Pharmacy Technology Technical Standards

Technical standard Examples of activities
Cognitive ability:
  • Demonstrate critical-thinking ability sufficient for collecting, analyzing and integrating information and knowledge in order to safely and accurately process primary care provider orders and promote positive patient outcomes and professional behavior
  • Exhibit ability to follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings
  • Exhibit ability to organize and prioritize tasks
  • Exhibit ability to function effectively under stress and time constraints
  • Exhibit awareness of and ability to work with diverse populations
  • Exhibit ability to follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings
  • Demonstrate problem-solving abilities (measure, calculate, reason, prioritize and synthesize data)
  • Understand and recall complex information and apply to new situations
  • Perform calculations
  • Organize and prioritize multiple tasks, and integrate and analyze written, verbal and observed data regarding patient care
  • Manage distractions
  • Follow a process from start to finish utilizing sequential established policies and procedures
  • Utilize sound judgment and safety precautions
  • Understand the rationale for and comply with HIPAA standards, especially confidentiality
  • Process prescriptions and/or prepare compound medications
  • Demonstrate the ability to be familiar with and acquire a knowledge base of brand/generic names of the most commonly prescribed medications
  • Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret handwritten prescriptions
  • Process prescriptions in an accurate and timely manner that matches the level of training and pharmacy’s demands
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist accurately with all patient care duties and pharmacy procedures
Communication ability:
  • Demonstrate the ability to speak, read, comprehend and write English at a level that meets the need for clear and effective communication with instructors, peers, other health care professionals and patients
  • Demonstrate the ability to adjust non-verbal and verbal language appropriately to meet the needs of the multilingual and culturally diverse patients, families and colleagues
  • Understand written and verbal English communication and follow directions explicitly
  • Read and interpret common medical/pharmacy abbreviations
  • Understand patient information and provide verbal feedback
  • Interact and establish rapport with individuals, families and groups from diverse populations
  • Read and respond to professional emails in a timely manner
  • Provide explanations and teaching
  • Demonstrate empathy
Interpersonal skills and behavior:
  • Demonstrate emotional and psychological stability sufficient to function under stress and to adapt to ever-changing situations
  • Follow a professional code of ethics
  • Display a caring attitude
  • Demonstrate professional behavior in the classroom, lab and clinical settings, including appropriate personal hygiene, timeliness, preparation and concentration
  • Demonstrate empathy for patients and peers, exhibit sensitivity to the needs of others and treat all with dignity and respect
  • Demonstrate awareness of others’ reactions and understanding of why they react the way they do
  • Respond calmly to and remain focused during stressful situations
  • Respond professionally and appropriately to emergency situations
  • Maintain composure in clinical and didactic environments
  • Establish productive working relationships
  • Work independently or in a team
  • Interpret non-verbal communication
Visual ability:
  • Demonstrate visual acuity sufficient for reading, evaluating and processing prescriptions, labels and packages of all types
  • Read numbers and letters in fine print, such as would appear on prescription labels and patient package inserts, accurately
  • Differentiate solid dosage forms by size, shape and color
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately distinguish demarcations and be able to calibrate all equipment used to weigh, measure and dispense medication
  • Read Roman numerals accurately
  • Read medication labels and draw up and read syringe volumes accurately
  • Perform visual inspections of preparations for discolorations, precipitations, bubbles, clumps, etc., on compounded sterile and not-sterile preparations
Auditory ability:
  • Demonstrate hearing acuity sufficient to communicate and interact with patients, pharmacists and other health care professionals
  • Hear and communicate clearly in person and by telephone
  • Hear conversations well enough to communicate with patients, peers, instructors and other health care providers
  • Listen for awareness of equipment function or malfunction and/or emergency signals
Tactile ability:
  • Demonstrate tactile ability sufficient for preparation and compounding of sterile and non-sterile products
  • Demonstrate the ability to put on and remove personal protective equipment, or PPE.
  • Manipulate syringes and dispose of needles safely
  • Manipulate vials, ampules and medication packaging
  • Calibrate and use the equipment
  • Demonstrate the ability to put on and remove gloves, gown, shoe covers, mask, protective eyewear and head covering.
Olfactory ability:
  • Demonstrate olfactory ability sufficient to detect unusual odors/smells in the environment
  • Detect malodorous or unusual odors of medicines
  • Distinguish smells which adversely affect the environment (fire, noxious fumes, etc.)
  • Tolerate exposure to various chemical odors
Strength and mobility:
  • Demonstrate physical abilities and strength sufficient to perform clinical and administrative duties
  • Demonstrate strength sufficient to lift heavy objects
  • Demonstrate the ability to move in tight quarters
  • Demonstrate the ability to freely walk, stand, sit, squat, balance, climb, reach, grip, lift, pull and push as needed in the performance of clinical duties
  • Demonstrate the ability to maneuver in small spaces (walk, stand and bend over)
  • Demonstrate the ability to withstand repetitive hand, fine motor movements and manual dexterity without incident
  • Squat, bend/stoop, reach above shoulder level, kneel and use the standing balance to place medications in the proper place
  • Lift and/or carry up to 50 pounds safely and exert up to 100 pounds force for push/pull utilizing a cart with wheels
Motor skills:
  • Demonstrate gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to effectively prepare, package, carry and deliver medications in a timely manner
  • Demonstrate physical ability sufficient to maneuver in small spaces (including standing, walking, bending and range-of-motion of extremities)
  • Calibrate, adjust, use and clean equipment
  • Demonstrate fine motor skills required to safely manipulate syringes and needles
  • Manipulate vials, ampules and medication packaging
  • Load paper and labels in the printer or automated medicated dispensing machines
  • Demonstrate keyboarding skills sufficient to complete data entry and/or clinical duties in a timely manner
  • Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a patient if needed
Physical endurance:
  • Demonstrate sufficient physical endurance to complete assigned periods, the required shift and assigned tasks
  • Work 8- to 12-hour shifts on day or evening rotations
  • Sit or stand for long periods of time, including up to 12 hours
  • Carry at least 20 pounds while walking for extended periods of time
  • Climb stairs
Environmental tolerance:
  • Demonstrate the ability to work in the pharmaceutical environment
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and ability to protect self and others from environmental risks and hazards
  • Demonstrate the ability to tolerate prolonged periods of time amidst artificial lighting, air conditioning, dust and odors, residue from cleaning products, noise and congested workplace
  • Demonstrate the ability to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for extended periods of time during work, educational study and labs
  • Demonstrate awareness that the health care environment may contain latex and other allergens, including medication (topical and ingestible), chemical and mundane; tolerance of such allergens in the workplace must also be demonstrated
  • Wear gloves, mask, head covering, protective eyewear and gown for extended periods of time during patient treatment, educational study and labs
  • Perform frequent evaluation and correction of the facility for vapors/fumes, excessive noise and facility cleanliness in the performance of patient care
  • Use MSDS (materials safety data sheets) for specific drugs, chemicals and common environmental handouts
Adapted from: Cerro College. Cerritos College, n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2017.