As an accuracy checking technician (ACT), I have always felt that if I made an error, this is something I am responsible for. Once a pharmacist has clinically checked a prescription, it should not be a legal burden to the pharmacist if the ACT makes a mistake.
How can someone be responsible for something they had nothing to do with? I have never understood why it is the pharmacist’s responsibility if an ACT makes an error.
I have worked with pharmacists who refuse to work with ACTs (I would like to add that they are a minority), which is their right and which I understand to a degree, but then they will complain that they have to do the work that I would have done.
I personally think that the supply function in pharmacy could be managed or overseen by a technician. Overseeing procedures, processes, admin, and the daily running of a pharmacy – with the bonus of an ACT checking the bulk of the workload – enables the pharmacist to concentrate on services, spend time with patients, and deal with clinical queries. Maybe we could take a leaf out of hospital pharmacy’s book in this case?
However, I don’t want to manage a pharmacy without a pharmacist being present. I don’t like the idea of remote supervision. I don’t think it is fair on patients or pharmacists. Remote supervision in emergencies – bad weather conditions, for example – is exactly that; an emergency. It should not be something that we see as the ‘norm’.
How would a pharmacist know what is going on in another branch and be completely responsible for it? I’m all for looking at new ways of working to provide an effective service and to improve our working lives, I just don’t see how this would be appropriate. Call me old fashioned, but I think a pharmacy should always contain a pharmacist.
Technicians are here to support teams, provide accurate advice to patients, and to revive pharmacy as a whole. So, I think a lot of people in community pharmacy need to start embracing the skill mix in the team. If they don’t, nothing will ever change.
The Pharmacy Technician locums in community pharmacy