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Pharmacy Technicians Are Important

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Chuck DiTrapano, RPh and Joanne Adam, CPhT express the importance that a well-trained pharmacy technician has for a pharmacy. While Chuck emphasizes the value that technicians have, Joanne encourages technicians to pursue advancements and certifications to improve their skills.

There is a common misconception that the pharmacy industry is purely product-driven. As a practicing pharmacist, I can attest that this perception is only partially correct.

Pharmacy is, and always has been, an information-driven profession. As the profession has evolved over the last several decades, the role of the pharmacist has moved more toward the information side and away from the product side. 

Pharmacists in virtually any practice setting are challenged to determine the correct drug to use, the correct dose, and the implications for a patient with underlying chronic illnesses. These changes in pharmacy practice have created challenges and opportunities for support of the practicing pharmacist. 

Other professions who have also undertaken these challenges have developed “extenders,” or support personnel to assist them in managing their practice. The pharmacy technician is that extender for pharmacists. 

Years ago, anyone with a job in a drug store could call themselves a pharmacy technician. To meet the demand for skilled, knowledgeable technicians, the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board was established. This group sets practice and competency standards for pharmacy technicians.

In my practice as a hospital pharmacist, I realized that to create efficiency and ensure medication safety, it takes a team. Pharmacy technicians are an integral part of this team.

A pharmacy technician prepares medication.

Virtually every medication that I approved for dispensing was prepared by a pharmacy technician. As we worked as a team with very defined roles, it was apparent that I could not and would not want to perform my job without them.

The following guest post was written by Joanne Adam, a certified pharmacy technician. We thank Joanne for sharing her story in More Than Just a Pharmacy Technician, and contributing to the RxToolKit Blog.

My experiences as a pharmacy technician have changed in the last 3 years since I wrote More Than Just a Pharmacy Technician for RxToolKit.  When I wrote it, I was telling a story about my experience as a pharmacy technician in a hospital setting and how it had changed in the last 18 years.

I retired over four years ago from the hospital, but continue to keep up my certification.  I can’t relate to the changes in a hospital setting now, but I have seen the advancements of the role of a certified pharmacy technician. 

Once you earn your Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), you can work towards your Certified Compounded Sterile Preparation (CSPT) and Advanced Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT-Adv).  In addition, there are 10 certificates that specialize in different areas of pharmacy.

It is an exciting time to be a pharmacy technician.  There are so many opportunities for growth as a technician.  You truly can become an important part of the pharmacy organization.

And yes, you can become “More Than Just a Pharmacy Technician.”

For more information about pharmacy technician certification, visit Use code SUMMER10 at checkout to claim a 10% off discount, available now through August 31.

Chuck DiTrapano, RPh

Chuck DiTrapano, RPh

RxToolKit Founder and VP of Pharmacy Education, Chuck DiTrapano, is a pharmacist, seasoned healthcare executive, and military veteran. Before founding RxToolKit, Chuck served in various leadership roles within large healthcare organizations including Vitalink Pharmacy Services and Omnicare. Chuck served as the Operations Manager of Reading Health System’s Pharmacy from 2001 until 2017. At Reading, Chuck was inspired to start RxToolKit as he saw firsthand the need to enhance medication safety through process improvement.

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About RxToolKit

RxToolKit was founded by an experienced infusion pharmacist to act as a virtual pharmacist. RxToolKit’s flagship software solutions include RxWorkFlow and RxELearning which are web-based applications designed to reduce medication errors, enhance clinical competencies, increase patient safety, and improve clinical outcomes.

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