University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Pharmacy Technician Professionalism
Interest in professionalism has grown in recent years, which – at least in part – has been driven by reports of the unethical, illegal, or unprofessional behaviour of doctors and other health professionals. Restoring public trust, particularly in medicine and doctors, but also changes in public and patient expectations, as well as working conditions and context thus underlie attempts to define, describe, measure and assess professionalism in the healthcare professions. Among the healthcare professions medicine leads the way in its attempts to engage in debate about professional values and behaviours in modern day healthcare. While sharing many features in common, definitions of professionalism, particularly medical professionalism, are numerous. There is some guidance on professional values and behaviour in pharmacy, which was set out in the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians and is now captured in the Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance. This lists seven principles, three of which are concerned with the interests and welfare of patients, and their participation in decisions about their care.
Understanding how to appropriately appear, act and identify yourself as a regulated pharmacy professional is an important aspect to embracing professionalism. A professional appearance can convey competence and result in a positive impression. Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of practice settings. Dress codes and image expectations vary depending upon the employer and type of task being performed, but this does not change the professional status and responsibility for portraying a professional image. Despite the main role of the pharmacy technicians has been instructed to assist the pharmacist in nearly all of the clerical and administrative work in the pharmacy or the hospitals, there is certain tasks which are not supposed to be handled by the pharmacy technicians under normal circumstances by the bide of the medical rules. Here are some of the DO’s and DON’T’s of a Pharmacy technician:
The DO’s :
1. They are responsible to obtain & record patient drug histories for pharmacy records 2. They are allowed to pre-package drug with the knowing of the drug’s expiration date. 3. They can order, receive, unpack, and put
away drug shipments 4. They need to collaborate with other regulatory colleges whose members prescribe (medicine, dentistry, midwives, nurses), to develop protocols surrounding verbal prescriptions. 5. They must wear name badge with words “Pharmacy Technician” on it to specify their role clearly to anyone which they have attended with 6. They can load automated drug distribution equipment
7. They must maintain confidentiality on all patient health information 8. They should review all technician policies & procedures annually 9. They are responsible to reconcile the quarterly perpetual inventory count for all the medications in the clinic, pharmacy or the hospital so as to get to know should there are any discrepancies found and to brainstorm among the teams as on how should these discrepancies be reduced. 10. They are authorized to sell or deliver prescriptions to patients
The DON’T’s :
1. The pharmacy technicians cannot certify pre-packaging nor certify dispending 2. They are not allowed to remove drugs/supplies involved until checked by a pharmacist 3. They should not and cannot take prescriptions over the phone 4. They should not leave discrepancies unreported
5. They are not allowed to discuss patient health information outside of the professional work setting as these information are all private and confidential. 6. The pharmacy technician cannot assess drug therapy or discuss therapy with patients 7. They cannot take a changed prescription order
8. They should not counsel any of the patients based on their knowledge and expertise as they do not own the skill-sets and knowledge of a pharmacist to gain the authorization in make sure what they have counsel are correct. 9. They cannot dispensed the medications to the patients until the identity and the volume of the diluents are checked by the pharmacists accordingly. 10. A Pharmacy Technician are not allowed to interpret data or advise/answer health and drug-related questions.
Pharmacy is a great profession. There are many different aspects that one may make as a career. In so many ways, it all depends upon what you put into it. If you give the effort, you can get a lot of satisfaction out of it.