Inventory Specialist Can Be a Challenging but Rewarding Role for Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy TimesMarch 2024
Volume 90
Issue 3

After years of seeking the right position, one technician combines her passions and skills as an inventory specialist

When an organization is lucky enough to have an experienced and dedicated team of technicians, anything is possible.

Many technicians strive for career growth. They want to be recognized for their personal strengths and set apart from other pharmacy technicians. It takes trial and error and lots of time for a technician to find their specific niche. For many years, I thought I was stuck on a very straight and narrow path as a technician. I felt I had chosen the wrong career path and knew I was capable of doing so much more.

White pill capsules in hand wearing white medical gloves - Image credit: WP_7824 |

Image credit: WP_7824 |

I started my career in a retail setting, and I learned a lot. Mostly, I learned what I didn’t want to do for the rest of my life, but I also learned basic pharmacy functions. After several years, I made the leap into an inpatient hospital setting. Filling Pyxis machines and preparing intravenous (IV) medications became my daily job, but it was just that—a job. I wanted a career: something with set hours, family benefits, and better pay.

About the Author

Becci Roetman is a CPhT Inventory Specialist at Nebraska Cancer Specialists in Omaha and is a member of the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians and the Academy of Pharmacy Technicians.

The insurance side of pharmacy intrigued me. I was interested in learning more about drug formularies and the prior authorization process. This was OK, but it wasn’t where I felt I could excel. I knew I wanted to be hands-on in the pharmacy. Looking through available technician openings and knowing retail was not for me, I decided to work in a small mail-order pharmacy. As much as I loved this position, it came to an end. The pharmacy was being bought out, and only remote authorization work would be available.

This was when I decided to go back to preparing IV medications, this time on a whole new level: chemotherapy. I was able to get right back into what I liked so much about the hospital. I quickly became a clinic lead at a small oncology practice and gained much respect from my peers.

Being an experienced and dedicated pharmacy technician continuously looking for career growth, I did not want to leave this growing, physician-owned, family-like practice. I sent an email to my pharmacy director and human resources titled “Shooting My Shot” in which I suggested being an inventory specialist. Luckily, they both knew my passion for and knowledge of pharmacy and my dedication to the practice. Thanks to this, my suggestion became a reality.

Today, I feel I have found my place and my niche. This role is a brand-new pharmacy technician position for our organization, and it is continuously evolving. On a daily basis, I help with medication management, pharmacy responsibilities, and nursing supply ordering. We have 6 metro-area clinics and 3 locations just a few hours away. I have found that helping with purchases and investigating drug inventory discrepancies are never boring or monotonous tasks. Since starting this new position, I have learned more about reverse distribution, buying from secondary vendors, and troubleshooting errors with our dispensing cabinet and inventory software.

Knowing I can directly help our practice save thousands of dollars and being able to help manage a multimillion-dollar inventory is both challenging and rewarding. Searching for short supply or back-ordered drugs and essential supplies will forever be a need and I’m proud to say I’m helping.

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