I'm a nurse in the state of Maryland. There's been an on-ging debate - situation regarding utilizing a pharmacy tech in the hospital. The pharmacy tech, who was grandfathered in by the pharmacist, has a key to the pharmacy, is physicially in the pharmacy when the pharmacist is not in the pharmacy, (sometimes in another building, sometimes not at the hospital at all), inventories/fills the pyxis with meds when again, the pharmacist is not there to verify the medications.
My understanding of COMAR Regs state the tech cannot be in the pharmacy without the pharmacist being in there, nor can the tech dispense any medications without oversight from the pharmacist.
These practices have been long and on going, and are obviously for pharmacist conveinence as we are such a small hospital you cannot justify needing a tech to assist. As a manager of an acute unit, I've tried many times to tactfully and then directly with both the tech and the pharmacist address these on going practices. Most recently we've had "saves" due to the vigilence of the nursing staff, when the the wrong med or doseage was placed in the pyxis by the tech. Most recent was this morning, when the tech came into put the correct medication in the bin....and the pharmacist is not even here.
We have protocols in the event of an emergency as well as for persons entering the pharmacy. The problem is, the pharmacist has not only allowed but has encouraged the tech, giving the tech a false sense of security. This has gone up to the corporate compliance level, but I feel confident, I will have to lodge a formal complaint against the two of them with their licensing board before there will be any lasting change in behavior.
Can anyone tell me if I am right/wrong, about my understanding of the regs and the scope of practice for a pharmacy tech? How are techs utilized in other facilites as far as scope of practice.