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"Training pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations"

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Apotheker2015

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Do you feel that 4-hours is adequate training time before a Tech can vaccinate?

"Training pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations"

http://bit.ly/2F6KHlM

Did they mention anything like "we're doing this in order to free up the pharmacist's time for more clinical duties"? What no one ever tells you is that it does mean eliminating pharmacists.
I doubt every company will jump on that wagon. All boards of pharmacy agree technicians do not have clinical judgement. So who monitors the patient after the shot is given? What happens in the event of an adverse reaction?
This adds an additional layer of liability to pharmacists because ultimately, these technicians would only be able to administer immunizations under a pharmacist's license. So do we have to add technicians to our malpractice insurance or would they get their own?

Food for thought.
 
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Kevin.Mero

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Did they mention anything like "we're doing this in order to free up the pharmacist's time for more clinical duties"? What no one ever tells you is that it does mean eliminating pharmacists.
I doubt every company will jump on that wagon. All boards of pharmacy agree technicians do not have clinical judgement. So who monitors the patient after the shot is given? What happens in the event of an adverse reaction?
This adds an additional layer of liability to pharmacists because ultimately, these technicians would only be able to administer immunizations under a pharmacist's license. So do we have to add technicians to our malpractice insurance or would they get their own?

Food for thought.
You raise many great points! Over the last several years I have been watching the Techs rise from Portland, ME to Portland, OR. I believe Techs now serve on at least 10 State BOP's, 3 States have remote Tech-only Pharmacies and FL is pending. Over 75% of open pharmacy jobs are for Techs and we're seeing starting Tech wages in hospitals exceeding $40K annually. A Tech with approx. 3 years of experience can earn close to $80K annually in some hospitals. Conversely we're seeing the wages of Pharmacies beginning to trend down. Thanks again!!
 
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I don’t think my training was much more than that

I don’t suppose I would mind a tech actually sticking the patient, assuming proper training and supervision. Perhaps eyes on supervision at all times. Would help out in flu clinics, etc. I’ve got shots from quite unqualified employees of doctor offices before...
 
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Kevin.Mero

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I don’t suppose I would mind a tech actually sticking the patient, assuming proper training and supervision. Perhaps eyes on supervision at all times. Would help out in flu clinics, etc. I’ve got shots from quite unqualified employees of doctor offices before...
Overall I do not disagree with you, however my concern is the continued erosion of Pharmacist jobs when the number of new grad PharmD's is going to continue to steadily rise for the foreseeable future. The flip side is that the market is driving the rise of the Techs (unlike it did for Pharmacists) and we do not have anywhere near enough well-trained and experienced Techs to handle the number of current jobs, much less those that are coming.
 
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gwarm01

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I'm 100% against this, tech-check-tech, tech only pharmacies, and anything else that gives away pharmacist duties to technicians.

Technicians operate under your license, so you are the one who takes the fall if they make a mistake. Your employer is passing this burden onto you by lobbying for increased tech responsibilities.

The end goal isn't better patient care or safety. Your employer doesn't care about freeing you up for unpaid "clinical responsibilities." That's the lie they tell you knowing your heart will skip a beat at the prospect of calling yourself a clinical pharmacist.

The end goal is to eliminate you. They would have one pharmacist supervise 100 technicians in a warehouse if they could get away with it.
 
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Kevin.Mero

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I'm 100% against this, tech-check-tech, tech only pharmacies, and anything else that gives away pharmacist duties to technicians.

Technicians operate under your license, so you are the one who takes the fall if they make a mistake. Your employer is passing this burden onto you by lobbying for increased tech responsibilities.

The end goal isn't better patient care or safety. Your employer doesn't care about freeing you up for unpaid "clinical responsibilities." That's the lie they tell you knowing your heart will skip a beat at the prospect of calling yourself a clinical pharmacist.

