How to Avoid Drug Dispensing Errors After Pharmacy Assistant TrainingAugust 10, 2018
Pharmacies play a vital role in the healthcare system by distributing necessary medications to the public. The responsibilities of those employed in such a business vary, with pharmacy assistants working under the direct supervision of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. These assistants carry out important duties such as the filling of prescriptions. Once this task has been fulfilled, then the pharmacy technician or pharmacist carries out a final check of the product before it is handed over to the customer.
The information associated with each prescription or medication type can be quite technical, so attention to detail is needed to prevent errors from occurring. Here are some points to keep in mind once you enter the workplace.
Check Prescriptions Thoroughly before Passing them on to the Technician or Pharmacist
One of the primary dispensing errors to be aware of is the distribution of incorrect medication. Students in pharmacy assistant training should therefore pay close attention to the prescription details and stocked medication before it is passed on to the pharmacy technician or pharmacist for final approval. Ensure that the prescription details and the prescription label on the drug container match up correctly.
There’s much more to a prescription than just providing the right medication. Patients should be aware of the drug strength, dosage, and directions before consumption, and these details must be visible on the labelling. Double and triple check that the prescription details and prescription label contain the same information before passing on the product to the pharmacy technician or pharmacist.Beware of Duplicate Patient or Drug Names After Your Pharmacy Assistant Course
When working in a busy pharmacy, it’s not unusual to come across numerous people with the same name. Their details are often stored in a database where their prescription details can also be accessed. Don’t assume that the first person which pops up in the database with a certain name is the right person you’re searching for. Use another identifier such as their age to ensure that the correct patient is found in the database.
The same problem commonly occurs with sound-alike drug names. Remove the risk of incorrect drug dispensing by notifying others of potential confusion on the computer system or the medication itself. Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists often admire such attention to detail. Prevent Errors by Creating an Organized Workplace
The key to error prevention comes down to attention to detail. This is much easier to maintain if you limit the distractions around you and create an efficient workspace. Grads of a pharmacy assistant course therefore play their part by creating and maintaining workplace systems where medication stock is easily found and effectively divided.
Avoid working on more than one prescription at once, as this runs the risk of incorrect labels being placed on medication containers or boxes. Once an effective routine has been established, the possibility of medication errors quickly decreases.
Set yourself up for this rewarding career by studying for a pharmacy assistant diploma in Ontario.
Find out more about our extensive program at Medix College.
Career Paths You Can Unlock With the Help of Pharmacy Assistant SchoolJune 15, 2018
Graduates of pharmacy assistant classes learn important practical skills, such as maintaining inventory and filling prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist. These skills are necessary for anyone who wants to thrive in a fast-paced pharmacy environment. Graduates who have developed these skills can look forward to rewarding careers in healthcare. In fact, there are several options for students to pursue.
Here are some of the exciting careers that students of pharmacy assistant programs can consider after they graduate. Read on to learn more!
Pharmacy Assistants Are Ready for Careers in Community Pharmacies
One of the great qualities of a pharmacy assistant is their interpersonal skills, which makes them ideal for building careers where they can engage regularly with the public. Good people skills come in handy for pharmacy assistants when working in a community pharmacy setting, as they may often be responsible for welcoming clients, updating files, and more.
Maintaining medical stock is applicable to a number of pharmacy related careers
Graduates of a pharmacy assistant course know how important it is to remain cordial and friendly with clients, and are well prepared to answer any questions they may have, unless they require the specific expertise of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Excellent pharmacy assistants will also be well organized, allowing them to properly receive shipments and file paperwork. Some pharmacy assistant programs, like the one offered at Medix College, require their students undergo an externship placement as part of their training. This helps to give them the hands-on experience they need to excel with these tasks after graduating.
