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What Are the Rules Pharmacy Technicians Need to Follow?

Published: March 3, 2021
 

As a Pharmacy Technician, you’ll play an important role in healthcare delivery. Your job will be to help the pharmacist with their day-to-day duties and also help patients receive the medications they need to aid in their recovery. It’s an essential job, but one that requires great accuracy and attention to detail. You will also need to follow some important rules to keep your patients safe. The most important rule to understand is that your role is much different from a pharmacist.

Pharmacy Technician Rules and Regulations

Patient safety is of the utmost importance when you handle medication. One small mistake, such as miscounting the number of pills or putting the wrong label on a bottle, could seriously affect a patient’s health. To ensure that your patients stay safe, you’ll need to follow these rules:

  • You Must Have a Pharmacist Review Everything: You cannot hand a prescription over to a patient if it hasn’t been signed off by a pharmacist. A pharmacist will need to check each and every prescription you fill before it’s delivered. That’s not to micromanage you—it’s to give your work a second pair of eyes. It’s also the law.
  • You Cannot Recommend Medications: You’re not allowed to recommend medications to a patient. Only a pharmacist can do that. They’ve been trained to understand how medications mix and what effects they can have on people. If someone asks you to recommend an over-the-counter medication for them, you should refer them to the pharmacist.
  • You Cannot Give Medical Advice: Similarly, you cannot provide instructions about how medications should be taken. If people have questions about their dosage, the effects they can expect, or how to administer the medication, you must refer them to the pharmacist. If the pharmacist is too busy to speak with the patient themselves and asks you to relay the information, that is permitted. Just be sure to take accurate notes so you can relay the message exactly.

It’s okay to be honest with patients. Let them know that you are a Pharmacy Technician and are not trained to provide medical advice, then refer them to the pharmacist. Honesty is always the best policy and in this case it’s not just the right thing to do—it’s the safest thing to do.

What’s the Difference Between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician?

If you’ve ever stopped by your local retail pharmacy or grocery store to pick up a prescription, chances are it was the Pharmacy Technician who handed you your medication and handled the transaction as well. But that doesn’t mean a Pharmacy Technician is a pharmacist. A pharmacist has an advanced degree and has studied science and medicine. A pharmacist oversees the pharmacy and advises patients on what medications they should take and how to take them. But a Pharmacy Technician is an important part of the pharmacy, with a long list of duties and responsibilities:

Pharmacy Technician Responsibilities

  • Fills prescriptions
  • Submits refill requests
  • Processes insurance claims
  • Manages the inventory
  • Works the register
  • Fills out important paperwork

 

If you have an interest in healthcare and want a career that enables you to help people, call Charter College today. We offer a Certificate in Pharmacy Technician program in Washington that will prepare you for a new career in as few as 10 months. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.