The mailman knocked on my door and asked for my name, “I have a letter for you, could you please sign here?”
I couldn’t help but feel anxious. What is this important letter that needs my signature? All of a sudden I was excited and nervous to receive registered mail.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw the letter was from the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) and I learned that they were auditing my continuing competency portfolio. Initially, my thought went to a memory of my manager mentioning, during a work huddle, that all technicians will be audited within the first five years of the competency program launching, then I realized my time has come. When referring to ACP’s website I learned that annually ACP council will determine the number of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians who will randomly have their professional portfolios audited, and they can be audited for a variety of reasons:
- Random selection
- A late or incomplete submission
- A request of the registrar who has identified an issue arising from a request for registration, issuance of a practice permit, renewal of a practice permit, or the results of a practice visit.
The letter stating that my implementation for the year 2018 has been audited and found not to meet the established standards. I was required to attend a mandatory two-part webinar with the ACP Competency committee. I realized that my submission for implementation was “incomplete” and that is why I was being audited.
During the licensing year of 2018 I was on maternity leave, and while I had completed the required learning as assigned by the competency committee, and the necessary CEU credits for license renewal, I struggled with the implementation. I thought that by notifying ACP that I had been absent from my normal work setting due to maternity leave might allow me a pass, but I was mistaken.
During the webinar, I logged in early and realized the anxiety and nervousness that I was feeling. My hands were cold as ice and they were shaking. One by one all participants introduced themselves and then we got down to business. The Competency Committee discussed the reasons why our portfolios were being audited, gaps, and areas of improvement. The committee was very willing to work with us, there was ample opportunity to ask questions and help us grow to ensure that we were aware of the issue so that we could avoid them in the future.
Before I knew it, the webinar had concluded. I thought to myself “that wasn’t so bad, what was I scared of?” The Assessment Manager was very welcoming and supportive. The webinar was a positive experience altogether; it gave me insight on how I can improve as well as how I can use my creativity to come up with an implementation.
My implementation for this year was inspired by my manager. One day, I was telling her that I have noticed an inconsistency with auxiliary labels on inhalers during final checks and I wondered if we could bring this to the staff’s attention. She asked if I would like to make a chart with all inhalers listed and the auxiliary labels required. At that same time, she mentioned that this could be my implementation for this year. That is when I realized, maybe my implementation doesn’t have to be this grand idea and something that I have to spend a lot of time on. It can be as simple as something that can improve the practice of our Pharmacy team. Not only will this chart make checking final products easier it will ensure that patients are receiving medications that have not expired or are being administered incorrectly.
If you have any questions about your portfolio or what the requirements for license renewal are, check out the ACP website, https://abpharmacy.ca/ccp-audit
Ghia Colceriu is one of AHS’ Pharmacy Technicians in Edmonton, AB who is committed to lifelong learning personally & professionally. She strives to spread good food, kindness, & love.