Reflections on National Pharmacy Technician Day 2016

OCTOBER 18, 2016
Ryan Marotta, Assistant Editor
Pharmacy technicians across the country are being celebrated today in recognition of National Pharmacy Technician Day.
 
The occasion has been widely recognized on Facebook and Twitter, where pharmacists and pharmacies are expressing their gratitude for their techs’ hard work and dedication to patient health. Pharmacy organizations are also honoring technicians through social media; the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), for example, is encouraging technicians to show off their tech pride by sharing pictures of themselves in their pharmacies.
 
“Pharmacy technicians perform important work and carry out vital roles and responsibilities in their pharmacies every day in a wide range of practice settings,” PTCB executive director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, told Pharmacy Times. “National Pharmacy Technician Day is a special time to acknowledge their essential roles on the pharmacy team and express appreciation for their many contributions to patient care and safety.”
 
“Pharmacy technicians are valuable members of the health care team. High quality, comprehensive patient care services are provided with the contributions of these vital individuals,” added PTCB strategic alliances director Miriam A. Mobley Smith, PharmD, FASHP. “It’s an honor to celebrate the importance and many roles of pharmacy technicians.”
 
For some technicians, the event provides an opportunity to reflect upon what they mean to the pharmacy team. In exclusive interviews with Pharmacy Times, the following technicians shared their thoughts on National Pharmacy Technician Day and explained why they believed their profession deserves to be celebrated:
 
Zipporah-Darvi Redding, CPhT
Lead Adherence Technician
University of Florida Medication Therapy Management Communication and Care Center
Orlando, Florida
 
“National Pharmacy Technician Day gives us an opportunity to honor pharmacy technicians for the positive impact they have in all practice settings and the ways in which they continue to help the profession of pharmacy by assisting pharmacists and patients.
 
“I enjoy being a part of a profession that allows me to serve patients, support pharmacists, and develop positive partnerships with health care professionals. Being a pharmacy technician provides me with the skills and knowledge I need to develop workflow strategies, improve medication adherence through motivational interviewing, and educate others.
 
“Pharmacy technicians should be celebrated for their continuous efforts to prevent medication errors, address common challenges, and improve communication and relationships with patients.
 
“To every pharmacy technician I wish you the best of success!”

Diane Halvorson, CPhT
Lead Pharmacy Technician
Vibra Hospital
Fargo, ND
 
“This is an exciting time to be a pharmacy technician! As we see a national movement to embrace the role of the pharmacy technician and take it to the next level, itit’s time for us to work together to determine what our role is in the pharmacy is and what it could be.
 
“What I love about being a pharmacy technician is that it allows me to use my best qualities and skills as an active part of a team dedicated to improving health. I look at a pharmacy as a wheel: if you remove a spoke from a wheel, the integrity of the wheel is compromised. Every pharmacist and technician is an essential spoke of the pharmacy, but if you remove one of these spokes, it compromises the integrity of the pharmacy as a whole. As a certified pharmacy technician, I am proud to be a productive part of the pharmacy wheel.
 
“It’s important that we acknowledge National Pharmacy Technician Day and recognize the important role we play on the pharmacy team. It’s also a time to educate our patients on who we are and how we contribute to their pharmaceutical care. It’s always inspirational to receive kudos and be acknowledged for a great job well done!
 
“Happy Pharmacy Technician Day! Thank you for all you do in your pharmacy!”

Barrett Mand, CPhT
Inpatient Pharmacy Technician
Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI
 
“I’m proud to be a pharmacy technician because you find yourself playing an integral role in every aspect of health care. We are given the opportunity every day to be involved in decisions that can ultimately change an entire person’s life and well-being.
 
“The most enjoyable aspect of being a pharmacy technician for me is the ability to identify areas of improvement and find solutions in a way that other professions may not have the time or ability to do. We regularly navigate insurance companies to keep costs down, address inventory issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, and improve communication between a vast number of departments and organizations. We’re leading the growth of our profession to a point that we deal with situations nobody ever thought would be possible for us to do.
 
“We face issues every day as pharmacy technicians, but if there’s one thing I love, it’s to solve a problem. With our experience and interdisciplinary view of health care, we can find some really innovative ways of solving problems that others may not consider.
 
“It's because of our drive, leadership, innovation, and dedication to patient care that pharmacy technicians should be celebrated. While we once were thought to belongsolely behind a retail pharmacy counter, we’re now found virtually everywhere in health care. To commemorate our role on the pharmacy team is to recognize us as a significantly integral part of allied health.”

Master Sergeant Robert R. George, CPhT, USAF
Instructor Supervisor, AF Pharmacy Training
San Antonio, TX
 
“I’ve been a pharmacy technician with the United States Air Force on and off for about 17 years. Looking back at my career, I can honestly say that I am very proud to be a pharmacy technician. What I do as a pharmacy technician instructor every day—training the world’s finest Airman, Sailors, Soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen—is vitally important to the mission of saving lives. I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that my fellow pharmacy technician instructors and I are devoted to training these future pharmacy technicians to the highest standard.
 
“I also feel an incredible sense of pride as we celebrate this year’s National Pharmacy Technician Day. This is a chance for us to take a step back and see that our pharmacists really do appreciate the hard work we put in for them. At the same time, it enables us to recognize that only together, as a team, can we provide our patients with the excellent service they deserve while keeping safety at the forefront of our daily responsibilities.
 
“I sincerely hope that all pharmacy technicians from around the world celebrate this very special week and feel as proud as I do about this critical profession in the delivery of healthcare.”

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