Pharmacy Technician

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Pharmacy Technician Contact our dedicated Pharmacy desk for upto date current live vacancies in the NHS and the private clinics. Our experienced consultants will search and assist you finding the suitable placement. We are a Buying Solutions approved supplier and have access to all Pharmacy and Pharmacy Technician vacancies in the NHS and retail Pharmacy practice.  

 

What is a Pharmacy Technician ?

Pharmacy Technicians in the NHS work mainly in one of two areas, Hospital Pharmacy and Community Pharmacy although opportunities also exist in other areas such as GP practices and in Primary Care Trusts. Pharmacy Technicians are part of the pharmacy team and work under the supervision of a pharmacist. They are involved in the supply of medicines and products to patients. The opportunities for specialisation and increased responsibility extend with experience. There are a number of management, administration and specialist roles undertaken by pharmacy technicians.

In the hospital service, there are several grades for qualified pharmacy technicians. Senior technicians can specialise in areas such as medicines management, manufacturing, quality control, staff training, information technology, supplies procurement, clinical trials or medicines information services. An expanding role is that of clinical technician, which involves working on wards, liaising with other healthcare professionals and closer contact with patients. A chief technician is often responsible for managing a section of the pharmacy department.


Pharmacy Technicians within Hospitals


Hospital pharmacy technicians are involved in the procurement, manufacture, dispensing and safe administration of medicines.

In most cases, manufacturers supply medicines in a form that is ready for use by the patient (e.g. tablets, capsules). In these cases, the correct product needs to be selected, an appropriate amount measured and the product labelled with instructions. Some medicines are not routinely available from commercial sources. Pharmacy technicians are trained to make medicinal products such as creams, ointments and mixtures from raw ingredients.

Not only are technicians involved in the assembly and labelling of dispensed items, they also routinely perform the final accuracy check on dispensed medicines, immediately before it is released to the patient. Therefore pharmacy technicians need to work methodically and accurately to ensure safety at all times.

Hospitals obtain many of their supplies from the pharmaceutical industry in a form ready for administration. However, some products, which are not commercially available, need to be made within the pharmacy. You may be involved in assisting with the preparation of these medicines. In larger hospitals small-scale manufacture, especially of sterile products, is undertaken.

Some medicines need to be tailor made for specific patients, for example injections used to treat cancer and special feeds given intravenously to patients of all ages who are unable to eat in the normal way.

Medicines like these that are given intravenously to very ill patients need to be accurately prepared to ensure the correct dosage, and that they are free from any bacterial contamination to avoid the risk of infection. Pharmacy technicians prepare these in special clean rooms or cabinets known as isolators and then they are sent to the wards for doctors and nurses to administer. You need to be methodical and accurate as the slightest contamination or inaccuracy in the dose can be harmful or even fatal to the patients.

Pharmacy technicians monitor stocks of medicines on hospital wards and keep them topped up. They advise nurses on the correct storage of medicines, check expiry dates and discuss the changing needs of the wards with the nurses and staff. Technicians also purchase medicines from pharmaceutical companies and wholesalers.

Hospital pharmacy technicians are also extending their roles to work with pharmacists and other healthcare staff to help patients to manage their medicines. They are involved in checking and recording the medication that patients should be taking, ensuring supplies, and helping patients to understand how to use their medicines safely on the wards, and when they return home.

Team working and the ability to communicate well is essential. You will need the ability to explain things simply to other professional staff and patients.

Community Pharmacy Technicians

Community pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of registered pharmacists in retail pharmacies. They label and dispense prescribed medicines and provide information and advice to patients about how to use their medication. With the guidance of the pharmacist, they are also trained to advise members of the public about over the counter medicines and management of minor ailments.

Technicians have a wide range of other tasks, including:

  • Making simple dilutions
  • Manufacturing ointments and mixtures.
  • Assisting with services to nursing homes and the supply of oxygen.
  • Helping the pharmacist in a range of other duties such as stock checking and ordering.
  • Keeping individual records of patients prescriptions, usually stored on a computer.

Technicians may also be involved in selling over-the-counter medicines and other items stocked by the chemist, such as cosmetics, toiletries, baby food and photographic supplies. Customers may seek advice and information on the use of medicines or general health issues, and the pharmacy technician must know when to refer the customer to the pharmacist or other health care professional.

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