Graduates of Pharmacy Assistant School Can Build Great Careers in Hospitals
With the help of a pharmacy assistant program, graduates gain the skills and practical knowledge that make a rewarding career in the pharmacy department of a hospital possible. Pharmacy assistants are detail oriented and highly accurate, working hard compounding medication, receiving shipments, maintaining inventory, and more under the careful direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
A pharmacy assistant school can also help provide graduates with expert training that can be applied to some of the daily tasks they will be responsible for in a hospital setting. The day-to-day activities of a pharmacy assistant working in a hospital are varied and rewarding, as they help with the preparation of medications for patients in need of attentive care—always working under the supervision of a pharmacist. As hospitals can be notoriously busy, pharmacy assistants working in this environment enjoy being part of a fast-paced team. Excellent communication and teamwork skills help recent graduates thrive in this role, as they work hard to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Pharmacy Assistants Can Upskill and Further Their Careers
Once you’ve completed your pharmacy assistant training, you’ll have all the skills and knowledge to benefit from the many careers available to pharmacy assistants. In addition, there are opportunities for you to advance and upskill as you progress through your career. For example, with further training and education you can progress to the role of pharmacy technician, which allows for a greater scope of duties and responsibilities. With a pharmacy assistant diploma under your belt, there is no limit to the opportunities that await you!
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Considering Career Training in Healthcare? 5 Signs You Should Become a Pharmacy Assistant!May 04, 2018
Becoming a pharmacy assistant can be quite the rewarding career for those interested in the pharmaceutical industry. As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll work under the direct supervision of a trained pharmacist or a pharmacy technician, assisting the former with preparing different medications, all while performing various clerical duties.
Are you curious as to whether you have the skills needed to really thrive in the role of a pharmacy assistant? Below are five clear signs that you’d be a perfect fit for this career path!
1. You’re Well Organized and Can Multitask
As a pharmacy assistant, you’ll have many different responsibilities. These can include ordering inventory, greeting clients, and even helping to fill prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist. Being able to perform all of these tasks requires that a pharmacy assistant be organized and detail oriented to avoid errors. If you’re able to manage multiple tasks effectively, then it’s a good sign that you could be a great fit for this rewarding career.
2. You’re Highly Responsible and Alert
Responsibility and alertness while on the job are important qualities to cultivate for any kind of career, and becoming a pharmacy assistant is no exception. Good pharmacy assistants need to be diligent and detail-oriented, given the important nature of their work. You may need to help fill out prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist, or help ensure that pharmacy inventory is at optimal levels. Both of these tasks necessitate for a pharmacy assistant to act responsibly by routinely checking stock, as well as double checking that the medications they pack and label are correct for each client, so that supervising pharmacists won’t come across errors in their work.
3. Good Pharmacy Assistants Work Well in Teams
If you’re looking to pursue pharmacy assistant training , you’ll need to be able to work well as part of a team while occasionally immersed in a high pressure environment. When pharmacies get busy, and pharmacists are overwhelmed, you will need to be able to work effectively with them to ensure clients are served appropriately. If you’re a good communicator and work well with others, there’s no doubt you’ll thrive in this career.
Working well as part of a team is important to success as a pharmacy assistant
4. Good Customer Service Skills Are a Good Sign That You’d Make a Great Pharmacy Assistant
Great interpersonal and people skills are an important part of being a pharmacy assistant. Since pharmacy assistants will often process transactions and answer phones, they need to be polite, patient, and customer oriented.
Pharmacy assistants process transactions, so good customer service skills are a must
Pharmacy assistants also greet customers and get important information from them. As a result, pharmacy assistants should also be good listeners. Good listening skills also help pharmacy assistants properly follow instructions from customers as well as the pharmacist. If you have had previous experience with customer service, that experience could give you an edge as you pursue this career path.
5. An Interest in Healthcare Can Help Get Your Pharmacy Assistant Training Started!
Probably the most obvious indicator that you’re ready for a career as a pharmacy assistant is that you may already have an interest in healthcare and helping others. If healthcare is what you like, then you’ll thrive in an environment that stimulates your interests. A good pharmacy assistant course , like the one offered at Medix College, will give you all the training and confidence you will need to prepare yourself for this role, and turn your passion into a reality!
Do think you would enjoy a career as a pharmacy assistant?
Join Medix College and get your career training in healthcare started!
3 Interview Questions to Master if You Want to Become a Pharmacy AssistantNovember 10, 2017
Without pharmacy assistants to help run the show, your neighbourhood pharmacy would more than likely be pretty inefficient. Pharmacy assistants help ensure that inventory is ordered correctly, help fill prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist, and do a number of other important tasks necessary to the activities within a pharmacy.
The fact that there are so many pharmacies around means you’re likely to enjoy a fair amount of opportunity after finishing your training. Of course, getting the job of your dreams still involves completing an interview.
