Annual Report 2022
The Strategic Plan guides the work of the organization as we continue to Advocate, Educate and Inspire. This past year we saw the lowest number of volunteers in our Society’s history which impacted the number of initiatives that could be prioritized – yet we’ve had a number of accomplishments!
In May 2022, the PTSA board met to review the strategic plan, complete an environmental scan and prioritize ongoing and outstanding initiatives. This Annual Report post will provide you with a look back on the year and what we have to look forward to in the coming months.
Providing Good Governance
Good governance underpins all of the Society’s work and ensures that we can operate effectively and transparently. In 2021, the PTSA board introduced a policy to clarify when a volunteer board or committee member may receive honorariums or incentives. The policy required that compensated services be added to a list based on available budget, the extent of commitment required, and the need for hard to recruit initiatives. Click here to read more about the policy changes. The board completed the first annual review of the compensation list this past year. The list includes activities such as authoring an accredited continuing education module and creating a practice tool for use by the membership.
The board also began a review of the governance documents that guide operations, including the bylaws and board policies. The first phase of that work involved updating board director position descriptions. For the first time, copies of these volunteer position descriptions were made available to the membership as part of the 2022-23 nominations process. A complete copy of the compensated services list and board position descriptions are posted in the Member’s Only section of the website.
More information about the operational state of the organization will be discussed at the virtual annual general meeting (AGM), September 11, 2022. Members will be able to access the AGM materials including minutes from last year as well as financial statements here.
Providing Continuing Education
In September 2021, more than 250 pharmacy technicians from 7 provinces across Canada, rose to the learning challenge by attending the 2021 Alberta Pharmacy Technician online. Read more about the conference here: That’s a Wrap! – 2021 Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference – PTSA.
Despite the desire to return to an in-person conference for 2022, the board made the difficult decision to host the conference virtually for another year. The 2022 Annual Alberta Pharmacy Technician Conference will be held online September 3 -11. For the first time, participants will be able to take advantage of both on demand and live sessions. Check out the conference program for more information. Registration will remain open until September 9, 2022 8:00 pm MT.
PTSA hosted several webinars this past year including a presentation by the Poster Contest finalists and a joint event with the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists – Alberta chapter on Assigning Sterile Recipe BUDs. A recording of this webinar is available here: Assigning Sterile Recipe BUDs: Recorded Webinar – PTSA. Copies of the poster presentations can be viewed here: Barcoding Revolution: A New Process to Patient Safety and On the Contamination Hunt: Investigating OOS Results.
To help facilitate greater access to learning, PTSA promoted many external webinars throughout the year hosted by partner organizations such as the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Pharmacy Technicians International and industry vendors. Members had the opportunity to learn about a variety of topics from Pharmaceuticals in the Environment and Sensor-Based Monitoring for Diabetes Management to Sterile Compounding Technology, Autism and Professionalism, and Reconciliation of Self in Research.
Integrating Pharmacy Technicians into Practice
One way pharmacy technicians can be successfully integrated into practice involves pharmacy technicians having access to available opportunities. Through the Job Posting section of the website, employers from across Alberta, as well as other provinces, can post job advertisements for free. Active postings continued to be emailed direct to members each month. More than 45 new job postings were shared over the past year which was an increase from previous years.
In order to identify the work to achieve this goal, an understanding of the current state of pharmacy practice in Alberta is needed. The results of a survey to learn more about pharmacy technicians, their roles, and how they are view by pharmacy professionals was published in two parts. The first Pharmacy Technician Practice in Alberta: Survey Results – PTSA reports on the survey’s demographic representation, staffing and roles for both pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants. The Pharmacy Technician Practice in Alberta: Survey Results Part 2 – PTSA delves into some of the issues affecting practice integration including barriers, wages, and support for expanded roles. The results of the survey will be used to guide the work that enables the integration of pharmacy technicians into practice over the coming year.
Developing a framework that will enable the injection of drugs and vaccines by pharmacy technicians has been part of the strategic plan for several years. Work in this area has most recently focused on developing a robust proposal to present to the Alberta College of Pharmacy. This work has been progressing slowly and more information will be available next year.
PTSA is prepared to continue advocating for pharmacy technicians and we hope all Alberta pharmacy technicians join us in these efforts. Our voice is stronger when we are united!
Celebrating and Promoting Our Profession
A significant milestone for our profession was marked in 2021 – it was the 10th anniversary of pharmacy technician regulation in Alberta. In those 10 years, we have seen “Technicians Rising” to the challenge which was the theme for the 2021 annual conference and RxTechDay2021. PTSA celebrated the latter with a poster contest sponsored by Fresenius Kabi and a flyer contest. Congratulations to poster contest winner Angela Kriss Castillo (and team). You can read more about her winning poster here: Congratulations to the 2021 Poster Contest Winner – PTSA. Kirsty Parent won 1st place in the flyer contest for her visual depiction of “Honoring Pharmacy Technicians Rising”.
During Pharmacy Appreciation Month (PAM), PTSA highlighted unique pharmacy technician roles. Pharmacy technicians are essential health professionals who have a defined set of skills that positively impact patients and pharmacy practice. PAM was the perfect time to learn more about different pharmacy technician roles directly from our peers. Kirsten Shead, Shawna Paradis, Heather Snook, Susan Harris, Melissa Olson, Teagan Hunter, and Janet Luoma all shared information about their roles. You can view the videos here: PAM 2022: Unique Pharmacy Technician Roles – PTSA
PTSA continues to acknowledge the contributions to our profession by recognizing one member each year to receive the Professionalism Award. The 2021 winner of the award was Jennifer Tuck. Read more about Past PTSA Professionalism Award Winners.
Engaging the Membership
As of this post, 695 pharmacy technicians, assistants, students and supporters of our profession are members of PTSA. This is about a 5% increase from the total membership number reported in the 2021 annual report.
In addition to sharing information through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, the PTSA Blog, PTSA.ca and the electronic newsletter remained the most important tools used for engaging with the membership. In keeping with the theme of spotlighting pharmacy technicians, a regular Technician Highlight was added to the electronic newsletter. Members can check out the Newsletter Archive to meet Andrea Middleton, Clinical Informatician and Ivan Yu, PTSA President. Watch for more spotlights in upcoming newsletter issues.
Registering as a pharmacy technician for the first time is a significant occasion and PTSA continues to welcome new pharmacy technicians to the profession. This past year more than 80 welcome packages, which includes a gold RPhT pin, were distributed to new pharmacy technicians that registered with the Alberta College of Pharmacy.
Engaging with students as they embark on their professional journey also remained a priority. The membership engagement committee refreshed the presentation provided to students and provided information about PTSA and the profession at pharmacy technician schools across the province.
In May, 73 members took the time to have their voice heard by responding to this year’s membership survey. Feedback was gathered on the membership benefits that were the most valuable and whether the strategic plan was being met. Education related benefits and the liability insurance program are the benefits that responding members have accessed the most. In contrast, group rates on home and auto insurance available through TD Meloche Monnex and the COVID-19 Community of Practice Facebook group were the least accessed benefits. Members were also asked to rate the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan based on their level of importance. Making a proposal to have pharmacy technicians granted authorization to inject, developing tools to support pharmacy technicians working to full scope, and developing tools that clarify pharmacy technician and assistant roles were the top three priorities identified by respondents.
The board will use this information to continue to prioritize the work of volunteer committees over the next year. A refreshed strategic plan will be shared in the fall of 2022.
What strategy and work accomplished this past year is most important to you? Are there things you’d like to see PTSA work on that have not already been identified? Share your thoughts in the comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org