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Why the Shortage of Hospital Pharmacy Technicians is a National Healthcare Crisis

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Pharmacy Technician Career

A survey conducted by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) has uncovered startling news: hospitals are low staffed in pharmacy technicians.

How This Crisis is Affecting Hospitals

Woman Holding Two Clear Bottles with MedicinesInventory management. Preparing prescriptions. Processing insurance.

These are the little things that pharmacy technicians do that keep hospitals running. It’s their hard work that allows pharmacists and other members of the medical team to do their jobs well. These crucial tasks are typically performed by pharmacy techs. When a hospital is short-staffed, they have two options:

  1. Have their existing pharmacy tech staff work overtime.
  2. Have non-pharmacy techs complete their tasks.

These solutions are band-aids, not long-term solutions. More pharmacy techs will leave the profession if they’re overworked. Having pharmacists and other members of the team take on pharmacy tech duties takes them away from their jobs. The pharmacy technician crisis is bad for hospitals and the patients they serve. With less staff, hospitals have to reject patients or make them wait long hours before they receive medical care.

Pharmacy administrators are addressing the crisis by offering higher base pay and bonuses. Pharmacy industry leaders are also making work hours more flexible. This might keep more workers from leaving. However, there’s still a gaping hole left to fill the pharmacy techs that have already left.

The ultimate solution to this crisis is hiring and training more pharmacy technicians.

Photo Of Pills On Container

Why Pharmacy Technicians are Essential

Patients need pharmacy technicians. These multi-faceted workers perform important tasks that keep hospitals running. Their knowledge includes:

  • Pharmaceutical Skills:
    • Screening prescription orders to ensure accuracy
    • Measuring, mixing, and labeling prescriptions
    • Delivering medications to patients and pharmacistsScientist Working in Laboratory
  • Administrative Skills:
    • Organizing pharmacy inventory and determining which supplies need to be restocked
    • Record keeping patient medical and insurance information
    • Maintaining pharmacy cleanliness and ensuring that it follows health regulations
  • Communication Skills:
    • Interacting with customers both in-person and over the phone
    • Working with insurance companies to process claims
    • Collaborating with pharmacists to ensure efficiency

Ready to Play a Crucial Role in Healthcare?

Hospital pharmacy technicians are needed now more than ever. Do you think that you’re ready to step up to the plate?

Here are some signs that a career as a pharmacy technician is right for you:

  • You’re Compassionate: The patients are the heart of every hospital. Ensuring the accuracy of prescriptions keeps pain at bay. Patients need pharmacy workers to be there for them at every hour, even on late nights.
  • Scientist in LaboratoryYou’re A Good Communicator: Pharmacy techs know how to adapt their voice for different situations. They’re warm with patients and ready to answer any question. On the phone with insurance agencies, they’re straightforward. In the pharmacy industry, knowing how to say something matters as much as how you say it.
  • You’re a Problem Solver: Are supplies and patient records misplaced? No worries, you’re got a few tricks that will put everything right back where it belongs. Problem solvers know how to keep a cool head even when they feel the heat. With work that relies on precision, it’s natural for issues to arise. It’s up to you to come up with solutions on the fly.
  • You’re Organized: You need a sharp eye to keep prescription orders accurate. Organized pharmacy techs where insurance information is stored and how to prioritize tasks. Neat record shelves don’t just look pretty: they’re critical for patient security.
  • You’re Good at Math: Math skills ensure that prescriptions are filled correctly. Pharmacy techs use numbers when keeping stock and ordering new supplies.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

The ASHP report has brought attention to the need for pharmacy technicians. Here’s how you can address the crisis.

  1. Earn a High School Diploma

Use this time to build the science and math skills you’ll use every day at work. High school students can gain experience through volunteering and interning at hospitals.

  1. Earn a Pharmacy Technician Diploma

A pharmacy technician program will allow you to master the subtleties of the profession. By completion, you’ll know how to mix, identify, and calculate drug doses. Students should take programs in the state that they’re interested in working in so that they can pass a state board exam upon graduation.

  1. Earn Certification

Students must earn state certifications to become professional pharmacy technicians.
Man and Woman Wearing White Lab Coat Doing Laboratory Analysis

Learn the Skills That are Needed Most at FVI’s Pharmacy Technician Program

The ASHP report might seem to be all bad news. But the sunshine shining through this cloudy report is that pharmacy technicians enjoy their work.

Healthcare isn’t just about dramatic surgeries. It also relies on organized records and accurate prescriptions. That’s how pharmacy techs save lives.

If you’re ready to work where you’re needed most, you’re ready to enroll in FVI’s pharmacy technician program. This program prepares students in Miramar and Miami for the Florida Board of Pharmacy’s certification exam.

In our pharmacy program you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify drugs by both generic and brand name
  • Calculate accurate drug doses
  • Use a variety of techniques to mix different drugs
  • Apply medical ethics to your work
  • Process insurance payments

Are you compassionate and eager to help patients? Then visit our website for more information.

Learn more:

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