Schools Training

Medication Made Simple

10 AUG 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

A pill isn’t always just a pill, and a dose isn’t always as simple as taking a dose. There are times when our medical and pharmaceutical needs require extensive organization. The risk of over or under dosing, or taking the wrong pills can sometimes be quite serious. Some medication cancels out others, while others can have very bad reactions when taken with others. While we are normally responsible for being aware of our prescription medicine procedures, it is good to know that there are healthcare professionals out there who have the training to help us keep our drugs organized.


This is why our healthcare specialists, like pharmacy technicians, get more than theoretical and practical knowledge of the science of prescription drugs. Being able to properly communicate with patients about their doses and procedures is a large part pharmacy practice. It is often considered part of the pharmacist’s community training, and it has several key components:


– The proper use of dossettes: while this sounds like a cute, diminutive word meaning ‘little doses,’ you may have seen these special compartmentalized pill cases divided by days of the week, or even times of the day. Knowing how to demonstrate proper use and accuracy when dispensing medication in dossettes is a key factor when a patient will be using many drugs over extended periods of time and may not have the chance for further consultation with the pharmacist.


– Identifying and labeling a variety of products: based on shape, color, size and engravings, these visual and tactile devices are extremely useful for distinguishing between different medications. The pharmaceutical technician needs to have a good familiarity when working in the lab or the back of the pharmacy, as well as when explaining the medication to patients.


– Listening and taking verbal orders: while pharmaceutical technicians are not doctors, there is still a fair amount of communicating with patients and customers, listening to any concerns or personal problems and understanding specific circumstances.


– Checking completed prescriptions: prescription drugs undergo various stages from the lab to the pharmacy to the patients themselves. Because of the sensitivity and possible health repercussions of these products, it is a vital part of pharmacy technician training to know all the steps and to be able to make a final confirmation of the exactness of a prescription before giving it to a patient, being familiar with a series of checklists and proofing the labels and instructions.


Knowing how to help a patient and customer stay organized and avoid mistakes begins with formal education in schools of health science and is continued on the job. Just as being a great student starts with being organized, so is organization a continual factor in being a great pharmacist and ensuring that people get the best pharmaceutical assistance.


Visit Mohawk College for more information on attending a health science college.