Pharmacy technician practice developed tremendously in the 1980’s. Do you think community pharmacy technician practice has progressed to the same degree?
I can’t really comment on this as I have only worked in a hospital pharmacy, and all of my friends and colleagues are from the hospital sector.
What are the barriers to developing future roles for pharmacy technicians in community practice?
I’m not really familiar enough with the processes and issues within community practice to understand what barriers are there.
What is your opinion on ‘accuracy checking dispensing assistants’?
I would worry that they may not have had the same training as a technician, and therefore it may be unfair to put that level of responsibility onto a dispensing assistant as they are not a registered professional. That said, if there was a robust training programme for them it may be appropriate. Some dispensing assistants have had many years of experience in their roles, compared to a newly qualified technician.
I think it is important to create a balance between allowing development of individuals within roles but also not expecting people to do additional (and more responsible) tasks without the appropriate acknowledgement for the extended duties.
Do you feel pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work together well? If not how can this relationship be improved?
In my experience, I have always had a very positive working relationship with pharmacists. I feel that the pharmacists and technicians (and Assistant Technical Officers, they are so important too) I have worked with have always understood and respected the different contributions that the two professional groups bring to a team. One could not do their job effectively without the other. Within technical services there are often overlaps with the roles (for example the writing of various documents, product approval etc), however, this has never caused conflict in my experience.
If you could change one thing in pharmacy what would it be?
That other healthcare professionals didn’t use pharmacy as the number one excuse for delays. It seems the easy excuse to blame pharmacy for medication not being in clinical areas, even if prescriptions have not been written.