The Difference Between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician (Guide)
Pharmacists, also known as chemists (Commonwealth English) or druggists are health care system seem to be driving increased demand for the clinical counselling skills of the pharmacist. cardiovascular disease risk factors; strong pharmacist–patient relationship; and decreased long-term costs of medical care. Medicinal chemistry provides pharmacy students with a thorough understanding of drug mechanisms “the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose tivity relationship (SAR) of drugs and development of mod-. of science that would place the relationship between pharmacy and chemistry .. more potent therapy than the collection of raw materials, even if the chemical .
Major shifts in the methods and processes of medication distribution and the management of the drug supply in the United States are presently being seen. Increased mechanization of the prescription filling process, coupled with extensive application of computer technologies related to labelling, record keeping and creation of patient focused educational materials to accompany prescriptions, are contemporary trends that continue to evolve and refine. Along with these developments is the ever increasing need for pharmacists to provide direct to patient pharmaceutical care services in both the acute care and ambulatory care setting.
The growing number and complexity of medicinal agents as well as their increased usage, particularly among the elderly, places strong demands in the US health care system for a large cadre of clinically competent practitioners. Additionally, there are several major disease areas that represent priority health challenges in the US e. As more initiatives in the treatment of patients with these chronic diseases are brought forward, it goes without saying that more extensive medication treatment will be seen.
If history can be an indicator of the future with respect to the evolution of pharmacy practice in the US, it is probably safe to say that the profession will position itself so that it continues to meet social needs. Positioning will as well be driven by effective academic leadership that is well attuned to pervading social need.
It should be noted however, that appropriate positioning will not occur spontaneously. There must be a willingness and effective processes in place to achieve it. As one surveys the seventy-nine schools of pharmacy in the US, there is evident diversity in the depth and breadth by which each school responds to social need in the context of its more traditional mission of education, research and service.
This is a valued characteristic and indeed, represents a major strength of pharmacy education in the US. If the profession of pharmacy did not exist for example, how would the drug supply be managed and how would appropriate medication use be assured?
Would other health professionals be able to meet these social needs or would a pharmacy-like occupation be created? What types of personnel would staff the various areas of the pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution industry? Where would fundamental discoveries related to drug design, product formulation, pharmacology and pharmacodynamics and other applications of the pharmaceutical sciences occur?
The research missions of the various schools and colleges of pharmacy have been relatively well aligned with social needs. This is particularly true of those members of faculty who have competed effectively for grants and contracts from governmental research agencies that have established national basic science research priorities. Ranging from priorities in defence and national security to health priorities of the nation, a number of American schools of pharmacy have been competitive in garnering financial research support.
Pharmaceutical scientists educated and trained in pharmacy programmes have also taken on leadership positions in the pharmaceutical industry, governmental laboratories and private research institutions. These have all been important contributions to meeting societal needs in the scientific and research sectors. Schools of pharmacy in the United States have also educated and trained a workforce for pharmacy practice in its varied forms in an admirable manner. To be sure, the graduates of American schools of pharmacy have, for many decades, found career opportunities in an extensive array of venues.
Consequently, the financial and professional rewards of an intensive and competitive educational and licensure requirements have borne fruit for many pharmacists. Bat these outcomes do not tell the whole story. For many reasons, some clear and others not well understood, the practitioner workforce in pharmacy is grossly underutilized. There are many health priorities in the United States that are not being met.
Likewise, there is marked inconsistency in the quality and quantity of professional skills applied by pharmacists to the care of patients in all settings of practice. Are these gaps and inconsistencies results of less optimal education offered by schools of pharmacy? The answer is likely to be equivocal; that is, while schools of pharmacy cannot wash their hands of their contribution to these problems, they also cannot bear the entire burden associated with these deficiencies.
Other factors contributing to this challenge include restrictive laws, lack of value clarification within the profession itself about what its social purpose is, boundary challenges by other health occupations, perverse compensations systems, weaknesses in professional leadership and a lack of uniform and broadly applied standards of care.
Schools of pharmacy generally do not adhere to a consistent philosophy of practice and patient care and as a result there is little socialization focus on the development of the ethos and values associated with such a philosophy. Conflicts among faculty members with respect to the definition and application of a philosophy of practice are prevalent.
The processes of education that are so prevalent in American pharmacy education today also augur against the development of a set of values and behaviours that are linked to a caring philosophy so necessary for the delivery of patient care services. Few faculty members work assiduously to be mentors to their charges during the formative stages of professional education. Even fewer faculty members arc committed to the constant reform and renewal of pharmacy practice, say nothing of their own curricula.
