The Vital Role Allied Laboratory Technicians and Pharmacy Technicians Play During COVID-19
April 29, 2020
By Moira K. McGhee, contributor
Healthcare professionals are on the front lines during the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While they tend to work behind the scenes, medical laboratory technicians and pharmacy technicians are an important part of this response and have vital roles to play. Throughout the nation, lab techs ensure the completion of critical testing for accurate patient diagnosis and treatment, and pharmacy techs put essential prescriptions in the hands that need them. During the ongoing pandemic, support staff are more important than ever.
Laboratory technicians are unsung heroes
Lab techs aren't typically part of direct patient care, making them unsung heroes in the COVID-19 battle. Because testing is a major cornerstone in the fight against the novel coronavirus, a strong laboratory infrastructure is crucial. Without the valiant efforts of laboratory technicians, urgent testing doesn't get done efficiently. These techs are proud to be part of the backbone of medical laboratories everywhere.
Despite the continuing of influx of patients at healthcare facilities around the country, lab technicians resiliently support clinical staff by continuing to meet the needs of patients who require diagnostic testing. If you work in a facility capable of performing COVID-19 testing, you likely have your hands full determining who in fact has the virus. As testing ramps up, technicians will be busier than ever, making sure patients receive accurate diagnoses and the appropriate treatment to get well.
Join the fight against COVID-19 with a travel technician or other allied health job at Club Staffing.
Techs meet the challenge
Besides vital testing, lab techs have had to make numerous changes and adapt to meet continued coronavirus demands, but they're up to the challenge. Many technicians are working extended hours over countless days to help keep up with testing. Techs who normally work in one area of the lab are volunteering to help in other areas where the demand is greatest. In some states, trained technicians are going to Medicare beneficiary's homes, including nursing homes, to collect samples for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Providing testing for homebound and long-term care patients is just one more way technicians are fulfilling a vital role.
Pharmacy techs stepping up
Pharmacy technicians are also rising to the challenge of meeting patients' needs during the COVID-19 pandemic by embracing ever-evolving roles and responsibilities. Pharm techs have experienced hectic workdays as consumers fearing a total lockdown stock up on three-month supplies of their prescriptions. Even amid a pandemic, it's up to pharmacies to ensure those suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, asthma and other disorders, have the medications they need to effectively manage their illnesses.
Due to higher demands, some states are letting pharmacy technicians dispense medications with a supervising pharmacist on the premises. In states that allow it, pharmacy techs can also perform point-of-care testing in addition to their daily activities. This may include swabbing the throat or nasal passage and performing sterile finger sticks, which puts technicians at a high-risk for infection, but it's not stopping them from fulfilling this vital role.
Techs face stressful situations
Shouldering new responsibilities and faced with growing patient needs, lab techs and pharm techs are being put under immense stress. Like all healthcare professionals, don't forget to also care for yourself and your physical and mental health during the coronavirus crisis.
Take time to unwind and allow yourself to recover from responding to the pandemic. Take a break from COVID-19 news coverage to avoid information overload. Try to maintain healthy eating habits and sleep routines. Keep connected socially, while maintaining social distancing. Most of all, if you're feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19 challenges, seek mental health support.
Travel med techs and pharmacy techs are continuously needed. Step up to the challenge by tackling the novel coronavirus pandemic head on and play a vital role in supporting patients in busy hospitals and pharmacies around the nation.