Community Essay

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Pharmacy Technicians: A Specialized Discourse Community
Overview of pharmacy technicians: Do they fit the criteria of a discourse group?
When doctors prescribe medication for their patients, a local retail pharmacy is most likely to be utilized to fill the order. However, there is a growing population of older Americans that are no longer able to live independently and must reside in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. In order for this vulnerable population to receive their medications, a different kind of pharmacy is needed, these are known as LTC, long term care pharmacies. Within these specialized pharmacies there are highly trained employees called CPhTs, certified pharmacy technicians who are overseen by state licensed RPHs, otherwise known as pharmacists.
John Swales theorizes that discourse communities must meet six elements of shared criteria: commons goals, participatory mechanisms, information exchange, community specific genres, have highly specialized terminology, and members who possess a general level of expertise. For the purpose of this paper, I will analyze three of these components and observe how they function within the CPhT community. My analysis will emphasize the unique lexis that is necessary to function as a member of this community.
Methodology: Insider Access and an Interview over a Plate of Kibbi
I was previously employed full-time in LTC as a CPhT from 2006 until 2012. During my employment with the pharmacy, I reached the position of the chief CII (schedule 2 narcotics)

Lynette Zorzi-2
technician. Presently, I no longer work full-time but in order to maintain my certification, I still work occasional weekends in the data entry department. Recently, I had an opportunity to work ...


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...mlining their communication style.
Pharmacy technicians are truly a specialized discourse community and they satisfy all aspects of Swales’s criteria. Most notably, they share common public goals, have participants who possess a general level of expertise, and who use a highly specialized lexis. The structure and purpose of this group allows one discourse community, pharmacy technicians, to help care for another. Their unique language heavily emphasizes medical acronyms and allows for effective completion of common purpose, intercommunication, feedback, and the successful transferring of vital information.



Work Cited
Swales, John. Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1990
Omnicare. (2014, March 2). About Us-Our Company-Our Mission. Retrieved from http://www.omnicare.com/about-us/our-mission.aspx



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