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Being a pharmacy technician can be just the start

Pharmacy News

Being a pharmacy technician can be just the start

This year’s Pharmacy Show saw the first dedicated Pharmacy Technician Theatre, where several of the speakers explained how the transferable skills they learnt as pharmacy technicians had enabled them to further their careers (reports Alison Hemsworth).

Olivia Shaw, primary care and PCN development senior manager, NHS Frimley, has had 20 years’ experience as a pharmacy technician working across multiple pharmacy sectors. As an advocate for building trust and psychological safety across teams, Olivia explained the role she believes the new integrated care board (ICB) community pharmacy clinical leads will play.

Samantha Beaumont, group data protection manager at Phoenix Medical Supplies, described how, returning to full-time work after having children, she continued her progression to become an ACT and held the role of pharmacy manager for a number of years before further expanding into information governance. Having had experience as a pharmacy technician she is able to ensure that community pharmacy teams understand fully how the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) apply to their work, she said.   

Her three tips for aspiring pharmacy technicians were:

  • Don’t settle and assume there is no way forward
  • Seek to improve and achieve
  • Support your community’s healthcare needs. “It drove my journey.”

Life beyond the dispensary

Similarly Elaine Ryder, regional manager at Rowlands Pharmacy, told delegates that she started her career as a counter assistant, rising to professional standards assessor within the superintendent pharmacist’s team and then regional manager. A pharmacy technician role can equip you for life beyond the dispensary, she told delegates.

Diane Bates, regional manager at Rowlands Pharmacy, reminded the audience of the importance of spotting talent and mentoring/coaching staff with less experience. “Where I once thought the dispensing bench was as far as I could go, I have been able to develop both my professional and personal skills,” she said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the support and guidance from some amazing colleagues and line managers. And now I am in a position to do the same – identifying and developing talent to create successful careers within pharmacy.”

Myra Gauntlett of Knights Pharmacy and a multi-award-winning pharmacy technician, was another speaker who described her career journey, from Saturday assistant to area manager. She offered tips on how it is possible to progress into a leadership role as a pharmacy technician.

As the last speaker, Rebecca Chamberlain, a pharmacy technician educator, reminded all those present of the importance of having the knowledge and skills to undertake research on their roles and activities. This is what ultimately drives change for the profession and in healthcare for patients too, she said. 

Could it be you?

The search is now on for speakers for the 2023 Pharmacy Technician Theatre. Of particular interest will be those pharmacy technicians who have been delivering the services enabled in the recent contractual framework agreement in England.

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