Celebrating Pharmacy Technician Day 18th October 2022
In order to celebrate Pharmacy Technician Day 2022 IMI took the opportunity to interview Claire Steele, President of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK). In this short series of interviews, she describes how pharmacy technicians contribute to the safe and effective use of medicines and explains what makes the job a good career choice.
Pharmacy technicians are registered healthcare professionals and, as such, they are responsible and accountable for their own safe practice. The role of the pharmacy technician expanded quite significantly when professional registration was introduced in 2011 and pharmacy technicians now work in a wide range of settings including medicines optimisation, medicines procurement, public health and research.
Pharmacy technicians undertake a vocational training program whereas pharmacists must study for a master’s degree. “The two professions work alongside each other to provide pharmaceutical care ……….. We are two professions but we are very much one team”, says Ms Steele.
Growing numbers of pharmacy technicians are taking up senior positions in the NHS. There are many opportunities for career advancement for pharmacy technicians and many now choose to study for master’s degrees or PhDs to support their career aspirations.
“I would say being a pharmacy technician is a fulfilling and rewarding career”, says Ms Steele. “[It] is not the same as being a dispenser – you are expected to use your knowledge and skills to directly support patients with their medicines and you have to maintain your professional development as a registered healthcare professional”, she adds. She suggests that interested individuals should visit a pharmacy, talk to pharmacy technicians and visit the APTUK website to find out more about the work involved and the opportunities available.
APTUK President, Claire Steele’s message:
“Every year we celebrate International Pharmacy Technician Day and I would like to take the opportunity to thank every pharmacy technician across the UK for their hard work and dedication. The future is bright for pharmacy technicians and I, for one, am excited to see what comes next in our journey”.
APTUK is the professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians working in all pharmacy sectors across all countries in the UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Find out more here – https://www.aptuk.org/