Accredited checking technician jobs are similar to pharmacy technician jobs. While the latter receives the prescription, takes out the drugs from shelves and packs them, the former checks the dispensed prescription for its accuracy. Checking, labeling and packing have all become formal procedures and the accredited checking technician will be trained in all these in a pharmacy context.
Training to Become an Accredited Checking Technician
The technician training is done under vocational training schemes, and accredited checking technicians are NVQ 3 or BTEC certified (in UK). The checking technician is trained to check that:
- The medicine or product matches the prescription and is in date
- It is assembled using correct equipment and processes
- It is packed and labeled appropriately
- Appropriate records are made
- Health, hygiene and safety procedures are followed at all times
To equip the technician with the required competencies, the vocational training program will typically:
- Start with an explanation of the legal and professional issues involved in checking, packing and labeling pharmacy medicines
- Train the technician to work with other staff of the pharmacy
- Make the technician go through typical checking exercises
- Involve a final project to check 1000 items at a hospital without errors
- Proceed to a test and assessment by a panel of pharmacists and technicians
- Involve a probation period during which his or her performance is observed
By the end of such a course, the trainee would have gained the practical skill needed to check dispensed medications against the prescription. The person would typically check only items dispensed by another person, not by himself or herself. The prescription would also have undergone review and approval by a pharmacist regarding its correctness and accuracy.
Self-checking by non-pharmacists (like an accredited checking technician) is also considered acceptable once the technician has gained sufficient experience attested by their dispensary manager. To continue their checking career, the technicians need to be reassessed every two years.
Role of the Accredited Checking Technicians
The role to be assigned to accredited checking technicians have been the subject of some debate. Pharmacies have considered entrusting them with more responsibilities to cope with the serious shortage of pharmacists.
Some groups have opposed this move on the ground that technicians cannot be entrusted with responsibilities requiring professional knowledge. They see the move as an attempt to cut costs, replacing high cost pharmacists with lower cost technicians.
As we saw above, accredited checking technicians have to undergo a rigorous program of training and assessment before they are allowed to check.
Accredited checking technicians perform a labor-intensive function that also requires specialized vocational skill. In doing this, they relieve the pharmacist to focus on the more important tasks of checking all prescriptions, and other tasks requiring a higher level of professional knowledge.
Without the support of pharmacy technicians and accredited checking technicians, the pharmacist will be overburdened in any busy dispensary, and not be able to provide a sufficiently satisfactory level of service.
The above, in essence, is the significance of accredited checking technician jobs.