The end goal is to eliminate you. They would have one pharmacist supervise 100 technicians in a warehouse if they could get away with it.
Unfortunately it all comes down to money, both saving it and making it. Back in the 1990's Pharmacists were in control. As soon as the 157K Pharmacist shortfall was predicted, and the schools/colleges of pharmacy jumped on-board, you could feel the pendulum begin to swing. Now market conditions (in favor of the Techs) is usurping the organizational leadership of the ASHP and ACPE.
 

BenJammin

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I'm 100% against this, tech-check-tech, tech only pharmacies, and anything else that gives away pharmacist duties to technicians.

Technicians operate under your license, so you are the one who takes the fall if they make a mistake. Your employer is passing this burden onto you by lobbying for increased tech responsibilities.

The end goal isn't better patient care or safety. Your employer doesn't care about freeing you up for unpaid "clinical responsibilities." That's the lie they tell you knowing your heart will skip a beat at the prospect of calling yourself a clinical pharmacist.

The end goal is to eliminate you. They would have one pharmacist supervise 100 technicians in a warehouse if they could get away with it.

This is exactly why I've been saying that chain pharmacists are the biggest threat to this profession. They openly and blindly support changes that steal their autonomy thinking it will improve their working conditions. What a joke
 
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Kevin.Mero

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This is exactly why I've been saying that chain pharmacists are the biggest threat to this profession. They openly and blindly support changes that steal their autonomy thinking it will improve their working conditions. What a joke
Unfortunately
This is exactly why I've been saying that chain pharmacists are the biggest threat to this profession. They openly and blindly support changes that steal their autonomy thinking it will improve their working conditions. What a joke
Many of the employment problems new grad and retail Pharmacists face today never had to happen. If only the profession had installed some safeguards back in the year 2000 all would be well. Now the best we can hope for when the dust does settle is a soft landing, but I don't think that will be the case. The US can only sustain graduating 14,500+ new grad PharmD's annualy (and rising) and only creating 9900 new jobs. The math just doesn't work!!
 
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Overall I do not disagree with you, however my concern is the continued erosion of Pharmacist jobs when the number of new grad PharmD's is going to continue to steadily rise for the foreseeable future. The flip side is that the market is driving the rise of the Techs (unlike it did for Pharmacists) and we do not have anywhere near enough well-trained and experienced Techs to handle the number of current jobs, much less those that are coming.

I don’t really have a strong opinion on this topic and could probably be swayed one way or the other. Playing the devil’s advocate: immunization isn’t really a classical pharmacist duty but rather a new thing we’ve acquired the right to do (because we want to get paid). So it’s not really a pharmacist task that I hold near and dear to my heart and feel strongly about protecting. At least compared to other stuff. Tech-checking-tech, tech-only pharmacies, etc: oh hell no. Immunizations: eh, whatever.
 
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Apotheker2015

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I don’t really have a strong opinion on this topic and could probably be swayed one way or the other. Playing the devil’s advocate: immunization isn’t really a classical pharmacist duty but rather a new thing we’ve acquired the right to do (because we want to get paid). So it’s not really a pharmacist task that I hold near and dear to my heart and feel strongly about protecting. At least compared to other stuff. Tech-checking-tech, tech-only pharmacies, etc: oh hell no. Immunizations: eh, whatever.

True. I'd rather keep up with the queue and let other pharmacists who love giving immunizations do it. However, the pharmacist would still be responsible for those technician administered immunizations.
 
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PharmDBro2017

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Sounds like a huge liability to the pharmacist and store.

I'm not sure any technician would actually want to do this, unless you gave them a fat pay bump (which we all know will never happen... greedy corporate chains will never pay them a decent wage).
 
