What’s the Outlook of Pharmacy Technician Careers?

A career in pharmaceutical science is always rewarding, as a pharmacy technician is among the leading professionals in the pharmaceuticals industry. Pharmacy technician is always there to assist pharmacists in filling prescriptions for drugs and reviewing orders for drug allergies, interactions and incompatibilities. Pharmacy Technicians may also be responsible for calling doctors’ offices for prescription refill; cleaning and sterilizing dispensing bottles and instruments; answering questions regarding non-drug products; transporting medications, drug-delivery devices, and other pharmacy equipment from the pharmacy to nursing units and clinics.

Pharmacy technicians should possess a National pharmacy training certificate as Pharmacists usually prefer to employ certified pharmacy technicians. With the increase in population and the hospitals as well as medical centre, the need will increase and pharmacy technicians will be in large demand. Some hospitals, proprietary schools, vocational or technical colleges, and community colleges offer formal education programs inclusive of internships, where students gain hands-on experience in actual pharmacies.

To pursue pharmacy technician as a career, one has to pass the licensing exam and be ready to answer all queries from the patients and guide them perfectly. Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhT) obtained the license issued by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. Exams are conducted at various centers nationally and there are also employers who provide on-the-job training for people and then recruit them as pharmacy technicians.

Pharmacy technicians must ascertain that people understand and follow their instructions as they need to make sure all the instructions have been clearly articulated. They need to precise in their communication. Pharmacy technicians should be knowledgeable in respect to the effects of all medicines, and whether these medicines and drugs can be given to the patients.

Science classes are good preparation for oneself in the process of getting the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree curriculum. Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, Science and mathematics are especially desirable. Those with good written and verbal communication skills are excellent candidates. A balanced and comprehensive high school and college education is the first step in the pursuit of a professional degree in pharmacy, especially in the areas of math and science

Although pharmacists do not have the most visible job in health care they are a critical element to the delivery of quality patient care. Some of the areas where Pharmacy Technicians can contribute in are;

1. Nursing Home and Extended Care Facility Pharmacy – They review patient charts for correct dosages, drug interactions, adverse reactions, or side effects as consultants.

2. Community Pharmacy – Community pharmacists are charged with the safe and efficient distribution of prescription medications, advising patients on the proper use of their prescription and non-prescription medication use and keeping the records of patients and their health, illnesses, and medications.

3. Industrial Pharmacy – Pharmacists in pharmaceutical manufacturing may work in research, and development, testing of medications in lots of multiple sectors. Pharmacists who work in the pharmaceutical industry need an additional postgraduate degree, such as a master’s or a Ph.D. degree.

4. Advanced Pharmacy Careers – Doctor of Pharmacy or Pharm. Degree graduates can work as drug information specialists in a hospital or other health care organizations. They will be able to find ample practice opportunities in managing health care organizations, home health-care agencies and general and specialized clinics.

In 2002, pharmacy aides occupied about 60,000 jobs in the United States. Approximately 80% are employed by private retail pharmacies or drugstore chain stores and about 10% labor in hospitals, and the remaining in pharmacies that use mail-order pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, or clinics.

Employers favor candidates with well-established customer service and good communication skills and familiarity in handling inventories and working on a computer. Full-time as well as part-time work opportunities are deemed to be excellent, particularly for aides with job experience relating to pharmacology, stock clerks, or cashiers in different retail locations.

So if you have all it takes to be a qualified pharmacist technician, and have lots of confident in excelling in this field, hope that all the information here are useful as your step towards a physical technician career!

What’s Your Pharmacists Name? An Untapped Health Care Resource

The two most important health care professionals you have are your doctor and your pharmacist. Unless you are hospitalized, or undergo surgery, most of your health care will come in the form of products and preparations from your local pharmacy. You know your doctor’s name, do you know the name of your pharmacist? Those who do are probably customers of an independently owned pharmacy, an overlooked resource for excellent health care.

