Despite popular belief, pharmacy technicians are more than laborers; they are specially
trained individuals. Imagine a family member is admitted to the University of South Alabama Hospital with an acute case of pneumonia, which will require oral and intravenous medications.
These medications must be precisely prepared and properly delivered. The common perception
is that pharmacists prepare medications and technicians simply deliver them. This view of their job is both accurate and inaccurate.
Pharmacy technicians are most often seen as the pharmacy’s “delivery-boy”.
Technicians are responsible for timely delivery of medications. However, delivery of
medications is more than the act of getting drugs to a patient. The delivery of medication is directly tied to the charge for the medication. Thus the responsibility for charging or crediting medication belongs to technicians. This aspect of their job is strictly governed by federal regulations. These laws hold the technician directly responsible for the accuracy of a patient’s account’s charge and credit transactions. Because every dose is related to a specific day and time, when technicians credit they must apply that change to the corresponding dose. Assignificant as accuracy is to the patient’s account, accuracy in the making of their medications is even more important.
Precision of a patient’s intravenous medication is essential; it must be safe from
contamination, toxicity, and side effects. Most people believe these medications are compounded or mixed by a trained and licensed individual. However, this is inaccurate because the pharmacy technician actually compounds a large percentage of a patient’s medications. Compounding involves a techn...
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... for every pharmacist. This ratio dictates that pharmacists can not oversee every aspect of technicians’ jobs. It is this singular fact that very few people realize. The pharmacy technician who receives no formal training is responsible for not just the delivery of a patient’s medication, but also for their bill, their confidential information, and their life. The question now is, how can an uneducated individual be given so much responsibility? Technicians are granted these responsibilities because a pharmacist can not do the job alone. Pharmacists strive to mold each new technician into an employee that will realize what technicians really do. Pharmacists and technicians provide patients with safe and accurate medication in a timely manner. This is not a task for pharmacists or technicians alone; it is task that requires both personnel in order to be accomplished.
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