Carla Dumka, PTSA Education Director, and I had the opportunity of attending the Annual Banff Seminar in March. There could not have been a better way to spend time commemorating Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM). The theme of the conference was “Come together.” A majority of the speakers who presented shared what they envisioned the theme to mean. So in honor of that, I will share my take away. All pharmacy staff members are integral in the success of every pharmacy. As the scope of practice changes for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians will need to adapt and take responsibility for the dispensary and proper supervision of pharmacy assistants. Our current practices need improvement and the only way to get there is bringing everyone to the table. Pharmacy technicians need to become more aware of their scope of practice because we need to be the experts on what we can do.
As a pharmacy technician, I was delighted to see how welcoming all of the pharmacists were and to see a group of technicians also in attendance. The CSHP planning committee included a pharmacy technician, Kari Anderson, from Grand Prairie. Dana Lyons was the first pharmacy technician to give a talk at the conference, her presentation titled “Technicians and Accountable Ownership of Dispensary.” I also saw some other familiar pharmacy technicians since becoming active in PTSA, Diane Reeder, Don Ridley, Jennifer Bean, and more. It was comforting to see them there and it gave me more confidence in participating fully in all the activities and speaking out loud during the question period.
A topic that really spoke to me came from a safety pharmacist, Jennifer Wiebe. Her presentation was titled “Better Everyday: Pharmacist roles in patient safety and culture.” She played a very short video from a Dr Brené Brown regarding blame. The scene opens up on a “Blamers Anonymous” group and with the speaker cursing her husband Steve immediately after spilling a large cup of coffee. The video then goes into how blame has an inverse relationship with accountability. It left me thinking, am I a blamer? How can I do better to look at the whole situation objectively and identify the true cause? Do I take enough accountability for my actions and look at ways to be better?
The poster contest at the Banff Seminar had so many entries they actually had to turn people away from being able to participate. I would be overjoyed to see the same result happen at a Pharmacy Technician Annual Alberta conference. A majority of the presentations were based on peer work. I know a lot of hard working pharmacy technicians that do amazing projects at their worksites. We have to get bolder and more self-assured to show off what we have done. That is all a poster is, a visual representation describing the results and the effort that was put in to make it happen.
One of the social activities was the cultural night. The reason for the theme being chosen was to come together and celebrate our diversity and individuality. It resonated, we need all types of people to look at obstacles from different perspectives in order for progression or change to occur. Everyone participating looked great wearing different garb to represent their cultural heritage. There was a bingo activity to get people mingling. It had to do with attendance to the conference, current occupations, and some fun tidbits like the number of countries that you had been to. I completed my bingo card and won a Starbucks $10 gift card. They also had the photo booth, which Carla and I took full advantage of, which you can see in the photo above.
The conference app had activities to do and collect codes to be on the leaderboard. I ended the conference in 5th place and won another Starbucks gift card and stemless wine glass. I do believe that CSHP knows me well and it was so fun to participate fully in the conference. This was an inventive and fun way to use the apps full capabilities. The app also contained the PowerPoint slides from all the presenters. I really did my best to enjoy every activity available and network with pharmacy members I had yet to meet.
If you are thinking of a more engaging and exciting way of getting your yearly continuing education hours, I would highly recommend any pharmacy technician to attend.
Morgan Lahl, PTSA Vice President