2018 Conference Session Descriptions


Friday, September 14th

Imagineering Day!

We all know there is power in numbers…

Spend the day with a few hundred colleagues to get inspired, share ideas and help shape the future of the Pharmacy Technician profession.

Together, we have a lot of collective wisdom, knowledge and ideas that we will leverage through a series of interactive and dynamic sessions to create an even more inspiring future for the profession, discuss important topics and leave with practical personal ideas on how each of us can influence the future. Some topics we will explore include:

  • What are the pharmacy technician niche areas that we can do best?
  • What does it take to enable technicians to know and sell the profession’s full scope of practice?
  • What do we need to know and what to we need to do to better support each other and grow the profession?
  • How can we promote inter-collaboration between pharmacy technicians and pharmacists?
  • What’s next for the profession?

We will experience several leading practices in friendly, collaborative, fast paced, large and small group engagement techniques led by a performance coaching team who has worked with some of the most identifiable national and international organizations.

Bring your ideas, energy and enthusiasm to the day. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Reception, Vendor Displays, Silent Auction and Awards Ceremony

Please take time to meet and speak with our generous sponsors without whom the conference would not be possible.

Poster contest participants will also be sharing their posters during reception; please visit the presenters and see their poster. For more information, please see

Also at this time we will have our annual silent auction.. All winning items must be paid for at the end of the auction. Cash only.

Saturday, September 15th

Confidence, Courage and Community: Our Transformation

Dana Lyons, RPhT LSS BB

This 90-minute presentation will dig into aspects of professionalism including moral courage, confidence and community. It will include elements of discussion through the use of liberating structures to gather ideas and hear thoughts from the attendees.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Attendees will be able to describe the pillars of professionalism
  2. Attendees will learn how to apply the pillar of moral courage.
  3. Attendees will gain insight and learn strategies to build confidence as it relates to the work of pharmacy technicians.
  4. Attendees will learn how the development of a strong professional community is the building block of the future.

Helping Our Patients – Applications of Methadone Maintenance Treatment in the Acute Care Setting

Amy Hing, RPhT

A general practical overview of some of the guidelines set out by ACP for Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) utilized in a pharmacy specializing in MMT. This presentation highlights the main guidelines followed, as well as provides insight into how the program works with patients through personal experience, how MMT has applications in a hospital acute care setting and the pharmacy technician’s vital role in MMT success.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. The attendees will become more knowledgeable of general patient goals, objectives and experiences in the Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) program.
  2. The attendees will understand the requirements of patients to remain on the MMT program, the challenges patients may encounter and information on supplementary programs that may help a patient succeed.
  3. The attendees will learn about challenges and tribulations derived from working in a MMT specialized pharmacy as a pharmacy technician, in addition to the expectations and roles of a pharmacy technician within the community and acute care practice.

Going Solo: Dialysis Unit Clinical Technician Pilot Program

Mindy Kohar, RPhT

Mindy will share her experience behind setting up a Clinical Pharmacy Technician Pilot Program in Renal Dialysis at the Foothills Medical Centre, in Calgary, AB. This patient care area had not received any clinical pharmacy services nor did they have a clinical pharmacist dedicated to the area at the time. The presentation will include the reason for the pilot, the integration of a sole technician into the multidisciplinary team, the positive impact to patients and the successes and challenges encountered over the journey. Mindy will share tips on the role and impact a technician can have in a clinical practice area.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Understand the role and scope of a pharmacy technician in a dialysis setting and the positive impact to patients.
  2. Acquire insight, tips, and strategies for building positive, collaborative relationships and successful integration into a multidisciplinary team.
  3. Describe the importance of connecting with patients, families and community pharmacies to enhance patient care.

Collaboration is Key for Every Hard Working Pharmacy Technician

Rilla Sakamaki, RPhT

Supporting pharmacy practice and endeavoring to work at full scope of practice in community pharmacy these days is sometimes challenging. Our roles as technicians, in every community and hospital setting are constantly changing. As we adapt to these changes, the need to identify new policies and procedures, to reinforce the fundamentals of pharmacy work flow is a necessity.

We will go through how our role has adapted and expanded to inspire change in our patient care services.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify ways in which collaboration within the pharmacy team can support the constant changes in our work environment.
  2. Discuss having confidence in our ability to recognize when our patients would benefit from professional services.
  3. Describe the new changes in policies and the ways to adapt the changes.
  4. Comprehension of the importance of quality assurance and quality control in the pharmacy work environment.

Administering Injections to Patients: A Pharmacy Technician’s Journey

Samantha Thompson, CPhT

Samantha Thompson will share her experience that lead her to become the first pharmacy technician legally authorized to administer injections to patients in the USA. The session will cover the history behind the initiative, the change in legislation allowing this, the training requirements, results from a pilot study, and the plans for expansion to reach out to other technicians in her state. Samantha will share personal insights from her journey and describe how administering injections fits in with her practice.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the history and recent change in Idaho legislation allowing pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations.
  2. Discuss the requirements that must be met by technicians according to the law, including what is involved in the training program.
  3. Interpret the evaluation results and findings from a pilot study assessing effect of technicians providing immunizations on pharmacy practice.

Lunch and PTSA Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta provides an opportunity for PTSA members to come together and discuss the maintenance of the Society and the issues affecting pharmacy technicians. All conference delegates are invited to attend the lunch; members are encouraged to participate in the AGM

Mystery Presentation – What’s trending? What’s new?

Put the conference planning committee on the spot! The registrants of the conference will be able to suggest, vote upon and eventually choose this presentation. Stay tuned to social media and PTSA news/information for more details.

Technician Initiated Opioid Standards – Impactful Contributions to Combat the Epidemic

Mary Katherine Johnson, CPhT

Mary Katherine Johnson will share her experience in launching a major policy initiative to implement new standardized opioid prescription guidelines in Air Force pharmacies in Europe. The seriousness of the opioid epidemic lead her to ask herself what she could do to make a difference. She faced the unique challenge of having to understand international prescription practices which vary in different countries, and to translate North American standards to ensure safe care abroad. She will discuss the opportunities and challenges she faced and outline for us some of her many contributions to patient care.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the history and state of prescription requirements in Europe and the incentive for change and improvement.
  2. Outline the process of formulating standardized prescription requirements for 55 inter-national providers.
  3. Explain how translating prescriptions minimized patient referrals and avoided treat-ment delays.


  1. Great topics and I am thrilled to see that all the speakers are pharmacy technicians (Is this the first time this has happened? If so, an important milestone to note). This in itself shows the progress towards professionalism we have made over the years. Hats off to the conference planning committee.

  2. Hi. Is Samantha Thompson still speaking about administering injections on Saturday? If yes, which session should I register for in order to attend.

    • Hi Rachel. Yes, Samantha Thompson is scheduled to speak Saturday morning. You can either register to attend the full conference (Friday and Saturday) or Saturday only.


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