While all pharmacists have roughly the same training, a pharmacist in a “big box” store often is supervising the work of technicians. While this is an efficient means of dispensing medications, most patients do not interact with the pharmacist and are not able to readily access their knowledge and experience. In some chains, it is easier to get the retail manager to help you with a cold remedy than the pharmacist or pharmacist technician, and a customer would be fortunate if the pharmacy staff offered to check and make sure there were not any adverse reactions between the over the counter medicine and any prescription medications they are taking.

Independent pharmacies are typically owned and operated by the same person. Running an independent pharmacy is challenging, but most would tell you that they got into the business to care for people, not just dispense medicine. Independent pharmacists take on the extra burden because they want to provide an extra measure of care than what they can do as a managing pharmacist in a large chain.

I do know the name of my pharmacist, by the way, and like my doctor he knows I am married, work as a webmaster and go to church regularly. I know that if I have a health question I can call him and ask and he cares enough to listen carefully. My pharmacist knows everything you need to know about medicine, but as an experienced health care provider he is familiar with a wide variety of helpful treatments for illnesses or injuries that may not merit a visit to a doctor. A good pharmacist can help with sprains and bruises, with splints and supports. Discuss unexpected fevers or unfamiliar rashes with your pharmacist and they will likely know exactly what to do. Many carry products that make life easier when caring for an aging parent, or can offer counsel on managing chronic illnesses like Diabetes.

Independent pharmacies run by an owner often do specialty work such as compounding. A compounding pharmacist can customize the dosage or delivery method of medications for patients. Women needing hormone replacement therapy often benefit from carefully tailored dosages made possible by compounding pharmacists. Other services include counseling to find better medications for patients who look for a more effective remedy or seek a less expensive alternative to their prescription. In many states, a pharmacist can provide flu and pneumonia shots as well as travel vaccinations for your overseas trip. Your community pharmacist is often a great resource for vitamins, minerals and herbal preparations.

To take full advantage of your pharmacist as a member of your health care team, visit and ask to meet him or her. Talk with them about your health concerns. Pharmacists, like doctors, are bound to treat your personal health information with complete confidence. You can find an independent pharmacy in your neighborhood by running an internet search for pharmacy and your city name.

How to Check Online Pharmacies’ Pedigree

To investigate any health-related matters, such as which online pharmacies are reliable or if anyone else has used a pharmacy without prescription requirements, careful internet can search relevant health forum discussion boards. There are lots of health forums especially for discussing online pharmacies that other forum users have had experience with. They can also be used for researching particular online pharmacies they you might be considering buying products from, or finding a good online pharmacy if you haven’t yet found one. An even quicker way than trawling through forums is to use a pharmacy reviews website. There are a few of these around and there is even one free site out there. Reviews websites for online pharmacies have done the hard work of finding out whether particular online pharmacies — for example Mexican pharmacies online, or online pharmacies without prescription requirements — are reputable. They can provide a reassuringly well-checked way of finding out if a pharmacy you wish to use is reliable. Often they have user feedback features to read what other people, who have bought there, thought about that pharmacy too.

But there are are other, less tangible benefits to using a forum to search for this sort of information instead, even if it is not the most efficient way to search for reliable pharmacies online:

It can be comforting to get answers from real people on a health forum. This is especially the case for people who suffer from certain medical problems that they feel, due to embarrassment or lack of understanding, they cannot discuss with family or friends. However, obviously chat on forums should be taken with a pinch of salt and never be a substitute for advice from your physician. Probably one of the best features of online pharmacy forums is that you can ask any of the discussants any questions about pretty much anything related to the topic, extending your knowledge. You will find forum participants tend to be very helpful on the whole.

By either reading and joining in the discussions on online pharmacy forums, or using an online pharmacy reviews website you won’t fall into the same trap that others have fallen into before you. Such information could save you from being ripped-off. There are a handful of unreliable and sometimes even criminal online pharmacies out there, but pharmacy reviews websites normally have a blacklist of rip-off pharmacies to look out for, so you can avoid these by checking one of these review websites.

