OUT OF THE SILO AND INTO THE FIELD. REAPING THE HARVEST : THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-TRAINED PHARMACY TECHNICIANS. OBJECTIVES. Define a VA pharmacy technician. Discuss the basic training needs for successful orientation with new VA pharmacy technicians.
OUT OF THE SILO AND INTO THE FIELD REAPING THE HARVEST: THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-TRAINED PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
OBJECTIVES Define a VA pharmacy technician. Discuss the basic training needs for successful orientation with new VA pharmacy technicians. Describe the pharmacist’s role in pharmacy technician training, development, and mentoring. Explain the need for establishing standards for training and competencies.
OBJECTIVES Discuss the significance of leadership development for pharmacy technicians. Discuss the importance of communication and networking among pharmacy technicians. Discuss the involvement of VA pharmacy technicians in the overall VA mission. Describe the impact and the developing roles of pharmacy technicians throughout the VA system.
PLANTING THE SEED FOR WELL-TRAINED PHARMACY TECHNICIANS Richard Wilson, CPhT Coatesville VAMC
To Plant: • To put or set in the ground for growth
Provide a good “GROWTH” environment • It is important to provide quality training and support to our technicians • Encourage them to expand their knowledge base • Challenge them to think outside the box • Utilize their knowledge when doing special projects or redesigns • Encourage them to join Technician organizations such as the AAPT and attend their conferences
Pharmacist’s role in technician training model Planting the Seed • Team member • Leader • Teacher • Motivator
Planting the Seed • Good customer service and communication skills are needed • Interaction between patients, coworkers • Liaison between pharmacy and other healthcare professionals
Planting the Seed • Member of the pharmacy team • There is no PHARMACY TEAM without “A TECH” • Assists pharmacists to provide medication and other healthcare products & services to Veterans • Must be focused and pay attention to detail • Must possess basic mathematics, spelling, and reading skills • Computer skills are a must • Ability to multi-task is a plus • Problem solving capabilities
Planting the Seed VA Pharmacy Technician: A valid Profession with many specialized jobs. There also exists different levels of training: Grandfathered trained on the job Grandfathered and formal training but uncertified On the job trained and certified Formal training and certified
Planting the Seed • Training needs for technicians • Model curriculum/training for all pharmacy technicians • Informatics Technician Workgroup • Provide step by step VistA training for most pharmacy functions performed by technicians • Develop competencies for all areas of technician responsibilities • Mentors • Develop mentor programs to match new technicians with tenured technicians
Motivation for Certification • It’s important to motivate uncertified technicians to become certified. • Uncertified technicians cannot apply for any specialized jobs even if it is a lateral transfer.
Now that the seed has been planted it is time to promote it’s development and growth . In other words… CULTIVATE
CULTIVATING A WELLTRAINED PHARMACY TECHNICIANEdna Bowser, CPhTVA Butler Healthcare
What does cultivate mean? • One definition: to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine.
Why is there a need to “cultivate” the pharmacy technician?
The workload is continually changing for the pharmacist and pharmacy service which has led to a broader sharing of duties for the pharmacy technician. ***There is a need to “weed out” negative thinking.***
Pharmacy technicians are a critical component of the pharmacy service and in the overall VA Mission. There are close to 3,800 pharmacy technicians employed by the VA. *This is too large a work force to let “dry rot”.*
By cultivating pharmacy technicians using more of a formal type training or standardized training rather than “on the job” the overall growth would improve the efficiency and quality of care for our Veterans. * Standardized training is essential for “growth”.*
CULTIVATING: THE NEED FOR ESTABLISHING STANDARDIZED TRAINING AND COMPETENCIES There is a saying “If you have seen one VA, you have seen one VA”. The same saying could be said regarding the pharmacy technician “If you have seen one pharmacy technician, you have seen one pharmacy technician”. Continued…
Continued… • Currently, pharmacy technicians are assuming many different roles with little training and few standards or competencies. • By having established standards for training this would improve this workforce and benefit the whole system. • The bottom line is… we need to STOP reinventing the wheel.
