Certified Pharmacy Technicians Help Your Business Thrive
As a pharmacist, it’s important to consider the benefits of certification for pharmacy technicians.
When it comes to running a pharmacy, employee qualifications and skills can make or break the business. This is especially true today, as pharmacy technicians take on more responsibilities than ever before. In fact, according to the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) 2021 Industry Outlook, 43% of employers report that pharmacy technicians have more responsibility this year compared to last.1 The assumption could be made that this growth is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, but expectations are that this growth will continue long after the pandemic.
“With more responsibility comes more challenges, which is why 88% of institutions encourage or require certification for pharmacy technicians,” said Jessica Langley-Loep, executive director of Education and Advocacy for NHA. “It’s clear to see the value in certification for a pharmacy technician, as it increases their marketability, demonstrates skill competency and opens doors to more opportunity.”
As a pharmacist, it’s important to consider the benefits of certification for pharmacy technicians. Certified pharmacy technicians (CPhT) are less likely to make errors; they afford pharmacists more time to spend with patients and to perform the tasks that require their clinical expertise; and they ultimately help provide better patient care and improve health outcomes, which can lead to better fiscal outcomes for the pharmacy.
Helping your business run better
NHA’s Industry Outlook found that 78% of employers agreed that newly certified pharmacy technicians were prepared for their jobs. In fact, there is a direct correlation between pharmacy technician certification and higher levels of professional and employer commitment, lower job stress, and greater overall job satisfaction.2 These factors undoubtedly lead to more satisfied patients and improved day to day operations.
“Certified pharmacy technicians can work at the top of their credential taking on greater responsibility and freeing up time for the pharmacist to work more efficiently and effectively,” Langley-Loep said. “In fact, many states provide a broader scope of practice for certified pharmacy technicians than are permitted for their uncertified colleagues.”
With certified pharmacy technicians able to shoulder more of the workload, pharmacists are able to provide more direct patient care and pharmacies can offer broader clinical services, leading to more business, more customer interaction, and the potential for additional revenue streams. Studies have also shown that pharmacy technicians who are certified remain in practice longer and turnover among pharmacists and technicians is lower at pharmacies that employ certified pharmacy technicians.3
Increased customer satisfaction and better outcomes
With more experience comes better performance and fewer errors. According to NHA’s Industry Outlook, pharmacy technicians are often found lacking in key soft skills such as dependability, adaptability, and active listening. Certification ensures those soft skills are met and can expand technicians’ commitment to the field and willingness to adapt to professional changes.
It’s not just pharmacists who prefer certified technicians, either. In states where the certified pharmacy technician’s role has been expanded, pharmacists or pharmacies see improved patient outcomes, fewer errors, and higher overall customer satisfaction.1,4 Not only are patients getting more one-on-one consultation, care and expanded service offerings from pharmacists, they’re also able to benefit from the greater skill set and capabilities pharmacy technician certification demonstrates.
More time to focus on what matters
Many pharmacy team members are facing work fatigue. In fact, 66% of pharmacists rated workload as “high” or “excessively high.”2 When pharmacists can delegate non-clinical tasks to certified pharmacy technicians, they allow themselves to dedicate more time to providing direct patient care, which helps their community improve access to medical care.
Skilled pharmacy technicians can provide opportunity for re-distribution of pharmacist labor, allowing pharmacists to optimize their advanced knowledge and skills in more meaningful ways.
It is also important to recognize that information is changing and adapting over time, especially in the medical field. Maintaining pharmacy technician certification requires continuing education, which can also help prepare pharmacies for what’s to come.
“We’re focused on moving the pharmacy technician field forward, increasing opportunities for individuals to advance their career, while also providing a better patient experience and job satisfaction for pharmacists,” said Langley-Loep. “Certification for all pharmacy technicians is the next step in doing just that.”
Since 1989, the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) has prepared and certified more than 1 million health care students and professionals, providing them with nationally recognized measurements of competency paired with easy-to-use study tools and personalized customer service. To learn more about NHA and its pharmacy technician certification exam, visit nhanow.com.
- 2021 Industry Outlook: Trends Impacting Allied Health Professionals. National Healthcareer Association. October 2021. https://info.nhanow.com/learning-leading-blog/2021-industry-outlook-trends-impacting-allied-health-professionals
- Shane P. Desselle, B.S.Pharm., Ph.D., FAPhA, Erin R. Holmes, Ph.D, Results of the 2015 National Certified Pharmacy Technician Workforce Survey, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Volume 74, Issue 13, 1 July 2017, Pages 981–991, https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp160666
- Alkhateeb, Fadi M., et al. (2011), Credentialing of Pharmacy Technicians in the USA, International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 219–227., doi:10.1111/j.2042-7174.2011.00095.x.
- Mattingly, A.N. & Mattingly, T.J., II (2017), Advancing the Role of the Pharmacy Technician: A Systematic Review, Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, doi: 10.1016.j.japh.2017.10.015.