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What makes a great pharmacy technician?

We looked to NICOLE BERNABE for answers. Nicole is a Certified Pharmacy Technician and a Customer Success Specialist at TelePharm and was a 2016 PTCB Pharmacy Technician of the Year finalist.

Here are the top five traits she looks for in a super pharmacy technician.

1. Problem Solver

Most technicians develop some savvy when it comes to solving problems in the pharmacy. Maybe it’s as easy as calling an insurance company for a patient when the claim won’t go through, or discovering how to finagle your printer to get the labels to print. A super pharmacy technician, or SuperTech, as I like to say, will use every roadblock that presents itself as a chance to figure out how to move it. Technicians who address problems with fervor and critical thinking are better at dealing with difficult situations on the fly, whether that be a busy short-staffed pharmacy, or a very angry patient. Pharmacists will appreciate this tenacity as well, as they can focus more of their time using their clinical expertise to counsel patients.

2. Proactive

It’s inevitable that problems will happen, and sometimes we can’t solve them as quickly as we’d like.The SuperTech understands that being honest and upfront with patients, providers and colleagues about an issue is the best way to provide clear expectations and a positive outcome. This makes the difference on the front end rather than reactively cleaning it up on the back end.

3. Quality of work

If I were to list technician resume buzz phrases I hear all the time, “attention to detail” would be at the top of the list. We know details are important. But more important is your intention when dealing with those details. Technicians who take pride in their job and exhibit a strong sense of ownership over their work are precise, diligent, and responsive. Not because you asked, but because they don’t ever want you to have to.

4. Eagerness to learn

Everyone has worked with someone who insists it’s “not my job” to do this or that. No one likes taking out the trash, but it needs to be done. Some tasks require delegation to a pharmacy technician when a pharmacist’s time is needed elsewhere. The best SuperTechs are eager to receive this delegation. They understand that each opportunity to acquire a new skill can increase their expertise and bolster their position as an important asset in their field.

5. Empathetic

Trust can be more important to a patient than the cost of their prescription. Pharmacy technicians who make the effort to understand where their patients are coming from know how much of a difference this makes when one of those aforementioned problems pops up. Patients who trust you and know you care about them and their family will return that empathy in-kind on that day your entire computer system goes down.