GS SCALES – what are pharmacy technicians doing at different levels? More than just pill counters…
Patient Care Assistant/Clinical Pharmacy TechnicianAugusta, GA – GS-7 • The primary duties of this position are performed in the outpatient pharmacy area of the pharmacy department/program and the purpose of this position is to improve patient satisfaction with the outpatient pharmacy prescription pick-up process. The incumbent is a highly specialized, efficient, motivated and customer-friendly technician, who, under the authority of the Chief, Pharmacy Service, is responsible for the technical and appropriate clinical management of patient care assistance in regard to the outpatient pharmacy operation. The incumbent is responsible for providing a variety of complex technical and automated functions that require the application of extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and pharmacy practices. The incumbent is expected to work with considerable autonomy but under the guidance of a registered pharmacist and under the direct supervision of a pharmacist supervisor as required by law. The incumbent is expected to maintain a high degree of accurate productivity and performance while being extremely sensitive to the specific contribution to total patient care. As assigned, the incumbent is expected to accomplish all duties normally performed by both general and specialized technicians relatedtostocking, delivering, inventory, inspections, prescription set-ups, IV and hazardous drug compounding, controlled substances dispensing and monitoring, telephone care, as well as unit-dose drug packaging, dispensing, and distribution. www.usajobs.gov
Pharmacy Technician Supervisor Temple, TX – GS-7/8 • The Pharmacy Technician Supervisor oversees the inpatient pharmacy technician operation at the Temple facility of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS). Incumbent maintains a complex pharmacy technician program consisting of pharmacy technicians, students, residents, aides, and trainees. Incumbent utilizes sound personnel practices and innovative human resource management techniques in the selection, training, team building, and supervision of the professional and technical workforce. Incumbent formulates policy and procedures in the design and implementation of pharmaceutical care to both provide service and maintain efficiency and economy. Incumbent will be responsible for CTHVCS committee participation, scheduling, leave evaluation/approval, timecard processing, performance appraisals, workflow analysis, and training of staff on pharmacy automation/equipment. In addition, this position will provide distributive technician duties as necessary and perform other administrative duties as assigned. www.usajobs.gov
Pharmacy Technician (Anticoagulation Clinic)Veterans Affairs, -WA-Tacoma - GS – 6/7 • MAJORDUTIES: The primary functions of the anticoagulation clinic pharmacy technician are to provide administrative, clerical, and basic clinical support to the pharmacist managed anticoagulation clinics. All work is performed under the supervision of the anticoagulation clinic pharmacist and under protocols approved by the Clinical Executive Board. The pharmacy technician must be certified by the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). The incumbent must have the ability to independently gather, evaluate, and analyze data of patients per established protocols and discern when to bring problems to the attention of the assigned anticoagulation clinic pharmacist. www.usajobs.gov.
Additional Pharmacy Technician Duties: • MED RECONCILIATION • NARCOTIC/CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE • PURCHASING/PROCUREMENT • AUTOMATION • CHEMOTHERAPY • CALL CENTER • COPAY • OUTPATIENT/INPATIENT • OSTOMY • ???????
Is cultivating a waste of time? • These jobs are here to stay. Lets not only define them, but refine them…
Employment Change • Employment of pharmacy technicians and aides is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2008 to 2018. • Employment of pharmacists is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
Is cultivating a waste of time? The next group of slides depicts what type of education requirements there are currently for pharmacy technicians jobs within the VA and the disparities in what those requirements are.
*Certification • We need to encourage the pharmacy technicians who are not certified to work toward that goal including those who have been “grandfathered” in.
GS-3 • BASIC REQUIREMENTS: GS-3: Completion of 1-year of post high school coursework related to medicine (e.g. chemistry, biology, college mathematics, etc.), • or successful completion of a 1-year accredited pharmacy technician training program, • or 6 months of general experience, that may have included experience in another medical field (licensed practical nurse, laboratory technology, etc.) www.usajobs.gov
GS-4 • GS-4: Successful completion of 2 years above high school with courses related to pharmacy, or pharmacy technology, • or 1 year of general experience that may have included experience in another medical field (Licensed Practical Nurse, Laboratory Technology, etc).
GS-5 • One year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower level in the federal government, • or successful completion of a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a Bachelor’s degree that included at least 24 semester hours of courses related to pharmacy or pharmacy technology.
GS -5/6Castle Point, NY • QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: • GS-5 • Successful completion of a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree that included at least 24 semester hours of courses related to pharmacy or pharmacy technology; successful completion of pertinent specialized training courses in pharmaceutical and pharmacy services while serving in the Armed Forces is creditable on a month-for-month basis up to the 1 year of experience required for the GS-5 level • GS-6 • One year experience at the next lower level (GS-5), and must fully meet the KSAs at the next lower level. • PTCB certification is required at this grade level and above.
GS-6 • Educational Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent; • or at least 3 months experience • Licensure, Registration and/or Certification Requirements: Certification by the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is required for performance at the GS-6 level.
Experience Qualification Statement • GS-6: PTCB certification is required NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement). Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degree from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointment agency accordingly.
GS-7 • Basic Requirements: Must be a citizen of the United States. A high school diploma or equivalent; • or at least 3 months experience. • Certification by the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
GS-8 • Basic Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent; • or at least 3 months experience. • Certification by the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). • At the GS-8 level, applicants must have one year of professional experience equivalent to the GS-7 level.
The importance of communication and networking among pharmacy technicians. • Increasing Patient Safety • Share Best Practices • Process Improvements • Promote Teamwork/Professionalism • Increase Motivation • Overall Increased Proficiency
“IF WE DID ALL OF THE THINGS WE ARE CAPABLE OF, WE WOULD LITERALLY ASTOUND OURSELVES.”THOMAS EDISON
AS LONG AS THERE ARE NO ATTEMPTS TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS; NOTHING WILL CHANGE. AS LONG AS THINGS ARE MEDIOCRE AT BEST THERE WILL BE NO INITIATIVE TO CHANGE. HOWEVER, WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRODUCE.
We have provided a good growth environment and cultivated our crop to the best of our ability. Now it is time to reap the benefits of our labor… The Harvest
Harvesting Well-Trained Pharmacy Technicians LeAnn Gadbaw, CPhT Fayetteville VA, NC
HARVEST • A supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored
HARVEST • Presently, information is not efficiently disseminated to technicians • Communication • Promote the existing national pharmacy technician mail group VHAPBH PHARMACY TECHNICIAN • Sharing VA best practices • Communication
HARVEST • Networking among pharmacy technicians • Enhanced opportunities to attend national conferences and training • VeHU • PBM National Conventions • National technician associations • Informatics Face to Face
HARVEST • Involvement of pharmacy technicians in the overall VA mission • Mission: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.