The day-to-day tasks of a pharmacy technician in a hospital are unique to that environment.
Pharmacy technician employers can be grouped into 4 main categories: community pharmacies (retail pharmacies), specialty pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.
Education and certification requirements for these roles can largely be the same with some extra emphasis placed on specific tasks based on the working environment. However, the day-to-day tasks of a pharmacy technician in a hospital are unique to that environment.
Whether you're currently working in a community or retail pharmacy and considering making a career change, or you're working toward your CPhT certification and are trying to decide which working environment would best suit you, it's helpful to know some key differences.
Here are 5 tasks unique to pharmacy technicians working in a hospital setting.
1. Investigational drug service (IDS)
Hospital pharmacy technicians assist in all aspects of clinical trial management. Working closely with sponsors, primary investigators, study teams, and drug suppliers, pharmacy technicians help ensure adherence to trial guidelines.
2. Medication history technician
Hospital pharmacy technicians may serve the role of a medication history technician. In some cases, this is its own role entirely, and is fulfilled by a certified pharmacy technician. As a medication history technician, you meet with patients or patient representatives at admission to comprise an accurate list of medications that the patient is currently taking using structured patient interviews.
3. Preparation of sterile and non-sterile compounds
Hospital pharmacy technicians provide oversight and management of hospital onsite and offsite compounding facilities to maintain and achieve adherence to all regulatory requirements for sterile and non sterile compounding. Preparation of various sterile compounds—such as chemotherapy medications and pediatric IVs—requires specific knowledge of aseptic technique and calculations.
4. Special medications and delivery methods
In a community pharmacy, technicians are working with and interacting directly with patients who are self-administering medication at home. In a hospital, interaction is mostly with doctors and other medical staff, and medication is most often administered by nurses.
Everything from the types of medication pharmacy technicians prepare to the medication delivery method is unique in a hospital setting.
5. Pharmacy procurement and purchasing
Hospital pharmacy technicians work with drug wholesalers, pharmaceutical companies and others to procure needed medications and supplies.
Hospital pharmacies and community pharmacies, in many ways, are 2 different worlds. Some pharmacy technicians start their career in community pharmacies, and then shift to the hospital setting later in their career for new challenges and experiences.
If you're interested in a career as a pharmacy technician in a hospital or community pharmacy, learn more about starting your certification journey. If you're currently working in the field and are interesting in changing practice setting, the first step to take is making sure your CPhT certification is up-to-date.
SOURCE: National Healthcareer Association