Want to make sure you’re ready to answer some of the toughest questions interviewers have for aspiring pharmacy assistants? Here are a few of the questions you’ll want to master.
Expect Questions About How You’d Deal With Stressed Customers
From time to time, customers can feel stressed or worried when they’re picking up medications at a pharmacy. They might be coming to terms with a new condition or illness, or simply not be feeling at their best. Occasionally, their frustration might manifest itself as they talk to the pharmacy assistant on duty. For this reason, employers want to know that you can remain professional in the face of a stressed customer. An interviewer might ask you to either give an example of a time you interacted with a difficult customer, or else to explain how you would behave in that type of situation.
What employers want to hear in this situation is that you were able to remain calm and professional enough to uphold your responsibilities. If the situation looked like it was spiralling out of control, they will want to know that you had the presence of mind to seek out assistance from a manager. To demonstrate your professionalism in the interview, you’ll want to make sure that you convey to the employer either that this is how you behaved in the past or it is how you would behave in the future.
Employers want to know you can behave professionally if faced with difficult customers
Applicants for Pharmacy Assistant Roles May Be Asked About How They Work in Teams
Taking on a career as a pharmacy assistant means entering a world in which teamwork is an essential part of the job. Pharmacies are tightly regulated and employ a structure where the pharmacist is at the head of things, overseeing the work done by the pharmacy assistants under their supervision.
A good pharmacy assistant training program will provide you with all the hands-on skills you need to complete your tasks efficiently and correctly. In addition, the off-site externship placement component of your program will allow you to apply these skills in a real work and team setting, helping you develop your teamwork skills. A capacity to thrive within a team dynamic is necessary for proper coordination with the professionals you will work with. This is particularly true when dealing with multi-step processes around potentially sensitive information and products, such as when filling prescriptions.
Often, employers will approach this subject by asking whether you prefer working alone, or as a part of a team. It’s appropriate to say you enjoy both, but make sure you express a fondness for being a part of a well-functioning group. If you have an example of a time you succeeded in a group dynamic, be sure to bring it up as backing evidence.
Graduates of Pharmacy Assistant School Face the Dreaded “What Is Your Weakness?” Question
At some point, pretty much everybody faces the “What is your greatest weakness?” question in a job interview, and that includes graduates interviewing to become a pharmacy assistant.
It’s a tricky balance to achieve a good answer to this question, and there’s no single correct approach. As a rule, be truthful—getting caught in a lie is never a good thing—and express an actual weakness, but also explain how you are working to address it.
Here is an example for inspiration: Saying you sometimes underestimate the amount of time a task will take to complete. This weakness has repercussions, as you might find yourself struggling with an unmanageable workload—but isn’t insurmountable. You could say that you now make an effort to give yourself a little wiggle room so that you aren’t surprised by a task’s length.
If you want a little help figuring out a great answer to this question, consider reaching out to career services professionals at your school. Top schools like Medix College employ caring and expert staff devoted to helping students prepare for interviews and applications, and could be a great resource to help ensure you nail tough interview questions.
Career services professionals can help you prepare for tricky interview questions
Do you want to prepare for a new, rewarding career?
Contact Medix College to learn about going to pharmacy assistant school!
Taking a Pharmacy Assistant Course? Why Teamwork Will Be an Important Part of Your CareerJuly 07, 2017
Pharmacies hold an essential place within modern society, distributing medicines to people who rely on them to stay healthy or get better. They are also strictly regulated, and require a good level of coordination and efficiency to run correctly. To run in this manner, it’s important for the professionals working at the pharmacy to understand how to work together effectively, and use teamwork to ensure all work gets completed smoothly and according to protocol.
Want to learn a little more about why teamwork will be an important part of your career? Here are some of the reasons why teamwork is so essential.
Teamwork & Communication Can Help Grads of Pharmacy Assistant Courses Work Harmoniously
Working as a pharmacy assistant, you may find yourself working alongside one or more pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, and other assistants. These different professionals often have their own responsibilities. For example, pharmacists dispense medication, monitor drugs, and offer advice to clients. Pharmacy assistants, on the other hand, work under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician and help with tasks like ordering and receiving inventory, maintaining prescription records, receiving shipments, and handling paperwork.
