Working as a Pharmacy Technician in the Hospital
Working in the hospital opened my eyes to many things. I was able to see Pharmacy Technicians like myself work in a variety of roles. It was technicians who worked on the floor along the side of Clinical Pharmacists as Clinical Pharmacy Technicians. It was technicians who worked outside of an actual Pharmacy setting who were in Administrative Roles. It was technicians who were Pharmacy Buyers! These technicians monitored the usage of medications throughout the hospital and managed the cost. They were also responsible for purchasing medications and making sure that the appropriate amount of inventory was on the shelf at all times. I was amazed! It was technicians who were Medication History Specialist. They would collect medication histories from patients to assist pharmacist with a more up-to-date medication list. This is a very important role and can help with the duplication of medications, drug-drug interactions and possible dosing errors. It was technicians who were responsible for providing Medication Assistance. These technicians would enroll patients into drug manufacturing programs, complete prior authorizations for patients to receive their outpatient infusions and/or specialty medications and also help patients who were uninsured to provide them with payment plan options. How amazing is that!
The Inpatient Pharmacy is considered as the Main Pharmacy at the hospital. Some responsibilities include:
Deliver and fill medications to automated dispensing cabinets and/or patient floors
Prepare and compound sterile and non sterile medications
Properly store controlled and non-controlled medications
Be able to identify if a patient's medication order is inaccurate
I received the bulk of my advanced Pharmacy Technician training while working in the Inpatient Pharmacy. I received training in preparing intravenous medications to include hazardous and chemotherapy.
When I transitioned to working in the hospital, I had to learn how to use Epic. Epic is one of the many Electronic Health Record systems that is widely used today. My experience in Epic helped me to prepare for my current role. One of my responsibilities consist of creating training material for Lab and Pharmacy staff to better help them navigate the Epic system.
Below I have listed a few Pros and Cons of working in a Hospital setting.
Disadvantage of working in a hospital:
Some say it is more stressful due to the wide range of medications that you will encounter. For example, such as preparing Chemotherapy/Hazardous intravenous medications and performing advanced pharmacy calculations.
Advantages of working in a hospital:
A range of career opportunities (this will vary from hospital to hospital). Larger hospitals will provide a wide range of opportunities in comparison to a rural hospital.
The hours can be a disadvantage or an advantage depending on your situation at home. But, the hospital will provide a variety of shifts and you are able to work part-time as well.
I hope that this will help you as you navigate through the Pharmacy Technician field!