Some things to look for in joining or reading an online pharmacy forum to check that the forum has reliable information on are forums that receive a lot of visitors, usually the more the better. Many people use forums or pharmacy reviews websites these days and their numbers are growing exponentially. People might look for Mexican pharmacies online or online pharmacies without prescription requirements, or they might just look for a hard to find prescription medication that it would be cheaper to buy online (it is almost always cheaper to buy online). Some people like to find generic (non-branded) versions of popular drugs. By looking on health forums or pharmacy reviews websites they can tell, not only if they will save money shopping online, but also that they can rest assured their package will arrive in a timely manner.

mAdherence and mHealth Trends Advance Pharmacy ROI

Is What We Knew Last Month Now History?

Who reading here believes that what we thought we knew last month is now history? In our environ of rapid, almost immediate (if not daily) changes, how will these challenges cause our customer service and patient-oriented adherence activities to change?

Being successful as a pharmacy owner or hospital outpatient pharmacy director today demands constant awareness of the proposed national mandates… and more importantly… immediate understanding of the impact on the pharmacy’s ROI (return on investment). Knowing which low-level profitable pharmacy workflow activities demand the most time to complete can allow pharmacy workflow adjustments so less time is spent on these human resource consuming efforts.

These understandings can be used to improve ROI success… even though they are unique to each and every pharmacy. Will this knowledge support establishment of more available time that can be used in the high-level profitable areas? It can when selected pharmacy workflow functions are re-assigned and enhanced patient education occurs. A major result is enhanced medication adherence by patients.

Challenges to ROI Come From Everywhere

Today, challenges to pharmacy ROI are more frequent with many a result of the virtualization trends that are occurring. What do you know about mAdherence (mobile adherence) and mHealth (mobile health) and how they can impact ROI?

It’s well known that the solution to any problem lies at the base of that problem. With this in mind, why not accelerate implementation of mAdherence and mHealth efforts to support awareness of the high-level profitable pharmacy workflow activities? Which elements or steps of pharmacy workflow and patient education for medication and therapy adherence can be categorized low-level profitable or high-level profitable? No doubt the categorization will be unique to each pharmacy operation, yet there are some similarities.

Defining the Time-Takers, the Time-Savers and the Money-Makers

Rather than abruptly considering Time-Takers as “aliens invading our pharmacy workflow planet”, most pharmacists understand several time-taker type activities fall into two categories: pharmacy workflow and secondly, patient education/medication and therapy adherence activities completed by the pharmacist and staff. Within traditional pharmacy workflow, simple casual observation suggests the selection/counting/filling/verification and prescription adjudication areas are the largest Time-Takers. It is also easy to consider the effort (and time) needed to complete patient education and adherence activities as another Time-Taker.

But which Time-Savers are available to challenge these Time-Takers? How might the Time-Savers convert Time-Takers into Money-Makers? The Time-Taker activity of selection/counting/filling/verification activity can be easily and quickly converted. The answer: Automated Pharmacy Dispensing. Numerous systems for automated counting and automated dispensing are available in today’s automation environ. Only certain of these systems however can eliminate as many as 7-9 of the necessary steps involved in the selection/counting/filling/verification sequence. Prescription adjudication, insurance problem solving and therapy management adjustments by the pharmacist… on the other hand… can also often be another time-consuming effort (opportunity?).

Some independent pharmacies and select hospital outpatient pharmacies dedicate senior pharmacy technicians to solve potential adjudication issues or care transition needs in advance of the dispensing and education/adherence process. Upcoming fills for any individual can be pre-screened for possible insurance issues, combination with other forthcoming refills, pre-authorization of payments for medication therapy management and other health-supporting activities (immunizations, body mass, etc.).

Working through whether or not a patient has an insurance payer that will support medication therapy management efforts before any discussion with the patient saves considerable discussion time later, allows them to understand the complexity of the activity and diffuses patient aggravation.

Are Pharmacy Case Managers An Answer?

The concept of pharmacy-completed, patient-specific, healthcare “case management” approaches are new to the profession. With support from full-time (as opposed to part-time) senior certified and registered pharmacy technicians responsible for specific patients, these technicians can work with the patient/customer supporting the advance of the patient’s health improvement. These approaches are not unlike those being using by hospital outpatient pharmacies in their care transition efforts for discharged patients.

