Unsurprisingly, most people enter healthcare careers because they want to help people, and a career as a pharmacy technician also gives you that chance. As a pharmacy tech, it’s important to know how you can assist on a patient’s road to recovery. Here’s how to improve your counter-side manner and help in the healing process.
First impressions matter
Pharmacy techs are the face of the pharmacy. You represent yourself, your employer, and the patient’s healthcare experience, so be sure to make a positive first impression; it may determine whether or not the individual returns. Always act and look professional, which includes smiling, wearing your ID, dressing appropriately, and maintaining personal hygiene. You are the first person a patient talks to and asks for help, so be 100% focused on responding to the patient’s needs in a respectful and knowledgeable way.
As part of your patient’s healthcare experience, you are responsible for contributing to your patient’s health. Standing in line to fill a prescription can be torture for the healthiest of patients, and odds are many in line are physically or emotionally suffering. They need and deserve a pleasant experience at the pharmacy and may need to be walked through each process. Be mentally prepared to do this and be patient with your patients. They need to feel that they are being handled with care and understanding. Insensitivity, disinterest, or disregard on your part could lead to incomplete care.
Keep your cool
Many patients do not understand the role of a pharmacy tech and may see you as either a pharmacist or merely a cashier. Additionally, as the face of the pharmacy, patients may hold you responsible if anything goes wrong or even if the prescription price is higher than expected. It’s hard to be the target of misdirected anger or frustration, but be sure to keep your cool. Don’t hesitate to refer dissatisfied patients to someone who can resolve their issues. The most important thing you can do is to be as friendly and helpful as possible.
Pharmacy techs do much more than measure medicine: you provide patient care and play a crucial role in the healthcare system.
If you will soon be entering the profession, look for a position where the pharmacist treats technicians with respect and value their work, especially in front of the patients. It can make all the difference.
Interested in a pharmacy technician career? Find a program that includes an externship—such as Career Step’s Pharmacy Technician training—so you not only get to know the pharmacist, but start early perfecting your counter-side manner and practicing complete patient care.
Do you have any other suggestions for ways pharmacy techs can provide the very best patient care? Leave them in the comments below!