The fall season is the perfect time for gratitude. It’s the season to take stock and appreciate the truly good things in your life. As an independent pharmacist, there is much to be grateful for — including your pharmacy technicians.

October 18th is Pharmacy Technician Day, a perfect time to shine the spotlight on the unsung hero of independent pharmacy. It’s no secret that pharmacy work is a hands-on and demanding endeavor.

Pharmacy technicians assume all the expected roles while finding room to go above and beyond the call of duty.

They are the glue that holds the industry together. They keep the pharmacy up and running. They are the epitome of a healthcare professional.

Here are reasons to celebrate techs, the challenges they currently face, and how you can celebrate them.

Why You Should Celebrate Techs

They Are the Communication Maestros of the Pharmacy

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what a pharmacy technician does. It’s not because there’s a shortage of tasks; rather, their duties take them to every corner of the pharmacy.

They care for customers, fielding all sorts of questions from their patients.

They answer the phones, talking to customers, insurance companies, other pharmacies, hospitals, doctor offices, emergency room hotlines, and the occasional pizza shop (for team-building purposes, of course).

This requires pharmacy technicians to use many kinds of communication, as you wouldn’t bombard patients with jargon-filled dialogue the way you would with another healthcare professional.

Being a pharmacy technician requires you to read the room in the amount of time it takes to take a breath. They do it effortlessly, effectively, and efficiently.

We all know that communication is key to running an independent pharmacy. Healthcare is a topic where many people can easily get lost and confused, and they depend on healthcare professionals to help them make sense of it all.

Pharmacy technicians fulfill that need in spades, helping patients know their medications as well as they know themselves.

They Maintain and Enhance Workflow

PioneerRx knows the value of having great pharmacy software. However, it’s difficult to put that software to good use without a little help from others. That’s where pharmacy technicians come in.

Whether they’re filling prescriptions, answering phone calls, or conducting transactions, technicians ensure your pharmacy is operating with peak efficiency.

There is no shortage of things to do in your pharmacy, whether urgently needed or for a future inventory check.

They have an innate ability to effectively tackle the task at hand while recognizing the bigger picture. That’s not only essential for running a successful business — it’s also part of what independent pharmacy is all about.

The Challenges Techs Currently Face

Pharmacy technicians deserve all praise and respect within the healthcare world, so celebrating Pharmacy Technician Day should go without saying. They also deserve to be properly compensated, which has become a point of contention in recent years.

In our “Here Are the Biggest Pharmacy Problems (and How to Overcome Them)” blog, we mentioned that larger turnover rates have been plaguing the industry for some time. Nearly half a million healthcare employees have left the industry since 2020.

Many of those employees were pharmacy technicians, who cited overwork and inadequate compensation as their reasons for leaving.

It’s well known that pharmacy work has become considerably more demanding after recent health crises, but wages haven’t reflected this change.

Though many technicians are passionate about helping patients and delivering exceptional healthcare services, they ultimately need to make ends meet.

We called it the “snowball effect of staff shortages,” where a scarcely-staffed pharmacy will experience problems that mount on one another.

Pharmacists and clerks become increasingly overworked while patients are forced to wait for their prescriptions when it would normally be ready in no time.

It is those scenarios that illustrate the need and value of pharmacy technicians. They are a key part of the pharmacy’s foundation — the entire structure falls apart without them.

The solution is simple business: make the job a worthwhile investment for both employee and employer. We’ve established how vital pharmacy technicians are in the healthcare realm, so what’s in it for them?

Sweeten the deal. Offer pay raises, help them with their education expenses (many college students become pharmacy techs to pay their way through college), and reimburse them for testing or renewal fees.

Any financial relief during these times is more than welcome, so offer to help your pharmacy technicians in whichever way you can. It can mean the difference between a struggling or thriving pharmacy.

How You Can Show Your Gratitude

There are all sorts of ways to express your gratitude towards your pharmacy technicians. You can give them gift cards, make them a home-cooked meal (as long as it’s actually edible), or write letters of appreciation.

To properly commemorate Pharmacy Technician Day, however, go a step further and shout out the ones who keep the engine running.

Shout out your technicians on social media — maybe a brief blurb about how they put their own unique stamp on your independent pharmacy and the entire community.

Doing this will let others appreciate the hard work your pharmacy technicians do, quietly enforcing the bond between patient and pharmacy.

The power of the independent scene is your ability to add a personal touch to healthcare, so take full advantage of that power.

How Will You Celebrate Pharmacy Technician Day?

Pharmacy Technician Day is the perfect working holiday. They are the glue that holds independent pharmacies together through grit, patience, kindness, and an unwavering work ethic.

They’re in a million places at once while still giving their undivided attention to what’s in front of them. When you think about it, every day should be Pharmacy Technician Day.

We don’t know where we’d be without pharmacy technicians. They often act as mediators between patients and pharmacists.

Their work sits squarely at the intersection of healthcare and commerce: delivering exceptional healthcare services while maintaining a steady business.

Sometimes you can have the best of both worlds. All you need is a pharmacy technician.

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