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Kevin.Mero

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I don’t really have a strong opinion on this topic and could probably be swayed one way or the other. Playing the devil’s advocate: immunization isn’t really a classical pharmacist duty but rather a new thing we’ve acquired the right to do (because we want to get paid). So it’s not really a pharmacist task that I hold near and dear to my heart and feel strongly about protecting. At least compared to other stuff. Tech-checking-tech, tech-only pharmacies, etc: oh hell no. Immunizations: eh, whatever.
I don't disagree that immunization is not a classic Pharmacist duty but if I play the devil's advocate, I see Pharmacists, Techs, and Mid-levels fighting over a shrinking pie. Obtaining provider status is still the goal but the road is slow (and slower under our current Administration) Mid-levels are already well-positioned and have their place at the table. Pharmacy Techs are gaining ground quickly and they are already at the table. Pharmacists had their golden opportunity but I feel to a great extent that time has passed. I listen to some Pharmacists say, to get their clout back they have to unionize. Others say they are going to the media to help bail them out. Pharmacists still do have a seat at the table but as a group you need to be careful or you'll be on the menu.
 
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Apotheker2015

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Overall I do not disagree with you, however my concern is the continued erosion of Pharmacist jobs when the number of new grad PharmD's is going to continue to steadily rise for the foreseeable future. The flip side is that the market is driving the rise of the Techs (unlike it did for Pharmacists) and we do not have anywhere near enough well-trained and experienced Techs to handle the number of current jobs, much less those that are coming.

The average *technician can barely read. Let's keep things in perspective here.
 
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Apotheker2015

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Sounds like a huge liability to the pharmacist and store.

I'm not sure any technician would actually want to do this, unless you gave them a fat pay bump (which we all know will never happen... greedy corporate chains will never pay them a decent wage).

Make no mistake. There are plenty of technicians who will jump on the opportunity to finally prove what they've been saying all along "I know as much as a pharmacist does". And without any liability? Well, what's there to lose?
 
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Kevin.Mero

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The average can barely read. Let's keep things in perspective here.
You might want to keep a lookout over your shoulder. Like in any cohort there are A-level, B-level and C-level ppl. As there are only approx 9900 new Pharmacist jobs created annually in the US, if just 1% of the 300K+ Techs are A-level there goes 3,000+ of your jobs. I can all but guarantee there are way more than 1% per year at that A-level. I am personally aware of Techs currently earning close to $90K annually. Granted it will take a few years to get to that level but not very many. Pharmacist pay is trending down.
 

Kevin.Mero

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Make no mistake. There are plenty of technicians who will jump on the opportunity to finally prove what they've been saying all along "I know as much as a pharmacist does". And without any liability? Well, what's there to lose?
You're spot-on and I wish I could show you the data, but rest-assured many Techs want to vaccinate and they're not afraid to jump in with both feet.
 

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*considers some of the techs my DOPs have inexplicably hired and even more inexplicably kept employed*

Yeah. That's a HARD PASS. I'll get my flu shot from a PharmD or an RN, thanks.
 
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PharmDBro2017

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Make no mistake. There are plenty of technicians who will jump on the opportunity to finally prove what they've been saying all along "I know as much as a pharmacist does". And without any liability? Well, what's there to lose?

Lol.

I spent a lot of hours to get my immunization cert, and learning counseling points on each vaccine, when they are indicated and for what ages, memorizing that stupid schedule chart, what questions to ask the patient, etc blah blah.

Ya it’s easy to throw a dart into someone’s arm at a certain angle, so easy a tech could do it... but what’s the point if you have to ask the pharmacist to come over and counsel the patient after the tech shoots em up?


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Kevin.Mero

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Dear god, how many techs are making over 50k let alone 90k?!

Please don't tell my techs about them, they complain enough about their pay as it is!
See the following, these are very real and current hourly rates: Techs West Coast $24.66 to $31.48 and $28.19 - $37.21 East Coast we're seeing less per hour but for a Tech fresh out of training, zero exp $20 per hour
 
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johnpharm01

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Do you feel that 4-hours is adequate training time before a Tech can vaccinate?

