Like most industries, the healthcare landscape has seen transformation and growth throughout the years. Within this industry, many health professionals, such as pharmacy technicians, have experienced change as well. Almost 45 percent of Americans take a prescription medication, so the need for technicians and pharmacists is higher than ever. As the population ages, the demand for such healthcare professionals will rise as well. Hence, it’s important to understand the evolving role of pharmacy technicians in our ever-changing world.
During the 1900s many pharmacists owned their own pharmacies and didn’t really need assistance or team members. A pharmacist’s job was simple — fewer patients, less medication to remember and no billing. With the rise of technology and advancements in almost every single part of life, the pharmaceutical industry has experienced change. Today, a pharmacy technician is almost as important as the pharmacist themselves. A pharmacy technician’s role and responsibilities have certainly evolved over the years. Some of these responsibilities include: preparing medicine for patients, receiving and verifying prescriptions, completing patient paperwork and much more.
However, to be a pharmacy technician you have to start somewhere, right? That is why there has been a rise in pharmacy technician programs, like the one at Coyne College Chicago. These pharmacy technician programs offer hands-on experience and opportunities to their students that prove worthwhile in the real world. The pharmacy technician program at Coyne College prepares its students in computer order entry, pharmaceutical calculations, record-keeping, and how to mix solutions and compound products to be dispensed. By learning alongside other students and receiving help from the instructors, students become confident in their abilities and skills that help them later on.
Since the healthcare industry is ever-changing, these programs stay up to date and provide their students with the proper education needed to excel down the road. As the healthcare industry changes, more and more responsibilities and tasks are added to a pharmacy technician’s job description.
More recently, pharmacy technicians are being called upon to directly work with patients. Tasks that are being added to the evolving role of pharmacy technicians include:
1. Medication Distribution – Many pharmacies have implemented the “tech-check-tech” program, where one technician will verify that the other technician has filled the prescription correctly. This adds responsibility for the pharmacy technician and frees the pharmacist from having to check over the prescription.
2. Assisting with Emergency Care – Many employers now require pharmacy technicians to become CPR certified or be able to perform a specific role in times of emergencies.
3. Evaluating Pharmacy Operations – Since the pharmacy technicians know the ins and outs of a pharmacy, the managers and pharmacists will usually look to them for suggestions on improving efficiency, boosting patient care and more. More so now, pharmacy techs have the ability to provide valuable feedback that can affect day-to-day operations.
4. Quality Control – Pharmacy technicians play a large role in ensuring quality patient care. Before the pharmacist even reviews the patient’s case, technicians rule out anything that could be potentially harmful.
These are just some ways that a pharmacy technician’s role is evolving, as more responsibility and duties are being added to the overall role. In upcoming years, as more and more things advance, a pharmacy technician’s role is likely to expand in terms of professional training and education, increased salaries, and more opportunities in certain aspects of patient care.
Although the role of pharmacy technicians has certainly changed and developed, it is still certain that it is a worthwhile career in the healthcare industry. The demand for pharmacy technicians is already starting to rise and a career as a pharmacy technician is a very stable one, so why not take the first step in the right direction towards a fulfilling career?
Start your pharma tech career at Coyne College today!
Coyne College has over 120 years of experience in all different types of fields. As a student in their pharmacy technician program, you will learn all the necessary skills and techniques that will be useful in the real world. In just 42 weeks you will be certified as a pharmacy technician and begin your career in the real world!
So why not enroll today and start your career off in the right direction at Coyne College.