The latter perspective may be harsh, particularly to those faculty members who are prominent and engaged in mentoring, applying high ideals and stimulating a reconstructive philosophy in education and practice. However, the realities of much of American pharmacy practice are ample evidence of the points previously asserted. High rates of morbidity and mortality associated with medication misadventures are a reality, inappropriate and missing consultation with patients and prescribers on appropriate medication prescribing and utilization are rampant and leadership for assuring improvements and quality enhancements in the medication use system in the United States is scarce.
Fundamental standards of patient safety are being violated when automated dispensing systems no longer rely on the quality checks traditionally provided by pharmacists. Basic standards of sterility and product quality are violated when pharmacists are not directly involved in the preparation of small and large volume parental agents.
Long standing societal covenantal commitments are skirted when patients are handed their medications by clerks and are not privately consulted by the pharmacist on the premises. There is indeed a significant gap between what pharmacy education preaches, what pharmacy practice aspires and advocates and the realities of a competitive marketplace in which quality and cost oftentimes negatively compete.
While some examples of progress are evident in these regards, substantial challenges still remain. This paper has been constructed to stimulated discussion, critical analysis and planning. A specific attempt has been made to put forward a number of themes and issues that are not often discussed or acted upon by educational leaders in pharmacy.
It is hoped therefore, that a broader view of the linkage between social need and the philosophy, purpose and calling of higher education in pharmacy might emerge. It is clear from the American experience that the role and utilization of the pharmacist as strictly a purveyor of drug products and sundries is time limited. The search for consistent quality in the offering of pharmaceutical services, equity in geographic and economic access to pharmaceuticals and the services of the pharmacist and demonstrated relationships between efficiency and quality still continues.
My response reflects the Canadian point of view which is not very different from the American one, except that Canada offers its citizens a universal health care coverage supported and financed mainly by the federal and provincial governments. Trends in Health Care Delivery The financial limitations imposed by large national debt bring a decrease and a rationalization in the expenses for health care. The restructuring of the health care system and of the institutions will favour the development of a community-based health care system in which the community pharmacist can play an important role because of its availability and its capacity to respond to primary health care problems.
Technology will make available new dosage forms and new biotechnology products which will require from the pharmacist new skills in the conservation, distribution and administration of these products. Communication and information technology will change considerably the way physicians prescribe, the way pharmacists provide pharmaceutical services and the way pharmacists update their skills and competencies through long distance learning.
The amount of biomedical knowledge is now so large and its accessibility increased so much by the information technology, namely Internet, that health professionals have to work together in teams to provide the best health care services to the patients. The ageing of the population, at least in the developed countries, will change the priorities of health care.
Chronic diseases and drug use will increase. Responses of University And Profession Education Our pharmacy graduates must develop life-long learning abilities considering the rapid expansion of knowledge in the biomedical sciences and its accessibility by the information technology.
Student-centred approach in education can best provide these life-long learning abilities. The schools of pharmacy and the profession should put emphasis on community-based pharmaceutical services in response to the trends mentioned earlier and on pharmaceutical services to the elderly. Interdisciplinary training is a necessity considering the extent of biomedical knowledge and the diversity of health care professionals.
Our students and pharmacists, through continuing education, should receive a good formation in pharmaceutical biotechnology to optimize the use of the new dosage forms and the new biotechnology products. They should also be familiar with the information and communication technology so that they can use it to provide pharmaceutical services and for long distance learning. Research Research in pharmacy practice should be developed to optimize pharmaceutical care.
Service Universities should be involved in international collaboration to improve the level of pharmaceutical services in every country. The communication and information technology has a great impact on pharmacy practice and continuing education and can be a powerful tool to help developing countries improve the level of pharmaceutical services. These roles exist in a dynamic environment within which they are continuously redefined by the changing need of the society. The societal responsiveness of a profession, in turn, determines the very existence and the nature of the profession over time.
The profession of pharmacy has evolved in an ever-changing environment. Changes in the profession occurred in the US, in Thailand, and in other countries with the schools of pharmacy as a leading force. As Dr Manasse points out, schools of pharmacy play a critical role in determining the quality and quantity of the members the profession, and thus, the capacity of the profession of pharmacy to meet societal needs depends on the capacity that the schools have to prepare the workforce that can meet these needs.
