Pharmacy Technicians are essential health professionals with a defined set of skills that positively impacts patients and pharmacy practice.
Pharmacy technicians are licensed health professionals who collaborate with pharmacists and other members of your healthcare team to support you in achieving your health goals. Most pharmacy technicians in Alberta work in community and hospital pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians also work in clinics, long-term care and distribution facilities; and hold educator, management, and many other specialty positions. Here are some examples of the role pharmacy technicians play in your care.
Learn more about the pharmacy technicians essential role:
Pharmacy technicians will mix or make products that are not commercially available. This could be due to a back ordered medication or patient convenience to take the medicine.
To aid patients with compliance, pharmacy technicians will put medications in a multi-dose package based on the scheduled time the patient is to take their medicines.
Pharmacy technicians communicate with many diverse health care professionals to ensure that the patient gets the care they need. This occurs within their workplace among co-workers as well as care providers outside of the pharmacy.
Pharmacy technicians help patients to learn their new medical devices. This can range from a number of devices including: blood glucose monitors, inhalers, blood pressure machines, eye drops, nasal sprays and epi-pens.
DEVICE TRAINING: Pharmacy technicians can also provide you with information on how to use injectable devices and live-saving Opioid Response Kits
ORDER ENTRY: When a prescription is received, pharmacy technicians enter it into a computer system and properly transcribe the directions for how you are to take your medications.
PHARMACY INVENTORY: Ordering and receiving of medications to the pharmacy is no simple task. Pharmacy technicians have to watch expiry dates, rotate stock, handle back orders, monitor storage conditions and be aware of medication costs.
PHARMACY INVENTORY: Pharmacy technicians confirm equipment is working properly and respond to risks that may impact your safety.
FINAL CHECK OF PRESCRIPTIONS:
Pharmacy technicians perform the last check before a medication is given to a patient. To avoid medication errors, the pharmacy technician verifies that the prescription has the correct patient, drug, strength, route, and time
FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS: Pharmacy technicians are trained to select the correct medication when filling prescriptions. This requires them to have an extensive knowledge of the medications available in their pharmacy, new products and a familiarity of both the generic and brand names
FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS: Getting medications ready to dispense to you is a big part of the pharmacy technician’s role. This involves reviewing prescriptions to confirm they are complete and the medications ordered are available for you.
In order to guarantee that eye drops, intravenous (IV) bags and other injectable products are made correctly and sterile, pharmacy technicians undergo intensive training and recertify on an annual basis.
Photos courtesy of Ghia Marie Photography