Alberta’s First Pharmacy Technician Day – A Successful Celebration

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From left to right: Loren Voice, Teresa Hennessey, Hon. Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, Laura Miskimins, Brianne Feduniw

It’s been a month since Pharmacy Technician Day was celebrated in Alberta.

On October 16, 2018, pharmacy technicians from across the province came together to promote and celebrate our essential role as health professionals. This year marked the first time Canadian pharmacy technicians joined our US and UK colleagues in recognizing the third Tuesday of October as RxTechDay. Every day I’m proud to be a pharmacy technician but on October 16, that pride was echoed loudly across our profession. Every fellow pharmacy technician I spoke to that day took the time to wish me a “Happy Pharmacy Technician Day”. One pharmacy technician described the atmosphere in her workplace as being “like Christmas”. We’ve had celebrations before – we often participate in celebrating Pharmacy Awareness Month in March, so what was different about October 16? It was all about us – pharmacy technicians! While we’re one piece of the big healthcare picture and patients always come first, it’s okay to take time to celebrate our essential role.

While we’re spread out across the province, and even the world, pharmacy technicians came together through social media to celebrate RxTechDay. Throughout the day, PTSA shared pics and posts highlighting key pieces of the pharmacy technician’s role. If you missed the posts, take a look at the picture gallery here. Big thanks to our representative pharmacy technician models: Carla Dumka, pharmacy technician at the Canmore General Hospital, Brenda Weselowski, pharmacy technician at Allin Pharmacy in Edmonton, and Romelie Hillman, pharmacy technician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. Our vision was brought to life by Ghia Marie Photography.

Pharmacy Technicians were asked to share why their role is essential. Courtney Britton shared that she’s “preventing patients from getting an infection while being hospitalized by making their intravenous preparations sterile”. Kimberly McKay said that the technical work she does “allows pharmacists to enhance patient care”. Jodi Crofts reminded us that pharmacy technicians “ensure quality assurance through checking and verifying procedures”. One comment card submitted was randomly selected to win a prize package consisting of free membership and PTSA swag – the winner was Regan Tattersall. Read more about Regan’s thoughts on the essential role of pharmacy technicians in a spotlight article coming soon. You can view all of the comment cards submitted by clicking here.

We finished the day with an education and celebration event that pharmacy technicians from across the province attended in-person at select locations, or online. We discussed what it means to be an essential health professional – being altruistic, demonstrating leadership, bringing positive value, unifying, learning and educating others. Due to technical difficulties the session was not recorded but if you missed the event, you can view the presentation slides.

In follow-up to the declaration by the Minister of Health, several pharmacy technicians attended the sitting of the Legislative Assembly on November 1, 2018. We had an opportunity to meet with the Honourable Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier, and be officially welcomed by the Assembly. During the Introduction of Guests, Minister Hoffman recognized that “pharmacy technicians are leaders in providing Alberta families quality pharmacy services, assisting with safe and appropriate medication use.”

While the first Pharmacy Technician Day was a huge success, plans are already starting to make next year’s RxTechDay, October 15, 2019 even better. If you’re interested in helping plan how PTSA celebrates send a message to info@ptsa.ca. 

What did you do to celebrate RxTechDay? Share in the comments below.

 

 

 

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