Why Pharm Techs Are In Huge Demand
Aug. 15, 2016
Pharmacy Technician is one of the fastest-growing careers among health care occupations today. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.BLS.gov), the need for Pharmacy Technicians is growing nine percent faster than other health care professions.
The reason is simple. Pharmacy Technicians are more in demand today than ever because more people are using pharmaceutical products to cure and treat disease.
Bridget Smaczniak, Pharmacy Technician Program Director at Concorde’s campus in Kansas City, Mo., cited a study by B. Dennis published in 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and later re-published in The Washington Post that stated that researchers found the prevalence of prescription drug use among people 20 and older had risen to 59 percent in 2012 from 51 percent just a dozen years earlier. During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15 percent from eight percent.
“With so many people using prescription drugs, the need for Pharmacy Technicians to assist Pharmacists in meeting this demand is significant,” Smaczniak said.
An aging population
It’s a demand with no apparent end to the growth in sight as America’s population of baby boomers and others continues to age.
“The high demand for prescription medications will increase due to more demand for pharmaceutical services,” said Carla Morgan, B.S., Pharmacy Technician Program Director at Concorde’s Memphis, Tenn. campus. “One reason for this is that people are living longer, and there are more senior citizens making up the population.”
More venues for the pharmacy technician
A second reason Pharmacy Technicians are in such high demand can be seen in the different types of pharmacy practices available. Many are familiar with retail or hospital pharmacies, but Pharmacy Technicians also can work in specialized types of practice, such as mail-order, long-term care, nuclear and compounding pharmacies, all of which provide specialized services.
“There are also opportunities for Pharmacy Technicians to pursue training or management positions to promote best practice skills for the next generation of Pharmacy Technicians,” Smaczniak said.
The Pharmacy Technician in all practice settings
Finally, Pharmacy Technicians play an important role in meeting the demands of pharmacy consumers in all practice settings.
“Think about going through a drive-thru at your favorite fast-food restaurant,” Smaczniak said. “If your order is wrong, you’re likely not happy, but that wrong order isn’t likely to hurt you in any way. In pharmacy, this kind of mistake in dispensing medications to a patient can have disastrous consequences.”
Pharmacy Technicians need good skills in communication, customer service, basic math, reading comprehension, active listening critical thinking, clerical activities and time management. Individuals who have an empathetic attitude toward others are generally well-suited to fulfill this role.
The Pharm Tech program at Concorde is focused on always helping our students succeed in their career paths. We offer an American Society of Heath-System Pharmacists-accredited Pharmacy Technician training program that maximizes the potential of each student and allows for experience in the maximum number of practice settings. Students complete coursework in several areas, including prescription processing, pharmacology and sterile preparations, to name a few. Students receive assistance obtaining the required licensure to work as a Pharmacy Technician and are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) after completion of externships.