October 19 is National Pharmacy Tech Day. You may think the pharmacy tech’s responsibilities are all about counting pills, putting them in a bottle, and adhering the correct label, but this important job entails much more and can even include specialties, such as infusion pharmaceuticals.
Infused medications differ from most other treatments due to their complexity. Many are biologics, which means they’re large-molecule drugs. And, instead of being taken orally in a pill or liquid form, they are delivered by other methods, such as intravenously, through a feeding tube, epidural, or subcutaneously.
Infused medications also have specific management requirements, such as being kept at a certain temperature. They need to be administered by an experienced clinician who is also an expert in managing hypersensitive, adverse or anaphylactic reactions. Patients may receive an infused pharmaceutical at home from an infusion provider or by visiting an infusion site.
Due to their complexity, they’re also among the costliest drugs. Examples of infused pharmaceuticals include the drugs administered during chemotherapy or for treating cystic fibrosis, HIV, and transplant care.
A Typical Day
An infusion pharmacy technician performs many tasks throughout the day. In many pharmacies, they are responsible for managing and maintaining the drug inventory and clinical supplies. They also ensure that the drugs are properly stored and meet regulatory compliance.
At the beginning of the day, under the supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy techs check the confirmed appointments and prepare to fill the drug requirements for each patient by reading the physician's orders. They select, measure, and mix the appropriate ingredients. Once the drug is assembled, they’ll inspect and label the final product for accuracy, and maintain records of the manufacturing process.
Pharmacy technicians also communicate with their supervising pharmacist, physicians, nurses, patients and others regarding medication therapy, drug product guidelines, law and regulations, medication formulation and other topics related to medication use and control.
Does the role of an infused pharmacy technician sound interesting to you? To get started on this career path, you should attend an accredited pharmacy tech program. Fortis currently has pharmacy technician programs accredited by the American Society for Health-System Pharmacists at our Cookeville, Tenn. and Baton Rouge, La. campuses. To learn more, please visit our site.