Like so many other health-related professions, pharmacy technicians are facing a shortage. A 2021 employment survey conducted by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists discovered vacancy rates topping 30% in 2021, with 1 in 10 hospitals surveyed reporting pharmacy technician shortages of 40% or more. These are concerning numbers, especially considering the impact pharmacy technicians have – not just in the direct care of sick patients in hospital settings – but on every American’s ability to access the medications they need to manage, treat, and cure diseases.
The Issue: Pharmacy Technician Shortages Can Impact Pharmacy Operations & Medication Production & Distribution
It is the job of a pharmacy technician to work in unison with patients, doctors, and pharmacists to deliver effective, lifesaving care by administering medications. The day-to-day function of a pharmacy technician includes organizing, compounding, preparing, packaging, labeling, and dispensing prescription medications.
In addition, technicians also interact with patients by filling new and refilling prescription orders, verifying patient insurance, collecting payment information, and providing patients with key facts about their medications – as well as answering any questions a patient may have. These services and more are directly impacted by the ongoing pharmacy technician shortages.
Pharmacy technicians work anywhere pharmacies are located – including grocery stores, drug stores, outpatient care facilities, and hospitals. Technicians also work in larger pharmaceutical labs that produce and distribute medications to local pharmacies and hospitals. These technicians have the same core functions of the job – but often experience less patient interaction in a clinical setting. With the pharmacy technician shortage, not only can direct patient care services be impacted, but supply chains in medication preparation and distribution can also see an impact.
Addressing The Shortage: Training Future Technicians In Shorter Time Through Certification
Despite its heavy math and science focus – becoming a pharmacy technician does not require an advanced degree. Pharmacy technicians can receive a board certification and an undergraduate certificate through some programs in just six months. This can help to address the pharmacy technician shortage directly, as pharmacy technician students spend less time in a classroom and more time actively engaging and applying key skills related to the pharmacy technician field.
While it is possible to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Exam without completing a certification course, most technicians receive a combination of traditional classroom courses mixed with on-site training under the supervision of a pharmacist.
This combination best prepares students to meet the needs of the industry and create quality graduates prepared to address the pharmacy technician shortage. During their educational journey, students learn the technical components of the job while experiencing first-hand what their work will entail on a day-to-day basis. After completing a certification program, students are better equipped to pass the certification exam.
UPs Response To The Shortage: An Undergraduate Certificate Program Designed To Prepare Students To Serve As Pharmacy Technicians In Just Six Months
The University of Providence’s Pharmacy Technician Certification program is an ideal option for those seeking a career as a pharmacy technician. Through our dynamic, hybrid program, students combine the online coursework with in-person skill labs and internships to best prepare them for a rewarding career as a pharmacy technician. Our program directly answers the ongoing pharmacy technician shortage by developing quality, skilled, students ready to meet the needs of the industry. With a 95% certification board pass rate and job placement rate – our students are leading the way in filling the pharmacy technician shortage – one student at a time.