14 Things Pharmacists Should Never Say to Pharmacy Technicians

MAY 30, 2016

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: pharmacy technicians are the backbone of the pharmacy.

Being a pharmacy technician can be a stressful, thankless job, which is why it’s so important for pharmacists to treat their technicians well and recognize them for everything they do. A good technician keeps everything running smoothly and is a valued member of the pharmacy team, but sometimes, pharmacists don’t realize that the things they say to their techs suggest otherwise.

We asked 12,000 technicians what they wish pharmacists would stop saying to them. Here are their top 14 responses:

1. “You’re just a technician.”
Although technicians aren’t paid as well as pharmacists and have less training, their job is still important. Don’t agree? Try to do your job without a technician’s assistance for a day or 2, and I suspect you’ll soon be singing a different tune.
2. “Don’t bother me.”
Pharmacists should invest in training their technicians, which means taking the time to listen and answer questions. Technicians’ relationship with their pharmacist directly correlates to how well they perform their job duties and how long they’ll stick around.

3. “I’m cutting your hours.”
Techs are often promised full-time positions during the job interview, only to find that their hours are reduced after being on the job for a few months. Although this is sometimes unavoidable, it’s nonetheless frustrating for techs who are trying to make ends meet.

4. “Did you hear what [insert coworker’s name] did yesterday?”
Putting aside the issue of how crass workplace gossip is in general, technicians don’t want to engage in gossip with pharmacists. It’s just too weird and inappropriate.

5. “You don’t know what [insert medication] does?” 
Belittling your hard-working technicians is just foul. Instead, take the time to take advantage of the “teachable moment” and offer your technicians some training or advice.

Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane "pill-flipping" life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.