Supporting Technicians Increases Resiliency

SupplementsApril 2023 Technician Supplement
Volume 6

Routinely celebrating their work contributions and dedication adds value to your organization.

Newly hired pharmacy technicians demonstrate a commitment to their careers by meeting their employer or state certification and/or competency requirements. So what accounts for the turnover rates seen in the pharmacy industry? The answer is complex and varied but essential to explore.

The results of 2 surveys of pharmacy technicians and hospital and health-system administrators conducted for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists showed turnover rates of technicians, both certified and uncertified, of at least 21% in 2021 and highlighted what is needed to recruit and retain them.1

Physicians applauding and supporting team | Image credit: Nina Lawrenson/ -

Physicians applauding and supporting team | Image credit: Nina Lawrenson/ -

Burnout, career opportunities, and mental health concerns are among the reasons behind these results, which managers and organizations should recognize to support retention efforts for technicians.2

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) strives to improve the health care system through the certification and ongoing training of allied health professionals. It sponsored an independent study led by Touro University California College of Pharmacy in Vallejo to explore why this growing profession has such a short life cycle.

In 2022, investigators surveyed 3000 NHA-certified pharmacy technicians. Results of the survey, which aimed to assess resiliency levels, were published in The Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.2

Why Assess Technician Resiliency?

Resiliency is the ability to overcome difficulties, and the day-to-day life of a technician is undoubtedly difficult. Astounding stress related to workforce shortages is adding to this difficulty. The resiliency of technicians surveyed was measured using an adapted version of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and explored respondents’ feelings about topics such as commitment, coworker support, future uncertainty, and turnover.

The 822 responses deemed usable showed some key insights, including:

  1. Camaraderie and support from coworkers help build resiliency among certified pharmacy technicians, and management can likewise assist in building a culture of friendship and teamwork.
  2. Transformative leadership behaviors by pharmacists, such as developing and mentoring, helping others build their strengths, and taking a personal interest in others, are especially helpful in strengthening technician resilience.
  3. There are moderate to strong levels of resilience among certified pharmacy technicians, regardless of practice setting.
  4. Certified pharmacy technicians with higher levels of resilience are less likely to leave their jobs, more committed to their employers, and more likely to remain in the profession.
  5. Certified pharmacy technicians with greater resilience are less likely to encounter future uncertainty and thus feel more confident about their place in the future delivery of pharmacy and health care services.


Those who educate or employ technicians will find value in reading the full article in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association to help build greater resiliency among technician staff members. The research team compiled data robust enough to inform 2 additional articles on the topic of technician resiliency, both of which have been published in industry journals. Employer should routinely celebrate technicians’ contributions, dedication, values, and work. Small acts of appreciation help improve resiliency and retention rates. For fresh ideas, check out an NHA blog titled “Six Ways to Honor Your Pharmacy Technicians.”3


Research authors were Valerie Wasem, PharmD candidate; Ashley Woodyard, PharmD candidate; Shane P. Desselle, PhD, RPh, FAPhA, a professor in the Department of Social, Behavioral & Administrative Science; Sina Hosseini, PharmD candidate, all at Touro University California College of Pharmacy in Vallejo; Kenneth C. Hohmeier, PhD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and translational science and director of community affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in Nashville; and Kimberly C. McKeirnan, PharmD, a clinical associate professor at Washington State University College of Pharmacy in Spokane.

About the Author

Jessica Langley-Loep, MS, is the executive director of education and advocacy at the National Healthcareer Association in Leawood, Kansas.


1. Hospitals and health systems experiencing severe shortage of pharmacy technicians. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. March 15, 2022. Accessed March 13, 2023.

2. Wasem V, Woodyard A, Desselle SP, Hosseini S, Hohmeier KC, McKeirnan KC. Correlations to and potential implications of resilience among certified pharmacy technicians. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2023;63(1):90-96. doi:10.1016/j.japh.2022.08.023

3. Baker C. Six great ways to honor your pharmacy technicians. Learning + Leading. March 2023. Accessed March 14, 2023.

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