Possessing good teamwork and communication skills is important for working with a diverse team from different professional backgrounds. Good teamwork and communication skills will allow you to coordinate efforts with colleagues in a constructive way, and can also help you ensure that everyone is kept informed of any new developments at the pharmacy. For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose a pharmacy assistant course that will help you learn valuable soft skills like communication; this can help ensure you are fully prepared for all kinds of interactions in the workplace and that you and your team work well together.
Good teamwork and communication can help you smoothly handle workplace interactions
Good Teamwork Will Help Ensure Few Errors Are Made
Pharmacy work must be completed with precision. Shipments should be ordered and received in keeping with protocol; medicines should be sorted, portioned, and labelled according to legal and workplace requirements; and other designated steps should also be followed to ensure that no errors occur. For this reason, working closely with your coworkers and carefully following protocols will be crucial to avoiding errors and keeping the pharmacy you work for running smoothly.
Getting your pharmacy assistant diploma in Ontario in Ontario will provide you with great insight into the protocols and processes that make a pharmacy run, and may give you a new appreciation for the individual and group efforts needed to maintain a high level of effectiveness. You can learn the intricacies of filling prescriptions, ordering inventory, packaging products, and other important tasks that will be completed by you and others in your workplace. Pay close attention to these protocols and by the time you’re ready to enter your new profession, you’ll be able to contribute your expertise and efforts in a professional manner that will contribute to the success of a well-integrated team.
A team that follows protocol will be efficient and less prone to error
Do you want to do career training in healthcare?
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3 Facts About Drug Labelling for Students Taking Pharmacy Assistant CoursesApril 24, 2017
Prescription and non-prescription medication allows for people with many medical conditions, both threatening and non-threatening, to control and alleviate their illnesses. However, this depends upon the correct medication being taken in the correct dosages, at the correct times.
To make facts about drugs as easy to understand as possible, strict controls exist regarding how drug labels should present information. Learning how drug labels are supposed to look, and why they are supposed to look the way they do, is an important element of training to become a pharmacy assistant.
Here’s a peek at some pertinent facts about drug labelling.
1. After Completing the Pharmacy Assistant Course, You’ll Learn Basic Information on Most Prescription Labels
To help healthcare professionals as well as patients, there is some important information that you can almost always expect to see on prescription labels when working in Canadian pharmacies. This includes important information like the drug’s name, its official identification number, instructions for how to take it, the number of capsules included in the bottle, and more. This helps to provide patients with useful information to guide them in taking their medication.
Under the supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy assistants may help with filing prescriptions. To prepare you to complete this task with confidence, in-depth career training in healthcare is essential. It is important to choose a training program that will give you a great understanding of prescriptions and how to properly fill them. Choosing an education at Medix College will allow you to master all of this and more, granting you the skills employers need in pharmacy assistants.
2. For Drugs Sold in Canada, Regulations Exist to Maintain Legibility
Despite best efforts to provide patients with adequate information regarding drugs, many people have difficulty understanding the information they see on drug labels. To help prevent confusion, regulations are being implemented to improve the manner in which information is presented on a drug’s label.
Health Canada’s guidelines for drug labels come into effect in 2019, and include modifications like ensuring important information is prominent, readily discernible, written understandably, and not obscured by graphics or other text. These design standards will hopefully provide an important basis for consumer protection, helping to prevent unnecessary confusion for patients.
New labelling guidelines could cut down on patient confusion
Because these measures won’t come into effect until a while after your pharmacy assistant course, you’ll be able to get a great look at how effective they prove to be in the coming years. If you notice fewer confused patients going through your workplace, you may have the new guidelines to thank.
3. Graduates of Pharmacy Assistant Courses May Encounter Voluntary Labelling Standards
Outside the standards required by the government, many drug manufacturers also observe additional standards meant to improve clarity and ensure that customers are not accidentally misled by drug labelling. For example, some manufacturers may refer to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices’ List of Confused Drug Names to ensure their labelling cannot be misconstrued as offering something the drug does not do. By taking on this extra responsibility voluntarily, manufacturers can promote greater understanding and patient safety.
Initiatives like this show that professionals working on healthcare matters are deeply concerned with helping people. If you want the chance to help others in your own career, bringing your own skills to the healthcare space is an excellent way to make a difference in your community.
Do you want to earn your Pharmacy Assistant Diploma in Ontario?
Contact Medix College to learn more about enrolling!