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Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Pharmacy technician role in codes

Our Emergency Department has requested help in restocking code carts quickly after code completion.  I suggested that haveing a tech at each code to act as recorder would ensure good documentation as well as help pharmacy in accurately knowing what to replace.  Our techs are not anxious to perform this task.  Is anybody using pharmacy technicians to help out in codes?

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎02-18-2010

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

@nmc1 - When I worked as a pharmacy technician in a hospital, the technicians did help out with codes. We kept two adult "back-up" code carts and 1 pediatric back-up code cart in the pharmacy at all times. When there was a code, the technician would go to the floor/area of the code and retrieve the code cart that was just used and in exchange leave one of the already prepared back-ups.

 

Upon arriving back in the pharmacy, the used code cart was restocked and then locked, so that it would be a ready back-up for the next code cart that needed to be replaced. I certainly didn't mind doing these, but everyone is different.

 

Hope this helps!

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Occasional Advisor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎05-04-2010

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

At the hospital where I work, we keep a back-up code cart ready to go in the pharmacy.  As soon as a code is called, the tech takes the back-up cart to the nursing area where it is needed.  That way, it is already there and can be used as necessary.  When the code is over, we then bring the used cart back to pharmacy, re-stock it, and it becomes our back-up cart for the next code.

Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-22-2010

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

Several of the hospitals I've worked at over 27 years use back up sets of trays.  These take up less room then code carts and provide a quick turn-around for re-stocking.  We have 2 medications trays, (1st and 2nd line drugs), and 2 central supply trays (cannulas, gloves, syringes, IV catheters. etc.).  During pharmacy hours, a technician can take the trays to the location in need of re-stock, lock up the crash cart and bring the used med trays back to the pharmacy to be refilled. The technician would take the used CS trays to central supply and exchange them for 2 new trays to be taken back to pharmacy. CS restocks their trays.  

My hospital is  about 250 bed acute-care.  The pharmacy keeps 4 complete sets of trays in the pharmacy and central supply keeps 6-8 additional sets of their trays.

We also have 2 additional sets of medication trays in our night- locker (automated dispensing cabinet for after hours)

and in our ED cabinet. This seems to work very well for quick turn around on the crash carts.

 

When you place techs in code situations, their roles should be very clearly defined and understood by the entire code team.   Your techs might be CPR certified but not ACLS certified. Techs cannot dispense medications or make judgements.   A doctor may not make the distinction between a pharmacist and a technician in a code. The doctor might ask compatability or dosing questions that the technician might not be prepared or allowed to answer. Some technicians might be uncomfortable  because of lack of knowledge or training.  Some might also be squeamish about all that goes on in a code.  Just depends on the tech.

Hope this helps.

 

 

Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

So far the replys have all provided info on methods to quickly relace the depleted supplies to the code carts.  This has been helpful.  However it seems no one has actually expanded the role of the pharmacy technician to that of a participant on the code team.  Our 70 bed hospital currently uses the  ED secretary or shcolarship students as recorders during the ED codes.  My thought is that when available and properly trained, a certified pharmacy technincan would be more useful.  I think we will try this an let you know.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 214
Registered: ‎02-18-2010
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Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

@nmc1  - Please do share with us the results once you have implemented this plan. It would be very interesting for the community to see if there is a positive change in having a certified technician act as the recorder during the code versus the ED secretary or other student. Thanks for sharing!

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Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-10-2010
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Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

One of our techs contacted the state board who responded by saying that although the tech may act as a recorder during a code, they could not handle any medications.  We will proceed with our process on the more limited scale.

VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010
0

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

@nmc1 - Which state is your hospital located in? Unfortunately, every state has a different set of rules and regulations which governs pharmacy practice, so it would be helpful for us to know if that determination were applicable to other locations (such as where I am at in California).

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst
Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Re: Pharmacy technician role in codes

Vermont