Incorporation of mAdherence (mobile adherence) and mHealth (mobile health) through the use of specifically designed smart phone apps with this case manager approach converts the Time-Takers into Time-Savers enlarging Money-Maker opportunities. The patients subsequently feel they are a family member of the “pharmacy” and have a pharmacy medication/therapy home.

Although it would first appear most Time-Takers might never be considered Money-Makers, the use of adjustments in approach to effecting traditional pharmacy workflow and patient adherence activities can actually elevate these Time-Takers into Time-Savers and Money-Makers.

What a Pharmacy Technician Does

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do?

I have been writing articles on why and how to become a pharmacy technician, but some recent feedback has made me realize I left out the obvious. What is it that pharmacy technicians do in a pharmacy? Most people figure they help the pharmacist enter prescriptions and count pills. This is true for an outpatient pharmacy, also called a retail pharmacy, but there are many roles for pharmacy technicians in healthcare. The rest of this article will list different types of pharmacy settings and the roles that pharmacy technicians have in these settings.

Community/Retail Pharmacy:

I have worked retail, and I prefer other settings; however, it is where a large percentage of pharmacy technician jobs are found. What a pharmacy technician can do is determined by the state they work via state laws and rules. In general, technicians cannot provide clinical information to patients or be the final check for prescriptions. In some states, technicians are allowed to provide information on over-the-counter (OTC) medication (ie, medications that do not require a prescription, such as, acetaminophen and ibuprofen). Pharmacy technician tasks include, but are not limited to:

• Collecting patient information (insurance and personal information as needed)
• Entering and processing prescriptions in the computer system
• Filling and selling prescriptions
• Requesting refills from doctor offices for patients
• Compounding medications that are not commercially available
• Ordering medications
• Restocking shelves
• Answering the phone
• Working with insurance companies on approving payment for certain medications
• Maintaining the cash register and conducting accounting functions

Hospital Pharmacy:

There are many different roles for pharmacy technicians in a hospital pharmacy. I know this type of pharmacy best since this is where most of my work has been. The most common are technicians who work in the central pharmacy. In addition we have decentralized techs, sterile compounding techs, billing techs, OR techs, narcotic techs, database techs, automation techs, team lead techs, and buyer techs. These technicians as a whole perform the following tasks, but not limited to:

• Filling new orders, this includes a variety of medications from oral medications to specially prepared sterile compound medications (including chemotherapy meds)
• Answering the phone
• Tubing medications (if the pharmacy has a pneumatic tube station)
• Preparing medications for delivery
• Delivering medications
• Assisting floor pharmacists with medication histories
• Assisting floor pharmacists with IV drip checks
• Handling missing dose calls
• Billing medications where nurse charting does not bill
• Maintaining the pharmacy database
• Restocking operating rooms and anesthesia trays with appropriate medication
• Dispensing and tracking all controlled substances throughout the hospital
• Maintaining automation equipment [automated dispensing cabinets that store medication on nursing units, automatic fill systems (typically called Robot-Rx)]
• Purchasing of all medication and supplies needed in the pharmacy
• Leading and managing the technician workforce, including upkeep of schedules

Long-Term Care Pharmacy:

I have worked at a couple of long-term care pharmacies, and I think it is a great place to be a technician. They typically employee a lot of techs because the work load lends itself to a lot of technician tasks. These pharmacies provide the medication needs for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and psychiatric facilities. The typical pharmacy is located in a warehouse. It does not have an open pharmacy for people to come to; they receive orders by fax and deliver all medications via couriers or drivers to facilities. The oral medication is filled in blister packs (cards of 30 tabs that are used to provide a 1 month supply of medication), or some other mechanism that provide the facility with an extended amount of medication doses that can be safely and cleanly kept until doses are due. Pharmacy technician tasks include, but are not limited to:

• Filling new and refill orders (different from hospital because of the number of doses provided)
• Processing new order and refills coming through the fax machine
• Order entry of prescriptions and printing of labels for fill techs
• Sterile compounding of medications (although there aren’t as many sterile compounded medications as a hospital, there are still enough that most long-term care pharmacies have a few techs specialize in sterile compounding
• Billing medications to homes
• Controlled substance dispensing and documentation
• Ordering medications and supplies
• Restocking medications that are returned that are still suitable for reuse.

