Do you work autonomously or are you supervised in your current role?
I work autonomously- I am the only person in the training team for the production units.
What do you love and also what do you hate about your current role?
I love the fact that my day is so varied. I also love the fact that I have to be aware of what is happening in all sections of the production unit rather than just one speciality.
I hate to dislike the fact that I am the only person in the team, therefore it can be difficult to balance my administrative duties with the practical training, especially when I am training in the cleanrooms and therefore can’t be at my desk. That said, I do prefer to work under pressure, so this can actually be good at times. My role has given me the opportunity to become more involved with a variety of projects outside of the trust, which has been interesting and great for my personal development. I have been able to take up these opportunities due to the fact that I work autonomously, and therefore can manage my own diary to a large extent.
What do you see as being the key differences between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians?
For me, the main difference is the clinical expertise that pharmacists have compared to myself as a technician. For example, when working in chemotherapy, the pharmacists verify the prescriptions whereas technicians do not. That said, with the experience gained over years within technical services, some pharmacy technician roles and pharmacists roles to overlap. For example, being able to create drug monographs, product specifications etc. can be done by either staff group.
Why do you think so few pharmacy technicians attend fitness to practice hearings compared to pharmacists?
I wasn’t aware that there was such a difference. Perhaps this is in part because Pharmacists (particularly in community settings) are the responsible person and therefore issues come back to them if mistakes happen. Also, within the community setting there is less use of registered pharmacy technicians (as counter assistants and dispensers form a large part of the workforce) therefore they would not be subject to fitness to practice investigations.
How do you see the role of the pharmacy technician, in general, developing in the coming years?
I think there will be a much greater involvement in medicines optimisation, patient-facing roles and provision of health education/promotion to patients. I am uncertain as to how my own role as a pharmacy technician will develop, and this does concern me at the moment.
What is your personal ambition as a pharmacy technician?
I love working in technical services, and I hope to be able to continue doing this. However, it is difficult at this particular moment in time to have future personal ambitions as I do not know how the sector is going to continue to change. I would love to be able to continue working in aseptic units within the NHS, however, this will depend on if they are still in existence.