Defining the Role of the Advanced Pharmacy Technician: Perspective Dissonance

Allison M. Dering-Anderson, Madeline E. Blaha, Judith L. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pharmacy technicians serve as pharmacist extenders. Attempts at advancing their practice have not been as rapid as the profession would prefer. We postulated that a barrier to this advancement is lack of agreement between pharmacists and technicians on how advancement should occur and on what it means. Objective: The objectives were to evaluate the differences in definitions and expectations of “technician advancement” between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians as potential impediments to advancement. Methods: Multimodal: An initial questionnaire for pharmacy technicians was collected during the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians Annual Convention to identify major topics for further survey. From those data, a survey was developed to ask pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about “technician advancement.” Surveys were provided to technicians in seminar settings; to members of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association; and via online platforms such as Facebook. Additionally, face-to-face targeted interviews were conducted with pharmacy technicians attending American Association of Pharmacy Technicians conventions and with the pharmacy technician and pharmacist leaders at the Nebraska Pharmacists Association. Results: Responses show that pharmacists’ expectations for advancing the practice of pharmacy technicians and the expectations of the technicians themselves vary widely. A notable finding is that 96% of all technicians responding see technician payment as a significant issue in advancement, while less than 4% of pharmacists commented on rate of pay. Conclusion: While both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are hopeful for pharmacy technician role advancement, there is substantial disagreement about the definition of advancement that may be a barrier to the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • advanced pharmacy technician
  • pharmacist extender
  • pharmacy team
  • technician salary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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