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The Importance of Technician Certification

  • August 6, 2009
  • RPh on the Go

The pharmacy industry is more important in our lives than we realize; it is responsible for curing us when we fall ill and saving our lives through medicines and drugs. It helps us improve the quality of our lives by focusing on not just corrective medicine but also on the preventive kind which helps us stay healthy without having to see doctors and take medication to do so.

If we look at the people who work at a pharmacy, there’s usually the licensed pharmacist who is responsible for handling your prescription and dispensing the drugs that the doctor has ordered. Besides this, you also have the pharmacy technician, the person who helps the pharmacist in filling out your prescription and in handling other routine and administrative tasks. Now, not many people know this for a fact, but there are a few states that do not require a technician to be licensed, or in other words, certified by an accredited authority to handle drugs.

This effectively means that just about anyone, with the right training of course, can fill your prescription bottles and count out your tablets. But this process is flawed and leaves room for errors. When certification is made mandatory for pharmacy technicians:

•    It improves the efficiency of the industry: When trained people are used to handle drugs and interact with patients (although technicians are not allowed to deal directly with patients, they do it at times on an informal basis), it improves the efficiency of the pharmacy industry. This is because a trained technician is definitely more knowledgeable about the job and knows what it entails rather than having to pick up the finer points through experience or trial and error.

•    It assigns accountability: It is easy to fix responsibilities and hold people accountable when they are trained through the right channels and certified by accredited schools or associations. This way, errors are minimized, and even if they do occur, it is easy to pinpoint where and why they happened.

•    It reduces the possibility of errors: When technicians are certified, it follows that they know what is expected of them and this reduces the chances of them making errors. They also know the responsibilities that come with their job and are more dedicated to it because it involves the well-being of human beings.

•    It helps keep data protected: Most technicians are responsible for dealing with doctors’ offices and insurance companies. This means that they have access to sensitive information. When they go through a training program and are certified accordingly, they understand that they must keep such data private because if they are careless, it could prove to be a costly mistake.

Pharmacy technicians have jobs that come with a high degree of responsibility, so it goes without saying that certification is extremely essential and important, not just for them, but for the patients they handle and the entire industry as well.

This article is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of pharmacy technician certification at her blog The Pharm Tech Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: [email protected]

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