With COVID-19 cases rising in many states, and flu season on its way, CVS just announced that it’s planning to add an additional 15,000 pharmacy workers by the end of 2020 in order to handle the steadily rising numbers of COVID-19 infections seen currently in many states and the flu season just around the corner. The big-chain retail giant stated that the majority of these new employees will be technicians who will assist with COVID-19 testing, flu shots and maybe even the administration of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine in patients.
As is the case in most states, pharmacy technicians are an integral part of the pharmacy team in Florida. Officially known as CPhT’s, pharmacy technicians play a significant role in all pharmacy types such as retail community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, long term care facilities, specialty pharmacies, compounding pharmacies and mail-order pharmacy operations. The pharmacy technicians in Florida even contribute by working in additional ancillary environments outside of actual pharmacy roles in various other industries including insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical software development firms.
Who Regulates Pharmacy Technicians in Florida?
The governance and regulating of pharmacy technicians in Florida is performed by the Florida Board of Pharmacy as specified by the 2016 Florida Statutes 465.014 of the Florida Legislature. As mandated, any pharmacy technician working in Florida must be registered with the Florida Board of Pharmacy and must first go through the required application process. Along with the registration application form itself and the submission of a technician’s social security form, the applicant must also have completed a Florida Pharmacy Board approved pharmacy technician training program to receive their certification. Some of the pharmacy technician training programs that are approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy include the programs provided by ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), SASCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools), CIE (Florida Commission for Independent Education) and the COE (Council on Occupational Education). Additionally, any pharmacy technician that has served in the US armed forces (and has proof of training program completion) may apply for registration in Florida. There are also various “employer based” pharmacy technician training programs that have been approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy. To see if a particular “employer based” pharmacy technician training program is approved, simply go to Florida Health or Department of Health License Verification and search under “Pharmacy Technician Training Programs.”
Continuing Education (CE) for registered pharmacy technicians in Florida is required annually. The annual CE requirements total 20 hours and are broken done as:
– 18 General hours (these can be either ACPE or Board approved)
– 2 Medication Errors hours (must be Board approved)
Additionally, 4 hours of the total 20 CE hours required for the annual registration renewal must be live (i. e. the technician must physically attend a Board approved CE session).
For more information on Pharmacy Technicians in all other states than Florida, the PTCB (Pharmacy Technician Certification Board) is an excellent resource available to everyone. In most cases, the State Board of Pharmacy offers guidance on becoming a CPhT in their individual state (and information on becoming registered and Continuing Education requirements for their individual state).
What are a Pharmacy Technician’s Job Roles and Tasks?
Working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, pharmacy technicians provide invaluable support to patients by their contributions to the patient’s medication delivery, compliance and overall drug therapies. Job duties for pharmacy technicians vary by setting, but may include involvement in the preparation and dispensing of medications and IV solutions, communication with patients, physician’s offices and insurance companies and various additional pharmacy administrative roles.
As of April 15th of 2016 the rules for the pharmacist to registered technician ratios (64B16-27.4001, 64B16—27.410, 64B16-27.420, 64B16-27.430, 64B16-27.440) still allow for a 1:1 ratio of one registered pharmacist supervising one registered pharmacy technician. However, the provisions allow for the following ratios to be in place:
– A 3:1 ratio – registered technicians assisting with delegable tasks involving sterile compounding
– A 4:1 ratio – as long as delegable tasks do not include sterile compounding
– A 6:1 ratio – pharmacies that don’t dispense medicinal drugs and delegable tasks do not include sterile compounding
Any ratios outside of these need to be approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy.
Delegable Tasks Vs. Non-Delegable Tasks for Pharmacy Technicians
What are termed as “Delegable Tasks” that may be performed by a registered pharmacy technician under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist in Florida include:
– Data entry of patient information and medications
– Retrieval of prescription files (including a patient’s files and profile information)
– The labeling of prescriptions
– Counting, measuring, weighing, and pouring of prescription or stock drugs (including legend drugs and controlled substances)
– Accepting a physician’s authorization to refill an existing prescription that has no refills remaining
– Filling of an automated medication system
– Participation in quality improvement related events, meetings, or presentations
What are termed as “Non-Delegable Tasks” that may NOT be performed by a registered pharmacy technician include:
– Engaging a patient or family member in any form of patient counseling
– Preparing a copy of a prescription or reading a prescription to any person for purpose of providing reference concerning treatment of the person or animal for whom the prescription was written
– Engaging in any act that requires the exercise of a registered pharmacist’s professional judgment.
About Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing
As always, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing is here to answer any questions that you may have regarding Registered Pharmacy Technicians and CPhT’s in Florida. With our corporate headquarters located in Florida, HCC has been matching the right Registered Pharmacy Technician to the right job and employer for over 31+ years now. If you are currently looking for a pharmacy technician to fill a job or position in Florida, please see more about our Pharmacy Technician Staffing Services. If you are a registered pharmacy technician actively looking for a job or position in Florida, please see more about our Technician Job and Placement Services and jobs currently available (including any current job openings in the Orlando, Miami, Tampa or Jacksonville metropolitan areas). In either case, we urge you to talk with us. Contact us today online or call us at 800-642-1652 to explore how we can help you.