Education is an enterprise for the future. It takes years from the time a new role is envisioned to development of a new curriculum, to the teaching processes, to the time when the graduates under a new curriculum enter the workforce, and to the time the impact of change materializes. Hence, a change made today in the enterprise of education will be realized only after many years. As a consequence, the university must take a reconstructive role in order for the profession to be responsive to the change in its environment.
The history traced by Dr Manasse provides valuable examples of the roles the schools of pharmacy in the United States have played in shaping the nature of the profession. The long process of the articulation of the policy towards clinical pharmacy also reflects careful consideration of trends in societal needs and the accumulation of around two decades of experience since clinical pharmacy teaching was first mandated as pan of federal grant requirements.
The reconstructive perspective and the process of bringing about this major shift in the policy provides valuable experience from which one can learn how institutions of professional education define values and determine the future of the profession. Increasingly, pharmacist roles in clinical drug use have been recognized and performed in a number of hospitals. This new clinical role coexists with, rather than replaces, other more traditional roles.
As a result, today the roles of pharmacist in this country have become more diverse than before. How well the profession can meet and shape this wide range of demands depends on the capacity of pharmacy education to define societal values and to prepare a competent and conscientious workforce for the society. It remains a tremendous challenge for the university and the pharmacy profession in Thailand to recognize trends in the demand made by the society and to identify the direction for the future of the profession.
Trinca This paper describes how pharmaceutical educators in the Americas are adapting today for the future needs of their people. For this reason, I have chosen to divide this assignment into two parts: A Case Study of the United States: It is a business which employs one out of every 11 Americans. But in spite of its resources in dollars, workforce, talent, and technology, over 15 percent of the US population, or 45 million people and one million more people each month do not have an insurance plan for regular health care.
Over five years ago, when the Administrative Branch of our Federal government began in earnest to reform the health care system, President Clinton focused on three themes: And, as one would expect in a free-market economy, the market appears to be the short-term winner, zeroing-in on cost and attempting to squeeze every excess provider dollar out of the system while guaranteeing fat returns on the investments of their shareholders. But, even these forces are sporadic and regional in nature.
Some parts of the United States, such as California, have virtually all its insured population covered by some form of managed care; other states are virtually untouched to date; while most states find themselves somewhere in between.
Equally important is the movement of Federally supported care for the indigent e. The impacts of this brief scenario have had profound influence on the delivery of health care in the United States, and has begun to effect the education and training of health professionals, including pharmacists.
According to the Pew Health Professions Commission, and now others, it may ultimately affect the number of graduates, and their distribution within the workforce, by downsizing programmes and shifting away from specialization to primary care and mid-level professionals, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
Unfortunately, the story does not end here. Today, these same three themes, perhaps packaged slightly differently for the academic temperament, are emerging in the world of higher education: Most in the academy simply prefer to viewthese themes as mere inconveniences, something for the amusement of administrators. But the real sleeper, just as in health care, is the market. More and more, the public in general and employers more specifically are dissatisfied with the products of higher education.
It takes too long, costs too much, produces the wrong set of knowledge and skills, and is too confining for innovation and experimentation. Many businesses claim the need of retraining the new graduate immediately upon hiring, and have established their own in-house educational centres.
Entrepreneurs such as the University of Phoenix, Mind Extension University and Microsoft University have entered the sacred world of higher education, and are bringing the vision of the virtual university to reality.
California higher education, including the University of California, California State University and California Community College systems is the largest, best funded, and possibly the most productive in the world. Effectively, this has the ability to put our world-class universities out of business.
What I have just described can now, virtually, occur anywhere in the world. Fortunately, the United States began preparing for the future education of pharmacists long before health care reform began, and even before we recognized the power of market forces on the educational systems which prepare health professionals.
Fortunately pharmaceutical education also chose several innovative methods in addressing its future since our professional and educational literature remains relatively shallow, somewhat redundant, and mostly unsubstantiated.
Medicinal Chemistry and the Pharmacy Curriculum
Inand profession-wide strategic planning conferences were convened under the theme, Pharmacy in the 21st Century. Notably, it was during the conference that Doug Hepler introduced his vision for pharmaceutical care. The first Pew Health Professions Commission was established in And, last but certainly not least, also marks the date of the first planning meeting for the Pan American Conference on Pharmaceutical Education. We will return to this activity later.
For those of you who are not, I would be pleased to see that you receive copies of all reports and follow-up activities. From its outset, the report was intended to be a road map, a path to the future; it was not intended to sit on a shelf, collecting dust.
