Tuesday 18 October 2022 is Pharmacy Technician Day, a day we can celebrate all the wonderful contributions pharmacy technicians and support staff make to pharmacy, healthcare and wider society.
We want to say a massive thank you to all our fantastic pharmacy technicians and support staff. You make invaluable contributions to patient health, safety and are an integral part of the healthcare team and deserve all the accolades you receive. Without you there would be no pharmacy and you deserve a day for all your tireless work.
It is also a day for pharmacy technicians to reflect on their careers and realise the impact they've had on patients and fellow pharmacy professionals. We have shared some of their stories below.
Within the Trust we have an amazing team of pharmacy technicians in many different roles and services. We have:
- Medicines Management Technicians
- Medicines Administration Technicians
- Clinical technicians who work in community mental health
- Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration
- Medication Safety technicians
- Technicians and support staff who work withing the dispensary and the procurement of medicines
All our technicians work with the aim to advance and improve the health of everyone.
Did you know that Agatha Christie was a pharmacy technician?
?Agatha Christie, the best-selling author of all time, worked during World War I as a pharmacy tech for a hospital, dispensing medication to wounded soldiers.
Tejash’s Story – Dispensary Manager
My name is Tejash and I'm working as a senior pharmacy technician at the Wells Road pharmacy department. My job as a dispensary manager is to coordinate manage dispensary operations, manage staffing level across a number of sites as well as organising rotas, troubleshooting and optimising pharmacy services.
To become a pharmacy technician you can work within community and hospital pharmacy although there are a number of other sectors such as primary care and industry. Initially you need at least 4 GCSEs A-C to apply for a BTEC or NQ Level 3 in pharmaceutical science. Once you have completed this, you’re a qualified pharmacy technician.
For me once I left school, I studied electrical engineering however I didn't enjoy much of it and I realised it wasn’t a career I wanted to continue to pursue. Then an opportunity came along, to work within a pharmacy as helper to stack shelves as well as other responsibilities. Over time, I gradually started to take an interest into the pharmacy sector and went on to complete a module to become a pharmacy assistant. Soon after I realised, I wanted to study pharmacy and become a pharmacy technician – I completed BTEC in pharmaceutical science.
What I can say is that every day is different and you just don't know what to expect. Each day brings different challenges which I think is probably the best part and the worst part you can say
Stacey – Pharmacy Assistant
I’m Stacey and I’m a pharmacy assistant within Nottinghamshire healthcare. On a day-to-day basis my job is very varied. I assemble medication for various inpatient wards and outpatient teams. I receive an issue stock in our stores department, handle telephone and email inquiries as well as liaising with other medical professionals. I also visit our other sites and complete ward stock top-ups which I really enjoy
For me to become a pharmacy assistant I had to have A*-C grades in GCSE Maths, English and Science. I also had to obtain a NVQ Level 2 in pharmaceutical skills. I was able to complete this on the job and I was supported thoroughly by the team and their wealth of knowledge.
My career didn’t begin in pharmacy, I was initially doing a hairdressing apprenticeship then moved onto customer services where I worked within the sector for several years. Then I decide I wanted a change and took the plunge to apply for a role within pharmacy. Many of the skills I gained previously, I use daily as many of the skills are transferable and I’ve been building on them since becoming a pharmacy assistant. One of the main skills you need is to be ability to remain focused for long periods of time, as well as have an eye for detail and accuracy.
As a pharmacy assistant there is the opportunity to become a senior pharmacy assistant which give you more of a leadership role within the team. There’s also the potential to become a trainee technician which would gain you the NVQ level three which upon completion you'd be able to become a registered pharmacy technician. When I began my career in pharmacy with the Trust, I’ve been supported to undertake the pharmaceutical skills NVQ level 2. It's not only given me a qualification, but it's also given me the foundation skills to build a career within pharmacy. I really enjoyed completing the NVQ and learning about all aspects of pharmacy. I did find the course challenging but I had plenty of support from my tutor and my colleagues when I needed It.
The best part of my job for me is that every day I learn something new, also the pharmacy team are very experienced and only want to share their knowledge which I love about working there. If I had to describe my job in one word - it would be varied there's no two days that are the same.
Ashley - Senior Pharmacy Technician
My name is Ashley and I’m a senior pharmacy technician for offender health. Every day varies but my main duties are allocating duties for the other pharmacy team members, administration of medication as well as liaising with GPs and the other healthcare team members regarding medications. This is important as we conduct daily medicines reconciliation.
In this environment you must have an air of confidence, to perform well. I think being friendly and approachable is key and as well as being a team player. As it's not just the pharmacy team, we work with mental health, substance misuse teams and primary care so important being a team player and working well with others.
Pharmacy is a small area within healthcare so people outside may not necessarily understand exactly what we do on a day-to-day basis. So, working alongside other people that do understand what you do, you can’t help but become a very close small little family.