Many public health guidelines have changed or been updated due to the current public health crisis. Health care professionals are taking on more tasks to shoulder the weight and responsibility of ensuring patients get the quality care they need. Health professionals like pharmacy technicians have been given more duties to ease the new responsibilities of the pandemic.
What Is A Pharmacy Technician?
The pharmacy technician assists the pharmacist in medication packaging, preparation and distribution. They work in hospitals, health maintenance organizations and drug stores. There are certain skills that pharmacy technicians need to provide the best medical care for patients. The pharmacy technician’s main tasks are:
- Identifying the generic and brand names of medications.
- Performing techniques and procedures to mix different drugs.
- Defining ethics and explaining laws that apply to the pharmacy.
How Has the Pandemic Impacted the Pharmacy Technician’s Position?
Pharmacy technicians are now doing more direct care with patients. The number of prescriptions increased, creating more work for the technicians in packaging and distributing. Here are some techniques being used or explored to expand the role of pharmacy technicians:
1. Pharmacies will administer more acute care tests via drive-thrus – As pharmacies increase drive-thru services to administer vaccinations and immunizations, pharmacy technicians could be administering these acute tests to expedite faster service. This is due to many states eliminating obstacles in drug store chains and local pharmacies to administer drive-thru tests for COVID-19.
2. Technicians will conduct more immunizations – There has been an increase in pharmacies providing more immunizations to the public. Approximately 4.1 million adults got vaccinations from pharmacies in 2013, the past year saw a 7.8% increase in adults who received immunization from a pharmacy.
3. There is a large push to expand the role of technicians – Many states have pushed to expand the role of pharmacy technicians, by increasing or eliminating the pharmacist-technician ratio mandates. This means officials see the pharmacies and other local entities as a potential center for patient care, where broadening the role of technicians is essential.
4. Interstate care is becoming crucial to patient care – Pharmacists and technicians will receive certifications and regulations to work across state lines. This reduces barriers in obtaining services and medications for patients.
5. The use of telehealth services will increase – Telehealth services allow for remote entering of services. Telehealth also reduces the need for in-person services, reducing the spread of viruses and other illnesses.
6. There will be more online training – During the pandemic, online classes became mandatory to reduce infection rates. Moving forward, online classes could increase for those people who must travel long distances to attend professional development trainings.
7. Technicians will provide more operational duties – As pharmacies increasingly become acute patient care centers, pharmacy technicians will perform more duties to keep operations running smoothly, as in administering[AE1]
8. Pharmacies will become laboratories to administer vaccinations – Many pharmacies received waivers to become laboratories, since they are not traditional medical facilities.
Find A Pharmacy Technician Program Today
The role of pharmacy technicians are expanding as health care providers, as well as direct patient care specialists. If you want to become a pharmacy technician, contact FVI School of Nursing and Technology’s Pharmacy Technician program by calling: 786-574-3350.