Pharmacy Assistant

How to Avoid Drug Dispensing Errors After Pharmacy Assistant Training

August 10, 2018

female pharmacy assistant smiling

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. Thoroughly check all details of a prescription. 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.

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