How long have you worked in pharmacy?
I have been in my current role as clinical pharmacy technician manager since August 2023 and before that I was a systems manager for Omnicell medicine cabinets for two years. I started as an assistant technical officer (ATO) in 2013 and have been in pharmacy ever since!
What qualifications did you need and where did you receive them?
A level three qualification in the principals and practices for pharmacy technicians.
This qualification is currently done as a mixture of in-house training and one day a week at college, done remotely.
This qualification is for two years after which you are eligible to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council as a pharmacy technician.
There are other routes to become a pharmacy technician such as the Buttercups programme, but the in-house course is the one I completed.
Tell us something about your role people might not be aware of
Pharmacy technicians, like pharmacists, are registered healthcare professionals. After the two-year qualification we register with the General Pharmaceutical Council and are given professional status.
The role of a pharmacy technician has advanced significantly at South Tees in recent years to more specialist roles. My previous role of Omnicell pharmacy technician is a perfect example of this, alongside roles such as specialist antimicrobial pharmacy technicians and electronic prescribing pharmacy technicians.
In my current role I oversee the clinical pharmacy technicians on trauma, orthopaedics and surgery, whilst working to further advance and develop the roles of pharmacy technicians.
I also carry out commonly known pharmacy technician duties, such as medicines reconciliation and accuracy checking of dispensed medication to support my teams.
In my previous role of Omnicell pharmacy technician I was the lead for managing accounts, training staff, doing reports and optimisation projects and project managing the next rollout of cabinets to another 31 areas across the trust.
What do you like about working at South Tees in pharmacy?
I love the variety of work that we do to make medicines safer for our patients, how our department has a keen interest in developing its staff and how we give people opportunities to progress and seek out personal development.
For example, I have been very fortunate to be supported in developing myself and pushing myself through my career, from assistant technical officer with no prior pharmacy experience, to clinical pharmacy technician manager.
I like working in a multidisciplinary team on the ward including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and pharmacy ATOs/assistants.
At South Tees pharmacy I feel supported by my colleagues to do my work to the best of my ability and the positivity around patient safety promotes a fantastic working environment.