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Common Ethical Concerns Facing Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians play a critical role in supporting pharmacists in providing prescribed medication to their patients. They are often the first point of contact for patients, so it’s essential that they possess a strong sense of ethics and professionalism. With the increasing demand for pharmaceutical services, there has never been a more important time for pharmacy technicians to reflect on their ethical principles. However, with so many responsibilities and tasks for pharmacy technicians to manage, it can be challenging to maintain ethical standards, which frequently leads to ethical concerns.

Pharmacy Technician School teaches its students the most common ethical concerns to be aware of while working within a pharmacy. This is to ensure that pharmacy technicians do not compromise their ethical standards and responsibilities. The following are some of the most common ethical concerns facing pharmacy technicians:

Confidentiality and Privacy of Patient Information

As healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to protect the sensitive information provided by our patients from unauthorized disclosure. Any unauthorized access or dissemination of patient information can lead to significant harm to patients, including identity theft, social stigma, or discrimination. Therefore, it is essential for pharmacy technicians to maintain the confidentiality and privacy of patient information strictly. We must ensure that we abide by HIPAA regulations and only share confidential patient information with authorized individuals or entities as required by law.

Ensuring Accuracy and Correctness of Medication Dispensing

The timely and accurate dispensing of prescriptions can greatly affect the safety and well-being of patients. Pharmacy technicians play a key role in the medication dispensing process, and as such, they have a responsibility to ensure that the medication dispensed is accurate and appropriate. To ensure that medications are dispensed correctly, pharmacy technicians should follow established procedures and guidelines, such as verifying prescription information, reviewing patient history, and checking for potential drug interactions.

Adherence to Laws and Regulations Governing the Pharmacy Industry

As a pharmacy technician, it is essential to keep up to date with current laws and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy in their respective state or profession. Compliance with these laws and regulations ensures that operations and practices within the pharmacy are safe, ethical, and professional. Failure to adhere to these laws and regulations could result in adverse patient outcomes, sanctions, fines, or even loss of license or certification.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest and Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Pharmacy technicians should strive to avoid personal and financial relationships that could compromise their ability to provide impartial and objective care to their patients. It is vital to separate personal interests and responsibilities from professional duties. Pharmacy technicians also need to establish clear boundaries and maintain professional relationships with patients, providers, and colleagues. This includes avoiding personal relationships with patients, refraining from providing medical advice, and ensuring that they do not compromise the patient’s rights to privacy or confidentiality.

Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste

In the pharmacy, hazardous waste may include expired or unused medications, chemicals, and other substances that can pose a risk to public health and safety if not handled and disposed of properly. Pharmacy technicians must be knowledgeable about local, state, and federal regulations related to hazardous waste disposal and ensure that all waste is processed according to these regulations. Adherence to these regulations can limit adverse environmental impacts and prevent environmental health hazards.

In Conclusion

Pharmacy technicians play a vital role in ensuring that patients receive the right medications and that they are administered safely. With the growing demand for prescription drugs and the increasing complexities of modern medicine, ethical concerns are likely to become more prevalent in the field of pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians must be aware of these concerns and work closely with pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to uphold ethical standards and deliver the best possible care to their patients. By staying informed and committed to ethical practice, pharmacy technicians can help to build a safer and more trustworthy healthcare system for all.