Specialty Roles for Pharmacy Technicians
by Julie Melmoth, CPhT
Pharmacy technicians are licensed health professionals who collaborate with pharmacists and other health care professionals as a team to support patients in achieving health goals.
Pharmacy Technicians have more avenues for work experiences now than ever before as their scope of Practice expands. Responsibilities and roles are reaching higher demands, and further expansion creates more opportunities in community or hospital pharmacy settings. Once a pharmacy technician has a licensed designation, it may present options not previously considered.
Specialty roles for technicians include Oncology, Best Possible Medication History (BPMH), Medication Reconciliation, Registered Checking Technician, Operations Manager, Purchasing & Inventory Management Technician, Insurance billing specialist, Pharmacy Informatics, Automation, Investigational/Clinical Trial Specialists, Technical Practice Lead, Drug Information Specialists, as well as other particularly important pharmacy roles.
Technicians are more recognized for their excellent job performance and ability to work in various areas, assist with multiple department projects and initiatives, and become trusted information resources by their peers and the department. Most Pharmacy Technician Associations provide specialty training courses to be completed online, which can benefit in pursuing a specialty role. Most, if not all, Pharmacy Technician Associations require certain levels of continuous education to be completed by Pharmacy Technicians each year to maintain specialty roles or responsibilities. Gaining new knowledge may spark interest in another area of Pharmacy, providing an array of exciting, new opportunities. Networking at Pharmacy Conferences or Symposiums is another way to gain knowledge and education about what other Pharmacy Technicians do to be able to find the specialty that best fits an individual.
Pharmacy Technicians are an integral part of the pharmacy team and the entire healthcare team, whether in a hospital, community setting, or specialty role. Developing specialty roles for pharmacy technicians frees pharmacists to focus on clinical pursuits and improves patient care. Moreover, encouraging technician career advancement improves job satisfaction for technicians. Therefore, technicians in specialty roles tend to demonstrate pride in their work, enjoy the challenges of their unique positions, and appreciate the ability to assist patients, other healthcare providers, and the public.
Finding that niche, that specialty that one personally fits, depends on the drive and passion one has for their career. You can work at a job forever, but without passion, it remains a job, and passion creates a career.
“Choose a job you love & you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~Confucius