Home Infusion Pharmacy:

These pharmacies primarily care for patients that require some form of IV or other non oral medication, and want to receive the therapy at home (hence the name home-infusion). I have also worked in a home-infusion pharmacy. As a tech I had a lot of experience in sterile compounding, and found my self in any position that needed a IV room tech. Pharmacy technician tasks include, but are not limited to:

• Compounding sterile preparations in the clean room
• Preparing supplies associated with sterile medication administration for delivery
• Billing medications delivered to patients home
• Coordinating deliveries of medications with patients
• Entering orders in the pharmacy order entry system

Nuclear Pharmacy:

No, I have not worked in a nuclear pharmacy (I am sure you were staring to think I got around quite a bit, but I have been in pharmacy for about 17 years). I have some friends who work in a nuclear pharmacy. The hours are interesting; they usually come in at about 3 AM and work until about noon. These types of pharmacies make radioactive compounds and they need to be made in a way that when they are delivered to the hospital or clinic administering them, that the dose has degraded to a specific amount. Without going into too much detail, these medications have short half-lives. So they have to time the compounding of the product with the time it takes to deliver the medication and the time the patient is to receive the dose. The job pays well, but as you can imagine, there are not a ton of these positions available. Pharmacy technician tasks include, but are not limited to:

• Preparing radioactive products
• Cleaning and preparing sterile compounding areas
• Entering orders into the pharmacy system
• Coordinating dose due times with deliveries and preparation
• Billing products to hospital or clinic

Health Plans/HMO Pharmacy Group:

I saved this one for last because it is a lot different. Most healthcare plans have a pharmacy department. They manage the pharmacy benefit of the health plan. I have worked with my companies health plan and have spent some time with the pharmacy department. Pharmacy technician tasks include, but are not limited to:

• Answering phone calls and providing support for patients on the pharmacy benefit
• Reviewing prior authorization requests
• Providing support to physicians and drug companies for information requests
• Supporting the pharmacists in the department with database and projects as needed

As you can see, pharmacy technician roles can be very diverse. The best advice I can give you is to figure out what setting you would most like to work in and obtain some experiential hours in that setting. I have found that the type of pharmacy you train in is typically the type of pharmacy you end up working in.

Advantages Of Homestays Over Hotels

Missing the sense of living in a home in hotels? Have you started to think that living in hotels has become too mainstream. Well then Homestays are the best option for you. With a sense of living right at your home in a new city to which you are traveling, homestays are a very good option to consider.

What is Homestay?

Homestay is basically a form of lodging where travelers get to live in a person’s home living in the locality to which you are traveling to. They may be free of costs at times or they may be something like a home exchange which has close meaning to student exchanges.

Why is it better than Hotels?

Nowadays living in a hotel is what everyone does. But, does it give you the satisfaction of really going to the place and enjoying it to the fullest? Not really. That is why now people are shifting attention to other options like Homestays.

They give you the comfort of home in a tourist spot:

  • You get to have the experience of the local lifestyle.
  • What better place to enjoy the local cuisine than at the place of a person living in that area for years.
  • It gives you a taste of local culture.
  • They save on costs of hotels at times.
  • You get to make connections with the local people of different class/ culture within that one stay.
  • Staying in a friendly and family kind of environment

Even though the Estate stays are cheaper and gives you a home type of feeling, last minute cancellations on the host part or some other minor problems may be troublesome and difficult to handle during your tour.

While searching for homestays the main aim should not be just finding an accommodation to live in but it should be more of an experience which you get when you stay at a local person’s home. It is an experience worth having in your lifetime. You get to know people, their lifestyle as mentioned above, but above all you get to know the type of people who live in that area. If the place is surrounded by trees, is situated near a forest or is close to places where natural beauty can be seen in the locality then all this makes your stay more magical and amazing.

Tourists always find it difficult to firstly find an accommodation and then find the places to visit in the locality once they do that. Then they end up spending money on guides, maps and whatnot. But if you find an accommodation at a Homestay, then you can have the first hand experience of traveling to local tourist spots from your host. Your host can tell you all about the best place to eat, to shop, to see etc.

