2020 Conference Session Descriptions


Saturday, September 12

Leadership Approaches to Transform Pharmacy Practice

Neil MacKinnon, BSc (Pharm), MSc (Pharm), PhD, FCSHP, FNAP

In this presentation, Dean MacKinnon will discuss the role of leadership in the vision of the profession of pharmacy and will share specific leadership strategies to help us achieve this vision. He will describe the critical role of pharmacy technicians and assistants in helping to shape this vision, including the key results from a national survey of Canadian pharmacy technicians and pharmacists, as well as insights from his own research program on the quality and safety of the medication-use system. Participants will leave the presentation with new strategies for transforming pharmacy practice in their own practice setting.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the role of leadership in the vision and dream of the profession of pharmacy.
  • Discuss some leadership strategies for ensuring that our vision for the profession of pharmacy is put into practice.
  • Consider how you can implement this vision in your own career.

Burnout and Supporting Your Co-Workers

Alexandra Fuller, RPhT

Burnout has become a concern amongst healthcare workers.  This presentation will explore the definition of burnout and how to identify the signs of burnout in yourself and amongst your team.  We will explore strategies that can be utilized to help prevent and reduce burnout.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what burnout is and how it differs from stress.
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of burnout in individuals and within teams.
  • Learn strategies that can be used to develop a resilience plan for teams as well as self-care.

Impact of Connect Care Technologies on Pharmacy Technician Practice

John Edrick Mella, RPhT and Teresa Hennessey, RPhT

Evolving technologies continue to impact pharmacy practice and the safety of medication distribution. Connect Care, an electronic clinical information system, is being introduced across facilities and programs at Alberta Health Services to improve the quality of patient care. As new technologies emerge, pharmacy technician practice will evolve along with them.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the components of closed loop medication management
  • Demonstrate how Connect Care technologies can improve pharmacy technician practice and compliance with standards
  • Explore ways pharmacy technicians can prepare for practice changes as a result of technological advances

Maximizing the Role of the Pharmacy Technician in Community Practice

Lindsay Marks, RPhT

Pharmacy technicians play an integral role within the pharmacy team. As pharmacists continue to take on more direct clinical roles as health care providers, it is imperative for certain tasks to be completed by registered pharmacy technicians. Integrating and utilizing a pharmacy technician to their full scope of practice can come with its own set of challenges. For instance, pharmacy teams may need to adjust daily workflow, educate staff and public on a technician’s scope of practice, or the transition of some pharmacy assistants to regulated health professionals. As the Technician role continues to evolve, it is critical for us to be Masters of the Dispensary. By motivating pharmacy technicians to step into their full scope of practice, pharmacy teams can work towards achieving the best possible health outcomes for patients in their care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Present a suggested pharmacy workflow that successfully integrates registered pharmacy technicians
  • Provide resources to educate staff and patients on the expanded role of a regulated pharmacy technician
  • Motivate pharmacy technicians to become “Masters of the Dispensary” by promoting the practice of full scope.

Sunday, September 13

PTSA Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta (PTSA) provides an opportunity for PTSA members to come together and discuss the maintenance of the Society and the issues affecting pharmacy technicians.

PTSA Townhall: Are We There Yet? Pharmacy Technicians Under Review

Morgan Lahl, RPhT

An interactive session to provide attendees an annual review and audience participation in a townhall discussion that focuses on reflecting on the current state and future PTSA initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide an update on current and future PTSA initiatives.
  • Present the results of the Pharmacy Technician National Needs Assessment and create questions for open discussion amongst attendees
  • Reinforce the need for pharmacy technicians to work to full scope of practice in order to continue to expand the current profession and inspire other provinces to do the same.

COVID-19 Behind Bars: Is a Clean Get-Away Possible?

Laura Miskimins, RPhT

This session will explore the impact COVID-19 has had on incarcerated populations and the unique challenges faced by Correctional facilities managing and responding to the current pandemic. We will discuss some of the approaches taken by healthcare professionals working within Alberta’s provincial Correctional centres to help overcome these challenges and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the difference between jail (remand) and prison (sentenced), and a key unique difference between the two populations.
  • Identify 3 unique challenges faced by Corrections staff and incarcerated people trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in remand and sentenced facilities.
  • Explore the approach taken by healthcare professionals working within Alberta’s provincial Correctional facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Journey to NAPRA Sterile Compounding Standards Compliance        

Kirsten Shead, RPhT 

Together, we will explore the governance structure to support the implementation of NAPRA Model Standards for Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Sterile Compounding Standards in Alberta Health Services. We will explore key implementation strategies, such as staff and manager training, implementation tools for frontline staff, as well as successes and lessons learned along the way.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore governance structure to support implementation of NAPRA Model Standards in AHS.
  • Examine key implementation strategies and tools used.
  • Discuss successes and lessons learned.

D.A.N.C.E. Into the Future with Creativity          

Dr. Caroline Brookfield, DVM

How do you prepare for the unknown? How will you motivate yourself, or your team, to accept change, seize new skills, pioneer innovation, and thrive on ambiguity? Start with the foundation – it’s easy, but sometimes feels inaccessible. Everyone is creative.

Let’s examine creativity through a critical lens, as we explore this unique, elemental human skill. Learn conditions for creative success, even for the staunches skeptic. Use a creative practice to face uncertainty with confidence, find joy in innovation, build resilience with self-expression, and thrive in the rapidly changing workplace of continuous learning. Based on data and personal experience as a veterinarian and stand-up comic, Caroline will challenge your paradigms of creativity. Especailly if you think you are “not creative”. Much more, and much less, than a paint night, creativity is the secret sauce to success that is hiding in plain sight.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the difference between Divergent and Convergent Creative Thinking.
  • Contrast the environments and applications of Divergent and Convergent thinking.
  • List 5 easy ways to increase creative potential (D.A.N.C.E).