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  • Advice on prescription preparation

    Hi everyone.

    Can I ask for some opinions or advice on a topic that has been troubling me for the past couple of weeks.

    I started work in a large, busy pharmacy 10 months ago as a back storeroom assistant. I have no qualifications related to pharmaceutical work. When I started there were 2 full time pharmacist, a part time pharmacist, 3 pharmacy technicians, and a trainee technician. Around 6 months ago, one of our pharmacy technicians went on maternity leave, and the part time pharmacist left to take another job. A pre-reg student was taken on at the same time. Around this time, I was also asked to help dispense prescriptions. It started out as a couple of hours a week but I'm now averaging about 20 hours a week working in the dispensary. Mainly I prepare blister packs, count correct amount of tablets into vials and prepare suspensions and also label these items. Each prescription is checked by a pharmacist before being handed to a customer

    Over Christmas I was telling my friends about my expanded role in the pharmacy and they were shocked, they told me that such work can only be done by a pharamacist, a pharamacy technician/assistant or someone training to be one.

    My question is, is it ok for someone with no qualification or who isn't currently training as a technician, able to assist in the preparation of prescriptions?

  • #2
    Re: Advice on prescription preparation

    Not wanting to put you in a awkward position but you should be on some form of dispensing course.

    The law changed a couple of years ago:

    http://www.pj-online.com/pdf/society...reguidance.pdf


    Where that leaves you Freya, I'm not sure. Depends how well you get on with your boss and how much you want to keep the job.

    Legally, your boss needs to get you on a course.
    Last edited by Linnear; 16, January 2008, 06:52 AM. Reason: Finally found bloody reference!
    Linnear MRPharmS

    Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: The biggest cause of brain damage and 100% preventable.

    In pregnancy: 1 fag is not safe, 1 x-ray is not safe and 1 drink is not safe.



    For handy pharmacy links try
    pharmacistance.co.uk

    If you like my posts or letters in the journal try my books!
    eloquent-e-tales

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    • #3
      Re: Advice on prescription preparation

      I'm not looking for a link, but anyone working in the dispensary needs to be started on a dispensing NVQ2 (or equivalent) within 3 months of starting work (or taking up the role). Much the same with counter staff "regularly involved with the sales of retail medicines".

      However, this is a matter of professional standards rather than legislation; your boss is leaving themself open to some pointed questions from the inspector, or, if the worst happens, a judge.

      You can ring your local inspector http://www.rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/inspdetailseng.pdf
      and have a chat..... they're pretty good at "just happening to notice" during a visit.
      Employed again... paid holidays! Yipee

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      • #4
        Re: Advice on prescription preparation

        Exactly the same situation in a store where I work regularly as Sunday rota locum. Pharmacist left to become a locum, dispenser on maternity leave and the other dispenser had achieved nvq3 and gone to local hospital.

        One of the counter staff asked to help out (no extra pay) and dropped in the deep end with only a succession of daily locums.

        I am sure there are many other examples.
        johnep

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        • #5
          Re: Advice on prescription preparation

          but anyone working in the dispensary needs to be started on a dispensing NVQ2 (or equivalent) within 3 months of starting work (or taking up the role). Much the same with counter staff "regularly involved with the sales of retail medicines".

          I'm a pharmacy student and work Saturdays for a multiple. I started 17mths ago on Healthcare (only received the training in Jan) - I trained myself by reading all the packets and asking LOTS of questions!! I have also been working p/t in the dispensary (holiday cover) and am paid Trainee Dispenser pay but apparently as I am a Pharmacy student and therefore will be qualified by the end of the 2 years it takes to get the NVQ I don't need training. Am I covered?
          wake up and smell the 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione

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          • #6
            Re: Advice on prescription preparation

            Originally posted by laurabuk View Post
            but anyone working in the dispensary needs to be started on a dispensing NVQ2 (or equivalent) within 3 months of starting work (or taking up the role). Much the same with counter staff "regularly involved with the sales of retail medicines".

            I'm a pharmacy student and work Saturdays for a multiple. I started 17mths ago on Healthcare (only received the training in Jan) - I trained myself by reading all the packets and asking LOTS of questions!! I have also been working p/t in the dispensary (holiday cover) and am paid Trainee Dispenser pay but apparently as I am a Pharmacy student and therefore will be qualified by the end of the 2 years it takes to get the NVQ I don't need training. Am I covered?
            It's on RPSGB website that students on a degree course before starting employment are exempt from training requirements. So long as you started degree before you started job then yes you are ok. Otherwise you need to do some form of sale of medicines training. One of the supermarkets exploits this exemption a lot and covers all their evenings and weekends with pharmacy degree students.
            Titch

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            • #7
              Re: Advice on prescription preparation

              Thanks Titch!

              I was worried a few months ago that they were treating me as a cheap dispenser - but they put my pay up a bit; and I did read all the SOP's one Saturday whilst VERY bored *lol* (mega football and rugby weekend hence the place was dead).
              I'm having to use this as my community experience as I did not get a summer placement with them.
              wake up and smell the 1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H,7H)-dione

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