The future of pharmacy technicians as immunizers

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These 3 states have for years put in place regulations on the practice of pharmacy that allow pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines. Shifting to a broader national vision, the immunization administration skills of pharmacy technicians expanded when the guidelines of the Public Preparedness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) in October 2020 authorized the technicians in pharmacies to administer COVID-19 vaccines and routine vaccines for children.

The PREP Act guidelines have established the Immediate Needs Immunization Skillset, but the PREP Act guidelines will expire when the pandemic need decreases. What then happens to the masses of pharmacy technicians who have mobilized to acquire skills in immunization? What happens to their growing skills, talent and experience in administering immunization?

Now, moving months beyond the immediate need for pharmacy technicians to enter the circle of health professionals administering COVID-19 round 1 and 2 vaccinations, we are realizing the success of this idea of ​​pharmacy technicians as immunizers. With COVID-19 vaccination clinics still in operation and booster doses on the horizon, there is still a need for pharmacy technicians as vaccinators. In addition to this need, many pharmacy technicians wish to continue administering all types of vaccinations.

“My pharmacy, like many, was overwhelmed with the demand for vaccines and being able to participate in the effort by training in immunization has helped me to be even more of an asset to my team,” said Mikayla Randolph, CPhT, who practices in Nebraska. . “Beyond the COVID vaccinations, I look forward to helping my pharmacist administer the flu shots. Every year we have these days where there are 5 people in line with antibiotic scripts waiting for. being full and 10 other people behind them wanting their seasonal flu shot Being able to relieve my pharmacist a bit in a situation like this makes getting certified worth it.

The growth, development and support of skills are important elements in sustaining current needs and securing the future of pharmacy technicians as immunizers. Growth is naturally derived from experience in administering vaccination.

Nurturing the seed of skills comes from the completion of continuing education and specific training in immunization administration. The affirmation and positive support from pharmacists, peer pharmacy technicians and the healthcare community for this new role of vaccine delivery for pharmacy technicians as immunizers completes a successful plantation with a flourishing future. .

How we as an industry go about allowing pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations when PREP authorization goes away will vary from state to state, just as states currently design and support regulation. state-specific pharmaceutical.

The 3 action points that pharmacy technicians should keep in mind with their future as vaccinators are:

1. Seek additional training and education

Routine vaccines are administered by various routes. Although the pharmacy technicians who have answered the call for COVID-19 vaccination have been trained for the intramuscular route of administration, the enduring skill set for administering routine vaccines will also require training and education in other routes, such as intranasal, subcutaneous and oral.

2. Have confidence in your advanced role as a vaccinator

Confidence in your technique, also known as an administrative skill, is acquired through knowledge, experience, preparation and support. Acquire knowledge through initial training and by actively participating in continuing training specific to vaccine knowledge and immunization administration. This type of continuing education is noted as ’06’ in the universal activity number for continuing education for the pharmacy technician. Experience can only be gained if you work in an environment that allows you to immunize and where the supervising pharmacist supports your expanded role, specifically the work you do. Prepare for the expanded role of immunization administration and gain support by reviewing your pharmacy workplace policy and procedures.

3. Be part of the movement

The history of regulation, roles, tasks and training mandates of pharmacy technicians has been determined by pharmacists, not technicians. Take part in a positive change in your history, in your profession.

A good place to start is to contact an association for help and advice, such as the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians. Local and state-specific pharmacy associations are also a great place to start. You can also contact your State Board of Pharmacy directly to find out how you can express yourself by sharing your thoughts.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians agree that the ability and authority to administer immunization highlights advanced practices for pharmacy technicians.

“Going forward, I think the ability to administer vaccines will just continue to elevate the profession of pharmacy technicians,” said Andye Miller, BS, CPhT, of Omaha, Nebraska.

Kylie Reinsch, CPhT, of RelyCare LTC Pharmacy in Lincoln, Nebraska, echoed those sentiments.

“Training in vaccine administration at UNMC College of Pharmacy allowed me to be part of the solution. The experience was just amazing, ”said Reinsch.

Reference

Vaccines Administered by Certified Pharmacy Technicians in Idaho, March 28, 2018, Karen Berger, PharmD, Pharmacy Times https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/vaccines-administered-by-certified-pharmacy-technicians-in- Idaho. Accessed September 9, 2021.

About the Author

Ms. Neville is a sterile preparation teacher for pharmacy students in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She directs the education and training of pharmacy technicians offered by the college. She prepares the pharmacy technician degree program and lectures on a number of pharmacy technician topics.


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