Second, the Commission took logical pauses in its work to present, discuss and debate its findings with pharmaceutical educators and the profession. Third, the Commission began at the beginning. Pharmaceutical education is responsible for preparing students to enter into the practice of pharmacy and to function as professionals and informed citizens in a changing health care system. It is responsible for generating and disseminating new knowledge about drugs and about pharmaceutical care systems.
Fourth, the Commission examined the curriculum, but not in the typical way. Rather than propose course work, it stressed desired curricular outcomes expressed as competencies. Rather than limit these competencies to conceptual competence the ability to understand the theoretical foundations of the profession and technical competence the ability to perform skills required in the professionit ventured to propose integrative competence the ability to think critically; communicate effectively; and possess aesthetic sensitivity, professional ethics, professional identity, and leadership and career marketability as exhibited by adaptive competence, the scholarly concern for improvement, and motivation for continued learning.
The Commission also believed that the process of education is fundamental to future learning; that is, formal lectures are too confining and must be supplemented with developmental discussions, simulations, faculty and student interaction, early practice experiences, presentation, and assessment methods which offer opportunities for self- and peer-evaluation. Fifth, the Commission made specific recommendations about how pharmaceutical education should change in order to prepare for the future practice of pharmacy in the United States -how education can be both proactive and responsive to contemporary market needs.
Sixth, the Commission was not afraid to subject its work to repeated scrutiny even after its work was apparently complete. Init published an updated version of its work in the context of a health care system which had undergone dramatic changes since Overall, the original observations and recommendations of the Commission stood the test of time; the major emphasis of the updated report focused on better defining the health Care environment or market, and the mandate to proceed with implementing institutional change at an even more rapid pace.
First, pharmacy tends to be insular. We talk to ourselves, we complain to ourselves, we attend meetings with other pharmacists, most of us practice in pharmacies isolated from other health care professionals.
The same applies to pharmacy educators. For example, in borrowing from my work as a Pew Health Professions Commissioner, I have learned that all health professionals, including pharmacists, must have certain core competencies: Beyond these competencies, however, there are issues of multi- and cross-disciplinary student learning, faculty collaboration in practice and research, and a multitude of other opportunities we have been sloth in exploiting.
Second, a portion of my current responsibilities at Western University of Health Sciences demands that I plan strategically for the university. As a result of market change, health science universities must dramatically reinvent themselves in order to remain financially viable and accomplish the mission of education, scholarship, patient care and public service. Ownership of university enterprises, governance, organization and leadership must support and enhance a game plan that meets the demands of the new health care market.
Those market demands include: No single structure guarantees success for all health science universities; however, every one should create an organization with common elements. Given the complex and rapidly changing environment, the university must develop mechanisms that can adapt easily when necessary.
This usually translates into flatter, less complex structures from staff through faculty through administration. Leadership, at all levels, is the critical variable in managing change. Leaders must be comfortable having and using the same skills required in industry, such as understanding and following the market environment; defining and communicating a common vision; rewarding risk-taking behaviour, building trust; building external relationships; recruiting excellent people; and being politically savvy, consistent, disciplined and focused.
Health science universities must capitalize on what should be a competitive advantage by linking health care providers and delivery systems into an integrated clinical enterprise.
Medicinal Chemistry and the Pharmacy Curriculum
Speed, productivity, flexibility and the ability to resolve critical problems facing the health care delivery system are paramount. Institutional and provider teacher and clinician behaviour need to be better aligned through gain sharing and other methods. Effective governance is essential for mission fulfilment and market competitiveness. A bias for action must be supported. Whether the non-governmental governing board model characteristic of higher education in the United States, or the governmental influences of a Minister of Education present in many of your countries, individuals in such positions should be selected to provide the skills required to operate in the current health care and education environments and should have the stature necessary to add value to external relationships.
They must understand and support strategic initiatives while providing considerable operating freedom. The university should strive for distinctiveness.
The institutional mission, strategies and values of the institution should support this distinctiveness. Each academic unit must also be distinctive in a manner which supports the university. Teaching, scholarly activity, patient care, administration and public service are all areas which can benefit from innovation, experimentation, discarding ineffective practices and evaluation. Planning must be well conceived, supported, broad-based in participation and impact, and communicated.
A direct relationship should exist between planning and budgeting, and planning and the setting of priorities. Incentives should he in place to allow the institution to test new ideas, fast track needed initiatives, guard against job loss, ensure continued public recognition, and evaluate longstanding practices.