"Training pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations"

I believe training techs to do immunization is absurd. I have worked in a different settings including a major retailer. By in large techs don't show up on time, act with a modicum of professionalism, don't care if they make mistakes (blame pharmacists, argue when they do make them), can't pass college classes let alone get a degree and a license. My state has almost zero requirements for techs. I worked with tech that management loved and had hired even though he had drug charge. I worked with a tech that was deemed a manager by ownership and would take back medication that was dispensed and redispense it to another customer. Same person also would overrride safeguards when compounding, not check outdates and leave rx medication accessible to the public.

Am I surprised by this? Absolutely not. Our job is always oversimplified. Store managers and techs believe they can run the shop. Our employers oversimplify our tasks including immunizations telling us that side effects are rare, but never mentioning SRIVA nor giving any meaningful way to avoid needlesticks as busy as we are. Our employers are also always looking to cut costs.

I say let them, let techs take our jobs in fact give them raises. I will work in another field where knowledge skill and attitude are valued.
 
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Kevin.Mero

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You raise many great points and I am in no position to dispute anything you have said. Bottom line though is techs are going to vaccinate, Tech-Check-Tech will expand, more BOP's will let Techs serve, and the remote, Tech-only Pharmacies are here. Someone has to assume responsibility, someone has to step-up, what can the profession do, and who is going to lead?
 

johnpharm01

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You raise many great points and I am in no position to dispute anything you have said. Bottom line though is techs are going to vaccinate, Tech-Check-Tech will expand, more BOP's will let Techs serve, and the remote, Tech-only Pharmacies are here. Someone has to assume responsibility, someone has to step-up, what can the profession do, and who is going to lead?

Not me Kevin I will find something else to do and sure the hell won't let unqualified personnel treat me.
 
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kansasgal

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Full time retail tech here of 2 years after watching pharmacist, I 100% have zero excitement about administering immunizations. And as a technician I absolutely would not be willing to do them with whatever "technician training" they say will be required (which let's be honest will be basic at best).

...personally easily the most dreaded part of entering pharmacy school this coming fall. Student loans have nothing on a botched immunization...
 
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Apotheker2015

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You're spot-on and I wish I could show you the data, but rest-assured many Techs want to vaccinate and they're not afraid to jump in with both feet.

You seem very excited about this...
 
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Apotheker2015

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Lol.

I spent a lot of hours to get my immunization cert, and learning counseling points on each vaccine, when they are indicated and for what ages, memorizing that stupid schedule chart, what questions to ask the patient, etc blah blah.

Ya it’s easy to throw a dart into someone’s arm at a certain angle, so easy a tech could do it... but what’s the point if you have to ask the pharmacist to come over and counsel the patient after the tech shoots em up?


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

So did I. So I guess they're aiming at making 90K with a high school diploma. Fantastic...
 
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Apotheker2015

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Unfortunately

Many of the employment problems new grad and retail Pharmacists face today never had to happen. If only the profession had installed some safeguards back in the year 2000 all would be well. Now the best we can hope for when the dust does settle is a soft landing, but I don't think that will be the case. The US can only sustain graduating 14,500+ new grad PharmD's annualy (and rising) and only creating 9900 new jobs. The math just doesn't work!!

Completely phasing out the bachelor of science in pharmacy would probably take care of the problem.
 
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BidingMyTime

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See the following, these are very real and current hourly rates: Techs West Coast $24.66 to $31.48 and $28.19 - $37.21 East Coast we're seeing less per hour but for a Tech fresh out of training, zero exp $20 per hour

Salaries in areas of very high cost of living, aren't indicative of average salaries. And these sound like hospital tech salaries, which aren't indicative of retail tech salaries.

Completely phasing out the bachelor of science in pharmacy would probably take care of the problem.
]

1) This is extremely unlikely to happen. Pharmacists who had gotten licensed with a 2-yr degree practiced up throughout the 1990's until they all died out. 2) Even if it did happen, it will just slow down the inevitable, not "take care of the problem." As mentioned, with 14,5000 new grads each year, it is inevitable that pharmacists will become like lawyers--a minority will have well-paying jobs, with the vast majority working in fields that have nothing to do with pharmacy.
 
