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  • Checking dispensary assistants

    Until a couple of weeks ago I always thought you had to do dispensing assistant course then pharmacy technian course then accredited technian course . But seemingly you can go from dispensing assistant directly to doing accredited checking assistant course. How is this allowed? I also want pharmacists thoughts on this please? As I can't get my head round it

  • #2
    It's not allowed, a while back a dispensing assistant could do a checking course and perform the final check (not called a technician or act though as the technician title is protected for registered techs only) this 'qualification' was not transferable to other pharmacies and the pharmacist is liable for their actions (whereas techs would be insured in their own right) the dispenser checking course has been discontinued I think - although anyone acting in this capacity can renew their certificate by submitting a portfolio of evidence every two years, something techs no longer need to do.
    And with the new nvq 3, the act course is no longer necessary either I believe.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your reply. So if a locum pharmacist in on then they are liable for checking assistant? Would majority of pharmacists be happy or recognise this qualification?

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      • #4
        Hi, so I have done the technicians course but as it was taking so long for it to be signed off from the training company I could not apply to become a checking technician. So my manager put me on the buttercups checking dispenser course. This has taken me 3 months to complete this and this is the least time it can take. I am booked on my checking technician course for november but i have been checking for 1 month. I must say I didnt mind doing this as it is giving me experience for when I go for my exam. However I would not feel comfortable if I had not done the technicians course. It teaches you what to look for and interactions which I would not have known if I had not done this course.

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        • #5
          In your checking capacity though you are not responsible for interactions. If you see them, great. But legally, not your responsibility and you don't get paid to have that responsibility! Doing the NVQ is definitely about experience too. Are you doing the final check before your exam? Or just keeping your checking skills up to date? Can I ask what method you use just out of curiosity I don't speak to many ACTs ha.
          in reply to essexclare yes a locum would be responsible - you have to be able to justify delegating the task. delegating against a solid SOP to staff who hold suitable qualifications, gphc reg, and are also working within said sops holding their own insurance etc that's how it should be - but even then as rp you are perfectly fine to ask an act not to check on your shifts.

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          • #6
            Yes, I do the full check, my method I use is I check the rx to make sure it has been clinically checked, signed and within date. Then I check the patients details from the rx to the bag labels, I then line out my meds in order as on the rx, I then check expiry date, then check each items name, strength, form and quantity to match the rx and patients name. Then I check the label to the rx and check the dosage matches and if I'm not sure I check with the bnf of pharmacist. Once I am happy with everything on the rx I then do a box and check as I put the in the bag checking if the rx says aspirin 75mg disp tabs that I am putting aspirin 75mg disp tabs in the bag, just as a last peace of mind check.

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            • #7
              Then you are given the time to do this as it should be done. In many pharmacies impatient assistants are harassing you because Mrs So and So parked on a double yellow line etc.
              johnep

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              • #8
                Yeah I do have many distractions going on around myself but I have told my staff not disturb me whilst I am checking and to wait and I will be happy to help. sounds very harsh but I have to be as I wouldn't want an error going out for being distracted. (Or at all for that matter) we are a very busy store we roughly 19,000 a month and have a full time pharmacist and a second pharmacist 2 days a week plus me full time.

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