Yesterday, representatives of the pharmacy trade union Adexa talked to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) about, among other things, the extension of competences for PTA. In this context, a power of representation for PTA has been discussed again and again for years. What do you think? Would it be desirable for PTAs to be allowed to represent?
Currently, according to § 2 of the Pharmacy Operating Regulations, pharmacy managers may only be represented by other pharmacists, pharmacy assistants or pharmacy engineers. For the latter two occupational groups, however, there are conditions and restrictions. For example, the pharmacist’s assistant or pharmacy engineer must have worked full-time in a public pharmacy or hospital pharmacy for at least six months before the start of the replacement.
The manager of a hospital supplying pharmacy as well as the manager of a main pharmacy in the branch network cannot be represented by a pharmacist assistant or pharmacy engineer. Likewise, representation by these two professions is excluded if the pharmacy is used or blistered or drugs are manufactured for parenteral use.
However, these regulations will be obsolete in the foreseeable future when the last pharmacy assistants or pharmacy engineers have reached retirement age. According to ABDA statistics, 5,591 pharmacies were still operating in public pharmacies in 2017. Even more serious than the extinction of these occupational groups is the general shortage of skilled workers, which does not facilitate the search for representation.
Would it perhaps be a solution to grant PTA certain powers of representation? In the context of the discussion about possible competence extensions for the professional group of PTA, this has been discussed again and again for years. At least the Federal Association of the PTA (BVPTA) had brought this into play again and again. Also at yesterday’s discussion between Adexa boss Andreas May and Tanja Kratt, the head of the collective bargaining commission in the trade union, with Jens Spahn, representation by PTA was probably a topic. Whether the BMG wants to take up this issue remained unclear, however.
Your children or grandchildren are thinking of studying pharmacy and becoming pharmacists? A good idea, because prospective pharmacists receive an excellent and sustainable education and are allowed to combine their knowledge and working with and for people in their careers. Here you can find out how to become a pharmacist and what a variety of possibilities the profession of pharmacist offers.
Before entering the profession, future pharmacists first have to study pharmacy for four years. In the first two years, the main focus will be on scientific fundamentals. Besides a eight-week Famulatur must be carried out – a kind of firm practical course. The basic studies end with the first section of the pharmaceutical examination.
In the main study period, pharmacy students deal with drugs in more detail. In pharmacology, for example, they learn how and why drugs work in the organism and why which side effects can occur. Clinical pharmacy, which deals with special patient groups, the interpretation of laboratory values and the evaluation of clinical studies, is closely related to this. Pharmaceutical chemistry, on the other hand, deals with the chemical properties of drugs, their mechanisms of action and their analysis and production. Pharmaceutical biology deals with medicinal plants, but also with molecular biological topics. Pharmaceutical technology deals with dosage forms and manufacturing techniques for drugs. The main study concludes with the second section of the pharmaceutical examination.
Afterwards it is necessary to gather first experiences in the later occupation by a one-year practical course. This third section also ends with a state examination. At the end there is the license to practise medicine as a pharmacist. It entitles the holder to use the professional title and allows pharmacists to exercise their profession without restriction.
Use in public pharmacies
Thanks to the comprehensive training, patients can expect experts in all aspects of drug use and safety at the pharmacy. In addition, pharmacists can produce medicines in pharmacies individually for patients (prescriptions). As a pharmacist in a pharmacy, you are exposed to less or no complicated hierarchies or even competition in a team. The power can be used for interpersonal care for patients and customers as well as for employees. The smooth operation of a pharmacy also requires business management and organisational skills, not least because of the complicated requirements of statutory health insurance funds for the reimbursement of medicines or aids.
Training and further education
Of course, the acquisition of knowledge for pharmacists does not end with the completion of studies or with the licensure. According to the professional code of conduct, every pharmacist is required to maintain and further develop the specialist knowledge required for practising the profession through regular further training. In addition pharmacists are offered numerous interesting advanced training possibilities.
In addition, many pharmacists specialise even further. Thus there is for example the possibility of acquiring an auxiliary designation within the range nourishing consultation and of offering special services within this range. Further possible auxiliary designations are for example nature welfare procedures and Homopathie or also the Onkologische Pharmazie, with which pharmacists specialize in supplying tumor patients properly with medicaments.
Pharmacists mainly work in public pharmacies. These may be led in Germany exclusively by pharmacists. But there are still some further ranges, in which they can be occupationally active and for which there are special vocational training further. One example is hospital pharmacies. Another area of work for pharmacists is the pharmaceutical industry at ABC Pharmacy. Here pharmacists are in demand as experts in research, development, analysis and production and for the approval of new drugs.