Error that killed a baby.
Baby's death spotlights safety risks linked to computerized systems
And what happen in my city a few months back: pharmacy tech decided to skip autoclaving all together and contaminated TPN with serratia marcescens
, killing 19.
I've never taken a pharmacy tech course. I do know that some pharmacy's will hire people with no formal education and provide on the job training. I also know that you are not required to obtain a pharmacy tech degree/diploma/certificate to take the certification exam; as long as you have a highschool diploma and pay the fee you can take the test.
Until the serratia outbreak I though the only thing pharm. techs did was deliver meds.
Jul 3, '11
My husband is a pharmacist and he is trying to advocate for pharmacy tech education in CC (although he is a new grad and did a rotation at a CC). He said most of the education available for pharm techs are at for profit school charging crazy amount for a $10 job. That is why most of them just apply to CVS because without the degree you still get hired so why waste $25000 going to Xtech. Not to say there arent pharm tech courses in CC
Although i asked him this question and he said they are allowed because they do on the job training
Last edit by honeykrown on Jul 3, '11
: Reason: More info
Jul 3, '11
I have also worked as a pharmacy technician. I worked at Walgreens where everything was so automated it would be hard to make mistakes, there were multiple checks in place. I hate that people pay so much to train as a pharmacy tech. Many pharmacies will pay for their technicians to train and earn their certification.
I did not work at all with IV solutions but would mix suspensions. You have very specific directions of how many mL of water to add to the bottle. Hospitals usually require their pharmacy technicians to have certification and so many years of experience, along with additional training for more complicated compounds and IV mixtures.
In reading the link about the IV overdose, the pharmacist should have checked the order before ti was prepared. Where I worked, the technician would enter the prescription or order and it was sent to the pharmacist for error checking. The program we used also would check for errors .
Last edit by LuckyinKY on Jul 3, '11
Jul 3, '11
I didn't realize that either until I read this story about a med error:
"The error happened on a Sunday morning, with typical weekend staffing. Eric (Pharmacist) was busy and had taken no breaks and had not eaten any meals during his shift. Routine maintenance had been performed on the computer the night before, and the pharmacy system was not available until mid-morning. The labels for IV admixtures, which typically printed around 7 a.m., printed later that morning, causing a delay in preparing solutions. Eric received a call to dispense Emily’s chemotherapy right away, although it was not needed until hours later (unknown by Eric at the time). After the technician mixed the solution, he felt rushed to check the chemotherapy, which was among many other solutions, vials, and syringes in a very small, crowded checking area. Eric saw an empty 250 mL bag of 0.9% sodium chloride near the bag of chemotherapy and assumed the technician had used it to prepare the base solution."
That seems like an extremely error prone system and I'm not really sure how the Pharmacist can be sure what they are "checking".
The Pharmacist in this story spent 6 months in Jail and lost his license.
Last edit by MunoRN on Jul 3, '11