What do you see as being the main differences between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians?
Although both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work in a pharmacy setting it must be recognised that the jobs still require different levels of skill and education. Pharmacists have been trained to have a more in-depth and broad knowledge of pharmacology and disease management. Pharmacists are still ultimately responsible for the sale and/or supply of medicines and are overall professionally accountable for all dispensing activity in a registered pharmacy.
Roles are changing. Pharmacists are now involved in more face to face and clinical activity than ever before providing medicines management, clinical reviews, medicines use reviews and new medicines service which are in turn drawing them away from previous tasks that they were expected to complete. This is where the role of the pharmacy technician can excel. Medicines optimisation, operational tasks, accuracy checking, EPS control, overseeing staff management and involvement in specialised clinics are all elements that technicians can and are providing.
If I could change one thing in pharmacy what would it be?
Quite simply cost over care.
As a profession whether that be in a community or hospital setting, the care I feel should always be at the top of our priorities. Without patient centred care we run the risk of letting ourselves as well as our patients down. Cost I know has to be considered but should never compromise or come before a patient’s outcome.
Do you feel pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work well together? If not how can these relationships be improved?
I can only talk from my own experiences but yes we do and we do it well. I am very lucky to work in a pharmacy where being a technician is a good thing. I am respected and involved in all aspects of the pharmacy, I work with two very experienced and knowledgeable pharmacists who allow me to excel at what I do. My opinion counts and I am able to challenge without fear of reprisal. I am trusted and valued, given support and advice and given regular opportunities to improve myself and my skill set.
I love being a pharmacy technician and am very proud to call myself one. I think as a profession we have the ability to go from strength to strength, helping lead the way and improving all aspects of pharmacy that we are involved in, these are exciting times and I am really pleased that I am a part of it.