If you're new to the pharmacy world, you may have came across the role of accuracy checking technician once or twice. We've put together this post to help you understand what pharmacy accuracy checking technicians are, what they actually do and how to become one.
What is an accuracy checking technician?
A Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician is a Pharmacy Technician that has undertaken an additional training course that accredits them to perform accuracy checks of the work of other dispensers. This is to try and spot any potential errors with prescriptions, and ensure patients receive the correct medication.
While a pharmacist is still required to carry out a clinical check of any prescriptions to be dispensed, Accuracy Checking Technicians can help streamline the process. They carry out a thorough, final check of the medication ensuring that the dosage, the amount and medication is indeed correct before it is supplied to the patient.Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technicians help ensure a higher standard of care for patients, as the provide an extra pair of eyes on all prescriptions that leave the pharmacy, which reduces the chance of patients receiving the wrong medication or incorrect dosage.
What are the roles and responsibilities of an Accuracy Checking Technician
Some of the roles and responsibilities of an Accuracy Checking Technician are…
Performing a final accuracy check on any medication before it’s given to patients.
Bouncing prescriptions back to the pharmacist or dispenser who prepared the prescription if an error is identified.
Keeping an eye on the dispensary workload of the pharmacy in cooperation with the Responsible Pharmacist, to ensure workload stays at a safe level.
Some Accuracy Checking Technicians may assume a more senior role within the pharmacy, supervising the work of pharmacy assistants and more junior pharmacy technicians.
In larger pharmacies, Accuracy Checking Technicians may be involved in reviewing dispensing incidents and errors to help the pharmacy understand what happened, why the error occurred, and what measures can be put in place to prevent the same error happening again future.
Alongside their roles and responsibilities as an Accuracy Checking Technicians, they will also carry out the regular duties of a pharmacy technician. Find out more about what pharmacy technicians do in our post about how to become a pharmacy technician.
How to become an Accuracy Checking Technician
To become a Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician, Pharmacy Technicians must undertake an accuracy checking course. In order to be eligible to take the course, a pharmacy technician must meet the following criteria:
They need to be registered as a Pharmacy Technician with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
They need to have worked at their current workplace for at least six months as a pharmacy technician.
They must be able to demonstrate their ability to accurately dispense medication in their current workplace (references confirming this will be expected).
They will need to identify a Facilitator at their current workplace. A Facilitator is a selected individual who can be either a Pharmacist or an Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician with more than three years’ experience. The facilitator must be able to offer support, guidance and feedback for the duration of the course.
Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician courses typically take around three to nine months and cover things like common dispensing and medication errors and how to spot and monitor for them, the psychology of errors (why errors usually happen), how to carry out thorough dispensing checks and a refresher of pharmaceutical calculations.
Where can I do an Accuracy Checking Technician course?
There are a number of course providers with approved Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician courses. This includes:
What are the benefits of becoming an Accuracy Checking Technician?
While studying for another three to nine months may seem a bit daunting, there are a number of benefits to becoming an Accuracy Checking Technician.
Accuracy Checking Technicians take on more responsibility within their pharmacy by being the person responsible for the final checks of prescriptions.
You may find yourself assuming a more senior role within pharmacy, as you may be checking the work of more junior members of the pharmacy.
More responsibility and seniority usually means a higher salary.
Getting accredited as a Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician will open up more jobs for you where the employer requires training and experience as an Accuracy Checking Technician.
It’s a great way to broaden your experience and enhance your CV.