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farm4real

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See the following, these are very real and current hourly rates: Techs West Coast $24.66 to $31.48 and $28.19 - $37.21 East Coast we're seeing less per hour but for a Tech fresh out of training, zero exp $20 per hour


Is this real?

Techs in Florida are starting at 11 dollar/hour !
 
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Kevin.Mero

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You seem very excited about this...
Not very excited really however as I have been in the pharmacy employment arena for many years I do look forward to the interaction and lively discussions. Anything that brings more awareness to the profession and gets people engaged is good for us all.
 
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Kevin.Mero

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Completely phasing out the bachelor of science in pharmacy would probably take care of the problem.
How so? I thought there was discussion, or making the bachelor of science in pharmacy mandatory, or is it now required?
 

Kevin.Mero

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Salaries in areas of very high cost of living, aren't indicative of average salaries. And these sound like hospital tech salaries, which aren't indicative of retail tech salaries.
You are partially correct, however I did not say the Tech hourly rates were "averages" as they are on the upper end. But, that said, we're seeing higher Tech wages everywhere. The hourly wages I did quote were both from hospitals but the wages in non-hospital/health-system are down closer to $11. The cost-of-living for those Techs is the same for them as it is for the hospital Tech starting off at $24 or $28 per hour.
 

Kevin.Mero

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Is this real?

Techs in Florida are starting at 11 dollar/hour !
The hourly wages I stated are real however I should have stated both were from acute care hospitals and they were both west coast. If you are just talking about retail then yes, the wage is going to be in that $11 per hr range. Because of the pending passage of the remote, Tech-only Pharmacy Bill in FL, I'm guessing you will see the wages of Techs rise regardless of the setting, faster too!!
 

VA77

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Some states don't even have a minimum age to be a tech so take a 4 hour class and be licensed...what could go wrong. I'm surprised that the pharmacy doesn't just dispense the vaccine and the patient inject it themselves.
 
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Apotheker2015

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How so? I thought there was discussion, or making the bachelor of science in pharmacy mandatory, or is it now required?

Let me clarify. To become a US trained pharmacist you have to pursue a PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy). The PharmD is relatively new and the only entry-to practice pharmacy degree available in the US since 2003. Before that, you were able to do a 5 year Bachelor of Science which did not really have the clinical focus the PharmD has.
Even though, the PharmD is the only degree available, any licensed pharmacists who do not have a PharmD were grandfathered and not required to pursue PharmD training. That's what I was referring to.

Are you a pharmacist?
 
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Kevin.Mero

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Let me clarify. To become a US trained pharmacist you have to pursue a PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy). The PharmD is relatively new and the only entry-to practice pharmacy degree available in the US since 2003. Before that, you were able to do a 5 year Bachelor of Science which did not really have the clinical focus the PharmD has.
Even though, the PharmD is the only degree available, any licensed pharmacists who do not have a PharmD were grandfathered and not required to pursue PharmD training. That's what I was referring to.

Are you a pharmacist?
Thanks for the explanation. I am actually aware of what you detailed and thought your prev. statement was referring to an under-grad requirement. I thought that as a requirement to be accepted to the PharmD program a student could basically have any Bachelors. I thought there was discussion that either the AACP or ACPE was going to require a Bachelor of Science Pharmacy-only. That may now be a requirement but you will know ahead of me. I am not a Pharmacist, however I have been on the employment side of pharmacy for 35+ years, first purchasing a Pharmacy head hunting business, then starting a job board, then a software development company. Thanks again!!
 

Kevin.Mero

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Some states don't even have a minimum age to be a tech so take a 4 hour class and be licensed...what could go wrong. I'm surprised that the pharmacy doesn't just dispense the vaccine and the patient inject it themselves.
In most of the Pharm Tech ads we see the employer is stating their min age to apply is 16 yrs old. I'm not sure about any min State age requirement however. About the patient self-administering, I'll pass on commenting on that one, lol!!
 

gwarm01

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That Florida law makes me sick to my stomach.
 