All this can be enjoyed by you if opt out of staying in hotels which don’t give you the benefits of living like Homestays and prefer estate stays over them.

Happy travelling with Homestay.

Effective Ways to Save Money on Hotel Booking

In today’s era when everything has become globally expanded and worldwide organizations are running an extra mile to serve communities across the earth, traveling have become more important than ever. Hence, people have started to consider voyaging as a daily part of life to either solve the business purposes or to have a break from all the stress. In both cases, finding an accommodation that can suit your requirements, budget and timing has become a major crisis and you all must be wondering on how to save those extra bucks on accommodation while traveling to an unknown place. To answer that question, this article has come up with the most amazing ideas after consulting the expert travelers and researching through the market to give you a final conclusion of effective ways to save money while booking a hotel. So, check out the list below and make your escapes much more affordable and enjoyable at the same time:

1. Timing is the Key

No matter what you do, the perfect timing covers the half way towards your success and when you are planning a vacation, it is really important as you might get caught-up in either hefty demand or a time when everything is closed. It is always important to keep on looking for the deals months before to ensure you get the perfect prices as per your season or take the chance for making a last minute search to get the cancelled rooms at an affordable price. Also, by perfect timing, we mean to plan your vacation in the season that is neither on the peak, nor on the off when we speak of tourism and ensure you get it all with perfect weather conditions, less demand and more fun.

2. Comparing for Best Deals

Most of the people these days go for the giant agencies or the trusted agents to get their bookings done and mostly end-up paying more for putting their trust in wrong hands. It is often advised by the expert travelers to always compare the prices between travel agencies and hotel groups to find the best quote and get the bookings done after finding what is best suitable for your trip. There are an abundant number of reputed as well as start-up travel agencies that allow you to book your hotel accommodation on seasonal sale, special discount and other offers exclusively available in the market to outshine others and give you a dream getaway you always wanted.

3. Looking for Less Prominent Locations

Hotel accommodations located near the prominent sites and attractions are costlier than the hotels and resorts located in other parts of the city. Whereas the prominent locality may give you the edge of exploring the attractions with a few blocks of walking, the hotels located farther are willing to offer you more at lower prices to get your attention as well as to give you the finest quality of stays. Hotels near the biggest landmarks and prime localities are often found packed throughout the seasons and require advance booking procedure which also pays a big contribution in higher prices. If you book your hotel room in places that are a little away from these major sites and are located at less prominent places, you will surely find some quality accommodation at lower plans.

4. Use of Memberships

While paying or at the time of booking, we often forget to take other sources into account which can be more beneficial for us and often miss the opportunity to save a little extra while booking a hotel stay. These days, when organization is racing to get your attention and business from you, they also give you some privilege of getting cash-backs, discounts and other perks and leverages while using their special and exclusive membership options. Many banks and card companies these days give some special offers while collaborating with the travel agencies and give some cash-back as well as discounts on transaction of a certain minimum amount. Usage of these offers can also give you some extra benefits to ensure some more savings on the hotel booking.

5. Find what you Actually Require

In the hunger of finding the best accommodation option, we often lean towards finding hotel deals that provide it all and often pay more for services and amenities that we don’t really required. Before making your hotel booking with B&B, All Inclusive and half-board options, always sort your requirements and think accordingly whether you will be needing those services or not. It is quite obvious that the more services you add on your hotel room, the more you are going to pay. Hence, always book for the things you require and try to avoid those services that you might use and can get them if required as an add-on.

Whenever you plan a holiday for yourself or with friends, you can come up with many more options such as finding hostels, couch surfing (not for every destination), finding a person you know and more, yet these concepts are not worthy when you are either on an executive trip or on a holiday with your family or loved ones. So, if you have been thinking for going on your next vacation and taking a step back on your decision after watching hefty hotel prices, then all you need now is to effectively go through these points and consider them all before making your hotel booking to save a good fortune. However, if you have been thinking to save a little extra, you can always search for some seasonal offers on flights as well.