Critical Care Pharmacy and the Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians often work in pharmacies in hospitals and medical centers assisting licensed Pharmacists who are trained in Critical Care Pharmacy. In this position, Pharmacy Technicians are responsible for filling medication orders and mixing IV medications and IV fluids under the supervision of a Pharmacist. These medications, which have been ordered by physicians for their critically ill patients in critical care units, are often crucially important to stabilize patient’s fragile medical conditions. Read on to learn more about the responsibilities and duties of a Pharmacy Technician assisting in a Critical Care Pharmacy.

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Pharmacy Technician Critical Care Pharmacy Job Description

As a Pharmacy Technician working in a Hospital Pharmacy Critical Care Area under the supervision of a licensed Critical Care pharmacist, you will be assisting the Pharmacist and other staff in the filling of physician’s orders for critically important medications. Some of the Critical Care Pharmacy Technician’s job duties include:

  • Assisting the Pharmacist in maintaining pharmacy supplies and equipment
  • Assisting in maintaining adequate drug stocks and supplies
  • Maintaining records on controlled substances
  • Obtaining drugs from stocks and counting, pouring, mixing or compounding medications under the supervision of a Pharmacist
  • Performing quality monitors on refrigerator temperatures
  • Calculating dosages and flow rates
  • Examining stock bottles of medications for expiration dates
  • Reading Hospital patient charts including physician orders and standard medical abbreviations and terminology
  • Preparing patient medication profiles from physician orders
  • Be able to work efficiently and effectively under the supervision of licensed pharmacists in a high volume pharmacy
  • Having a caring attitude toward patients and hospital staff
  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Being able to communicate effectively with patients, coworkers and nursing personnel
  • Functioning as a team player with Pharmacy staff, Nursing staff and Healthcare providers
  • Performing other related duties as required

Crucial Critical Care Pharmacy Knowledge Required in Assisting a Critical Care Pharmacist

As a Pharmacy Technician assisting a Critical Care Pharmacist, you must be competent in the following important activities:

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  • Collecting pertinent patient data
  • Using Electronic Health Records and comparable paper-based records
  • Understanding the relationship between critical illnesses and pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases
  • Understanding the principles and process of medicine reconciliation
  • Understanding adverse drug reactions
  • Understanding drug interactions such as drug-drug interactions, drug-nutrient interactions and drug-disease interactions
  • Having a knowledge of the diagnosis, pathophysiology, epidemiology and risk factors of disease states and clinical conditions
  • Understanding the meaning of changes in patient’s clinical conditions such as changes in hemodynamics, organ dysfunction and nutrition
  • Understanding methods for obtaining and interpreting and analyzing pertinent patient data
  • Understanding diagnostic tests and findings
  • Understanding medical and surgical devices and therapies such as renal replacement therapies, cardiopulmonary bypass and mechanical ventilation
  • Comprehending Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Understanding the relationship between nutritional status and disease states
  • Having a comprehensive knowledge of Pharmacology
  • Understanding the effects of hypothermia, hypermetabolic states, volume status and altered absorption
  • Understanding how alterations in anatomy and physiology from trauma, surgery or congenital causes can affect medication therapy
  • Understanding how different disease states and patient-specific factors such as nutrition and organ dysfunction can impact medication therapy
  • Understanding medical emergencies
  • Having a knowledge of the different routes of medications, fluids and nutrition
  • Understanding alterations in absorption based on disease states
  • Understanding drug-drug, drug-nutrient and drug-disease interactions
  • Understanding drug delivery considerations such as vascular, enteral and neuraxial factors
  • Understanding drug compatibility and stability
  • Understanding drug availability including formulary considerations and drug shortages
  • Understanding medication delivery technology such as smart pumps and automated dispensing cabinets
  • Understanding how to monitor a patient’s response to therapeutic regimens by using appropriate data in order to evaluate progress toward the goals of care, modify the plan of care as needed and minimize adverse outcomes.
  • Having knowledge of monitoring techniques including hemodynamic, neurologic and cardiovascular monitoring
  • Understanding outcome indicators for pharmacotherapy of disease states
  • Comprehending disease progression or resolution
  • Understanding disease progression or resolution
  • Understanding therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Understanding drug interactions
  • Understanding adverse drug events
  • Understanding reassessment and modifications of therapeutic regimens
  • Having knowledge of transitions of care
  • Having competency in communication with patients, families and members of the interprofessional team
  • Understanding approaches for obtaining and documenting patient data
  • Understanding needs assessment related to pharmacy services
  • Understanding telemedicine
  • Having a knowledge of the metrics for evaluating the quality of pharmacy services such as length of ICU stay, mortality, cost effectiveness, and days of therapy per adjusted patient day
  • Understanding pharmacoeconomic analysis
  • Understanding return on investment
  • Understanding resource utilization such as stewardship principles
  • Having a knowledge of needs assessment related to quality of care
  • Understanding medication use and monitoring systems

Conclusion

As a Certified Pharmacy Technician working under the supervision of a licensed Critical Care Pharmacist in a hospital or major medical center, you will be assisting the pharmacist in preparing critical medications for patients in the Intensive Care unit. This requires great attention to detail and the ability to work with different computer software systems that are crucial in screening for drug-drug interactions and/or allergies to medications. If you are looking for a challenging and well-paying position as a Pharmacy Technician assisting a pharmacist in the care of critically ill patients, a job in Critical Care Pharmacy may be the perfect fit for you.

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Get information on Pharmacy Technician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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