Pharmacy organizations and associations offer many benefits to, and can fulfill many needs for, both pharmacists and technicians.
Pharmacy organizations and associations offer many benefits to, and can fulfill many needs for, both pharmacists and technicians. These groups can offer networking, continuing education opportunities, free publications, and leadership opportunities.1
Although some pharmacy organizations are specific to just pharmacists, there are many organizations available for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to join, some of which provide specialty information for specific pharmacy fields. The Table1 lists some pharmacy organizations and their specialities.1
A majority of the participants of Our Voice, a journaling initiative powered by the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT), is a member of at least one organization; the most popular of which among Our Voice respondents are the National Pharmacy Technicians Association (43%), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (38%), and AAPT (14%). In addition to being members of these organizations, 38% of respondents are also members of local state pharmacy associations.
Maintaining membership in an organization is important for utilizing specific values and benefits that each may offer. In addition, being active in a professional organization may help advance a career, extend networking opportunities, or create additional leadership opportunities. Of the Our Voice participants, 22% have, or currently are in, an active role within an organization through holding an office position, attending an annual conference, or volunteering within the group to achieve organizational goals.
Membership dues may also play a role in pharmacy technician involvement. Although pharmacist-led organizations generally lower technician membership fees, 43% of Our Voice respondents sometimes found difficulty in budgeting for renewal and membership dues, and 66% say the financial burden limits their involvement within pharmacy organizations.
Pharmacy organizations may offer specific content based on specialty and type of member. For Our Voice participants, the most important offering from an organization is continuing education: 94% of respondents felt this was a need that must be met by joining an organization. Participants also described networking, lowcost membership dues, and access to current pharmacy news as important when considering becoming a member of a pharmacy organization.
There are many reasons to join a pharmacy professional organization, and each organization has its own benefits. Pharmacy organizations can help both pharmacists and technicians become united as a practice, and motivate and inspire those within, to advocate for the advancement and standardization of the technician profession.14
Kristy Malacos, MS, CPhT, is the pharmacy administrator at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton, Ohio, through Pharmacy Systems, Inc.