Planners should seek information and feedback from the grassroots; all planning actions must be communicated widely. Expertise must be available to implement change. The institution must invest in its priorities, whether such investment constitutes human resources, physical resources, fiscal resources or infrastructure. Such investments should be communicated in the context of overall university mission and strategies.
Strategies we are using to address mandates of the market are partnerships and strategic alliances, including those with an international impact; the more effective use of educational technologies; redefining our non-tuition sources of revenue; and assisting our alumni in assuring their continued prosperity as health professionals through continuing professional education and other life long learning opportunities.
I sincerely believe that these methods have value and are transferable to anywhere in the world, which segues nicely into the second part of my assignment. A Case Study of the Americas: Working Together to Improve Pharmaceutical Care You will recall that was a seminal year for pharmaceutical education in the United States; I would like to believe that it was also the beginning of new era of cooperation between pharmaceutical educators throughout the Americas.
Meeting in Miami in Januaryconference delegates representing 22 countries began to explore common goals and aspirations for our profession and the education of future practitioners. As a result, a Declaration of Principles was adopted. The result of this conference was the adoption of a mission statement for pharmaceutical education in the Americas.
The statement also provided the elements of a pharmaceutical education which serve to drive curricular development. Proceeding of both conferences were published in Spanish and English and contain these two documents.
Almost one year ago, in Buenos Aires, the pharmaceutical educators of Argentina hosted a third conference. The resulting declaration established a Pan American Commission on Pharmaceutical Education with delegates from each country in the Americas with a charge to produce a directory of institutional and human resources, including course work and consultantships, for the purpose of facilitating academic exchanges and the development of research and teaching projects at the professional and graduate levels; to develop and promote strategies aimed at improving educational processes, curricular reform, and leadership and management development; to exchange information on legislation and regulation affecting pharmacy and pharmaceutical education; and to plan and share continuing professional education opportunities.
The declaration also set in motion the planning for a fourth conference to be held in Chile within three years. As a result of these actions over the past 8 years, we have created a model for collaboration and sharing. Supported by this model are numerous other activities driven by many competing forces including social, political, economic and financial. The challenges and opportunities afforded Mexico, Canada and the United States as we jointly explore the implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement is but one example.
A PharmD degree, or doctor of pharmacy, is a six-year degree. Earning a PharmDdegree consists of four years of college education followed by at least two additional years of pre-pharmacy education. They must then complete a one year internship under a licensed pharmacist. The final step for the perspective pharmacist is becoming licensed to practice pharmacy. Pharmacists must learn everything that a pharmacy technician does, but their education goes far beyond that of the pharmacy technician.
Their education is science based. They take courses such as chemistry, biology, microbiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and pharmaceutics. This education gives them a firm understanding of how the body works and how drugs work on the body.
- The Difference Between a Pharmacist and a Pharmacy Technician
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They must be able to identify and differentiate between medications. They have to know what each medication is used to treat, and how drugs interact with each other. Pharmacists must also stay up-to-date on new developments in medication.
Duties of the Pharmacist In practice, the pharmacist is responsible for everything that happens in the pharmacy.Chatting with a Marriage Counselor
They are required to double-check each prescription before it is sold to the patient. They must ensure that each prescription that is sold in their pharmacy is legal and valid.
The pharmacist must make sure that all regulations are strictly adhered to. This mean keeping accurate records and paying close attention to detail. In a pharmacy, mistakes can have serious consequences. Incorrect medication or incorrect dosage can lead to grave problems for the patient.
The pharmacist must make sure that the prescription is filled correctly. There are many medications with similar names, so the pharmacist has be familiar with the medical problem of the patient and what drugs are used to treat that condition.
Some patients are under the care of several different doctors. One doctor may be unaware of a medication that another doctor prescribed. In this way, they act as a second line of defense ensuring that there will be no negative effects of drug interaction.
In every community, pharmacists are looked to as a source of medical advice. Much of their day is filled with listening to patients describe symptoms and giving advice. Sometimes they suggest over-the-counter medications.
Other times, they refer the patient to a medical doctor. In some states, pharmacists are allowed to write prescriptions for commonly prescribed non-regulated medications such as antibiotics or mild pain relievers. Duties of the Pharmacy Technician Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists.
The pharmacy technician may accept a prescription from the patient.
However, the pharmacists must review and approve it before it is filled. Once the pharmacist approves a prescription, the pharmacy technician will locate and dispense the prescribed drug. When the medication is packed and labeled, the pharmacist must review it for accuracy before it is sold to the patient.