1.1 Background to the study

Pharmacy technicians are vital members of the healthcare team, who play an essential role in providing patient-centered care in clinical settings. They assist pharmacists in managing the daily operations of the pharmacy, and support healthcare providers in delivering high-quality patient care. The role of pharmacy technicians has evolved to include more clinical and patient-centered responsibilities, which are crucial in improving patient outcomes (Watson et al., 2016).

One of the primary responsibilities of pharmacy technicians in clinical practice is medication reconciliation. Medication reconciliation is a process that involves verifying and updating the patient’s medication list to ensure its accuracy. Pharmacy technicians are trained to collect, organize, and verify patient medication information, which is critical in preventing medication errors (Lee et al., 2017). They review the patient’s medication history, reconcile it with the current medication list provided by the physician, and work closely with pharmacists to ensure a complete and accurate medication profile for patients.

Pharmacy technicians also play a vital role in patient education. They can provide patients with important information on their medication, including dosage, administration, side effects, and drug interactions. Pharmacy technicians can also counsel patients on the importance of adherence to medication regimens and the proper disposal of medications. Patient education is crucial in improving medication adherence and overall patient outcomes (Watson et al., 2016).

Pharmacy technicians are also involved in clinical activities such as medication therapy management (MTM). MTM is a collaborative process between the pharmacist, patient, and other healthcare providers to optimize medication use and improve patient outcomes. Pharmacy technicians can assist in collecting patient information, such as medication history, allergy information, and laboratory results. They can also help with medication reconciliation and medication adherence monitoring, which are essential components of MTM (Patterson et al., 2018).

Pharmacy technicians can also participate in the immunization process. In many states, pharmacy technicians are permitted to administer vaccinations under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Pharmacy technicians can assist in vaccine preparation, administration, and documentation, which are essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases (CDC, 2021).

Pharmacy technicians can also play a vital role in the medication review process. Medication reviews involve assessing the patient’s medication regimen to identify potential drug-related problems such as adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and medication errors. Pharmacy technicians can assist in medication reviews by providing medication history, drug information, and patient education. They can also help in identifying potential medication-related problems and recommending interventions to improve patient outcomes (Patterson et al., 2018).

The role of pharmacy technicians in clinical and patient-centered care practice has expanded significantly in recent years. They play an essential role in medication reconciliation, patient education, medication therapy management, immunization, and medication review. Pharmacy technicians are critical members of the healthcare team and are essential in providing high-quality patient care. Their participation in clinical activities is essential in improving patient outcomes and optimizing medication use. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the role of pharmacy technicians will become even more critical in delivering patient-centered care.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the delivery of pharmaceutical care, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria, where there is a shortage of qualified pharmacists. Despite their important role in providing patient-centered care, pharmacy technicians in Niger state are currently limited in their participation in clinical and patient-centered care practices.

This lack of involvement may be due to a number of factors, including a lack of appropriate training and education, limited scope of practice, and inadequate recognition of their role by healthcare professionals and patients. Additionally, there may be insufficient resources available to support the integration of pharmacy technicians into clinical and patient-centered care practice, such as adequate staffing levels and access to necessary equipment and technology.

As a result, there is a need to investigate and address the barriers that prevent pharmacy technicians in Niger state from participating more fully in clinical and patient-centered care practices. This could involve identifying gaps in their knowledge and skills and providing targeted training and education programs to help them develop the necessary competencies.

Moreover, it may be necessary to revise the scope of practice for pharmacy technicians to allow them to take on more responsibilities in patient care. This would require the support of regulatory bodies and healthcare organizations to ensure that pharmacy technicians are appropriately trained and qualified to undertake these expanded roles.

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