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Apotheker2015

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Thanks for the explanation. I am actually aware of what you detailed and thought your prev. statement was referring to an under-grad requirement. I thought that as a requirement to be accepted to the PharmD program a student could basically have any Bachelors. I thought there was discussion that either the AACP or ACPE was going to require a Bachelor of Science Pharmacy-only. That may now be a requirement but you will know ahead of me. I am not a Pharmacist, however I have been on the employment side of pharmacy for 35+ years, first purchasing a Pharmacy head hunting business, then starting a job board, then a software development company. Thanks again!!

I am not sure what you meant by "require a Bachelor of science Pharmacy-only". Before this gets convoluted, a bachelor of science is not required for admission to pharmacy school. For top schools, most people show up with bachelor's, master's, even PhDs. You take your prerequisites, the PCAT and then apply. They've been talking about requiring a bachelor degree for admission. You can major in origami if you wish. As long as you take the prerequisites, it does not matter - bachelor of science vs. bachelor of arts. The same goes for medical school.

Since you're not a pharmacist, well, this is moot. You do not actually know what we do or how we do it or what goes into it. I am just going to leave it at that.
 
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Swishers

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I see nothing wrong with this if the technician has the proper training/certification and is competent. CNAs that barely make above $10/hr are allowed to administer some vaccines in a bunch of states.
 
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Apotheker2015

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I see nothing wrong with this if the technician has the proper training/certification and is competent. CNAs that barely make above $10/hr are allowed to administer some vaccines in a bunch of states.

Not to me. I always do a quick credentials check everywhere I go.
 

farm4real

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That Florida law makes me sick to my stomach.

Amen!

What gets me is the healthcare “culture” in general in Fl....my experience is limited in Fl, but enough to know that I my ethics are not welcome there...

Not interested in responding to trolls.... easier to do a 2 minute google search to get an idea what I am talking about (or don’t, your call)
 

Kevin.Mero

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I am not sure what you meant by "require a Bachelor of science Pharmacy-only". Before this gets convoluted, a bachelor of science is not required for admission to pharmacy school. For top schools, most people show up with bachelor's, master's, even PhDs. You take your prerequisites, the PCAT and then apply. They've been talking about requiring a bachelor degree for admission. You can major in origami if you wish. As long as you take the prerequisites, it does not matter - bachelor of science vs. bachelor of arts. The same goes for medical school.

Since you're not a pharmacist, well, this is moot. You do not actually know what we do or how we do it or what goes into it. I am just going to leave it at that.
Thanks for explaining, I appreciate it. And for what it's worth, once you become a pharmacist then I know what to do with you. I can't even begin to count how many pharmacists we have helped over the past 35+ years.
 

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Pharmacy technicians should have 0 clinical scope. They are not clinically trained professionals and are registered and employed to perform physical pharmacy task requiring no clinical judgement. Immunizing someone is a clinical activity. I strongly oppose pharmacy techs being able to inject vaccinations, especially if they will have 0 liability in the game.
 
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Seriously Serious

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I mean.... I do not see why this would be a problem? It's quite difficult to f*** up a flu shot. Knowing vaccination schedules and the background behind the vaccine will still be the pharmacist's responsibility.
 
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Kevin.Mero

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Pharmacy technicians should have 0 clinical scope. They are not clinically trained professionals and are registered and employed to perform physical pharmacy task requiring no clinical judgement. Immunizing someone is a clinical activity. I strongly oppose pharmacy techs being able to inject vaccinations, especially if they will have 0 liability in the game.
Maybe in the retail setting your definition would apply but not in the hospital. You're probably not going to like the following Pharmacy Tech Resident position at Cedars-Sinai I'm guessing!!
Pharmacy Tech Resident at CEDARS-SINAI
 

W19

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I see nothing wrong with this if the technician has the proper training/certification and is competent. CNAs that barely make above $10/hr are allowed to administer some vaccines in a bunch of states.
Can you name a few?
 
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