Spring is here and that always makes me think of 3 things: rainy days, spring flowers and adorable baby animals. In thinking about baby animals, it led me to think about how planning for maternity/parental leave will have changed since I had my own adorable baby back in 2008. Now that pharmacy technicians are regulated professionals there are a few more things we need to consider when planning to take parental leave.
You will need to ensure you have a plan to be professionally prepared. When regulation of pharmacy technicians began it brought with it new professional responsibilities, and these responsibilities still need to be met even when you’re on leave. You will need to maintain your standing with:
- Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) –ACP offers 3 options. You may remain on the pharmacy technician registry, or you can opt to move to the associate registry or resign from the college. As it is unlikely that your leave will fall in the same period as your license renewal it will be easier to remain registered and your return to work will be a smoother process if you do. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with ACP’s Reinstatement Policy and consider discussing your options with ACP prior to making any decisions.
- Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta (PTSA) – PTSA is a recognized leader for pharmacy technicians and you’ll need to maintain your membership with us in order to stay up to date on pharmacy technician practice and to access great CE opportunities to keep you sharp and ready to re-enter the workforce at the end of your leave.
- Errors and Omissions Insurance – A requirement of holding a professional pharmacy technician license with ACP is that you also hold a minimum of one million dollars in malpractice insurance. This applies even when you are on leave.
- Continuing Competency – You will still be expected to meet ACP’s continuing competency requirements while you are on leave. You could be subject to additional registration fees the following year if you do not meet these requirements on time.
You will also want to ensure that you discuss your intention to take maternity/parental leave in a timely manner with your employer. As a professional courtesy your manager should hear of your plans from you first, rather than from your co-workers. You may want to consider letting your manager know about your plans confidentially prior to making any announcements on social media or to your teammates. To maintain a positive professional relationship you will want to give your employer enough notice that they can find a temporary replacement prior to your departure.
Your employer will need you to give them an approximate return date as well. Your manager will need to know this information when they are making arrangements for your temporary replacement. Of course outside factors may result in delays or early departures/returns, but as long as you maintain open and clear communication with your employer these issues should be easily managed.
While it may seem early to consider, you do need to make a plan for child care once your return to work. Daycares can have long wait lists, so getting your name down early may save your some stress once your return to work date is looming. Even if you are lucky enough to have family nearby who are willing to provide child care free of charge (love you Mom!), you will need to plan your transition from home-life to work-life. Consider leaving your child in their new care arrangements part time at least a few weeks before you return to work full time. This will give you both opportunity to adjust and can help reduce stress for both you and baby.
If you have any additional advice for pharmacy technicians planning maternity/parental leave let us know in the comments!