Have you ever caught yourself saying something like “I can’t help with that, I am only a technician” or when someone asks you about what you do for work have you ever said something like “No, not a pharmacist, just a technician”?
Why do we do that?
I have heard this more than I want to within our profession and it is so disheartening. I think that if we take a moment, we all know our worth to a pharmacy team. We have endless to-do lists that we complete with tenacity and precision. We have a skill set that is essential to the practice of pharmacy. We care about our patients, we hold licenses, we grow, learn, and adapt to new challenges constantly.
As individuals, I know we have all worked very hard to have the right to use the title of “Registered Pharmacy Technician”. We had to pass exams, and do hours and hours of work. We studied through piles of information, honed our skills until it felt like pharmacy was second nature.
This is a huge accomplishment!
We can refer to other healthcare professionals without diminishing our significance. Just because their scope is different from yours does not make your role any less important. It does not mean you have less to offer to the practice of pharmacy, or to healthcare as a whole. Our perspective is important. We have insight that is unique to our role, and that has immeasurable value.
If we want to advocate for ourselves, we need to pay attention to the way we speak about our role. We need to show our full worth on our teams. We need to speak up and say, “I can do that! I am a technician!” “Let me take care of that, yes, it is within my scope.” “I will relay this information to the pharmacist and our team will help you”
How we speak and think about our role influences how others perceive us. We work too hard not to take pride in the work we do. If we stop referring to ourselves as “just” technicians, others will follow.
Author: Vanyelle Behr R.Ph.T
She is currently working at NorQuest College; she has worked in pharmacy since 2010. Her passions include community practice, non-sterile compounding, and mothering her 18-month-old daughter and 9-year-old cat.