Pharmacy technicians are essential to the smooth running of pharmacies, making sure patients get the most out of their medicines.
They work under the supervision of a pharmacists, speaking with patients, offering them advice on how to best manage their medicines.
A typical day could involve giving medicines to patients, either on prescription or over the counter and providing information on potential side-effects. They work with patients to reach the best possible care for them, advising them on their health, how to take their medicines and their lifestyle choice. This could be face-to-face or over the phone.
Originally, I wanted to become a pharmacist, but my GCSEs did not allow me to go to university to study pharmacy. I undertook an assessment as part of my GCSEs to see what career best suits my skills. This indicated to be a pharmacy technician. I was given some resources from APTUK about roles and responsibilities, and started my career as a pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician in 2015, before qualifying in 2017. Becoming a pharmacy technician was the best decision to fit my skills, and I thoroughly love my job every single day!
I am the Emergency Department Clinical Pharmacy Technician working within East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. My roles include completing Medicine Reconciliations with patients, completing monthly audits needed for the department, and a new role of administering medicines to patients. This includes oral medicines, subcutaneous injections, and making up certain IV antibiotics and administering them to patients! This is a brand new role for Pharmacy Technicians to complete within East Kent Hospitals. I am also part of the Education and Training team within the Trust, looking after career fairs and work experience placements, working with local schools, colleges and universities.
I love seeing the impact I make on patient safety. With dealing with medicine discrepancies independently with the wider multi-disciplinary team, ensuring medicines are given safely to patients by checking their allergies prior to administering, and within my education and training role, seeing the impact of our younger generation interested and applying for positions within Pharmacy at East Kent Hospitals. I love to train the next generation of Pharmacy Technicians, and within my role, I train Pharmacy Technicians up to clinical standard, to allow more patients to be seen by us on a daily basis.
My career in pharmacy started when I worked Saturdays at Boots, I was at college studying catering and hospitality and after 2 years I realised it wasn’t a career for me.
I couldn’t leave college without a job lined up, so asked at Boots, the only position that they could offer me was working on the Healthcare counter, but I needed to be willing to train as a pharmacy assistant. Within a couple of years, I was offered the opportunity to train as a dispenser.
After I qualified as a dispenser a pharmacist pointed out a job with the local Primary Care Trust supporting practices with their repeat Prescribing systems, I was conscious that I didn’t want to stay working at Boots forever.
I started working in the NHS during 2000 and I have worked in various roles that has used my pharmacy experience.
I have gained knowledge of controlled drug destructions, Home oxygen service, storage and administration of medicines in Health and justice settings including police custody.
My current role in Medicines Optimisation Quality and Safety does not involve direct patient involvement, however my role ensures that practices are preforming to the best standard possible which in turn enables patients to receive the best outcomes.
I particularly enjoy communicating with healthcare colleagues and sharing best practice so that practices can improve their processes.