Dispenser jobs involve correctly dispensing medication and medical products. In addition to medicine dispensers, specialist dispensers dispense hearing aids, ophthalmic items and so on. Different kinds of training are needed for different kinds of dispensers. NVQ 2 vocational qualification is a typical requirement for pharmaceutical dispensers, for example.
Pharmacy Dispensers. Pharmacy dispensers dispense both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Because wrong medicines or wrong dosages can have serious consequences, these dispensers have to undergo vocational training in relevant pharmacy topics. In addition to dispensing medicines, pharmacy dispensers would typically have to:Advise customers on symptoms and products. Assemble prescribed items, appropriate containers and labels on receipt of a prescription. Receive and store pharmaceutical products. Mix medical preparations. Naturally, they need specialized training that will help them discharge these functions correctly under the supervision of a pharmacist. National Vocational Training (NVQ) certification of level 2 in pharmacy is a typical qualification demanded of pharmacy dispensers.
New pharmacy counter assistants will have to join such a course soon after accepting a dispensing job and complete the course within a prescribed period. Existing dispensers, whose competence has been attested by their employer, are exempt from this requirement.
The training program will help the trainees understand the legal and professional issues involved in dispensing medicines, including packing and labeling. For example, they will learn when and how to use childproof containers. The trainees will also be given exercises in selecting items and dispensing against prescriptions. There would typically be a project that involves the trainees selecting a large number of items in a dispensing enviroment without error. Then will come a period of probation when their performance will be observed. Licensing to work as a pharmacy dispenser will come only after this kind of rigorous training.
Even after initial licensing, they will need to be reassessed every two years or so to continue to work as pharmacy dispensers. Many developments are taking place in the field of pharmacy medicines and the dispensers would be expected to show that they are keeping up with the developments through a continuing education program.
Ophthalmic Dispensers. Ophthalmic dispenser trainees need to be taught how to use various ophthalmic equipment correctly and interpret the results. They also must learn how to assess the thickness of a lens, locate and determine its axis and perform other lens-related tasks. Frame-related topics such as determining frame size, temple length and bridge style are other topics the trainee has to master.
Finally, the trainee must learn how to fit the patient with the right lens and frames, and do required adjustments for best vision and comfort.
Hearing Aid Dispensers. Hearing dispensers test the degree and type of hearing loss, and help patients select the right hearing aid for them. The dispensers have to interpret the results provided by hearing assessment equipment, and to be familiar with hearing aid electronics and specifications. They will also have to carry out required modifications and programming to fit the aid to the hearing loss.
Hearing aid dispensers have to get trained under a licensed hearing aid dispenser, and can then sit for competency assessment examinations.
As we can see above, all kinds of dispenser jobs require specialized training and internship.