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Pharmacy Technicians’ Important Role In Our Healthcare System

Pharmacy Technician Day (20 October 2020) is a great time to reflect on the important role that pharmacy technicians play within the New Zealand healthcare system.

Samantha Burgess, Dispensary Manager at Life Pharmacy Coastlands, and 2020 New Zealand Primary Healthcare Awards Community Pharmacy Technician of the Year says, “Pharmacy technicians are the backbone of the dispensary. We are an integral part of the healthcare system.”

“A pharmacy technician is to a pharmacist, what a nurse is to a doctor.”

Sian Coombe, pharmacy accuracy checking technician at Rotorua Hospital says, “Knowing that I play a part in improving health outcomes for our community is hugely satisfying.”

“Managing stock, processing and dispensing from charts, supplying stock to ward dispensaries, all impact on the running of the hospital and, inevitably the other hospital staff and patients. We are an important part of a much larger team.”

Kayla Dobbie, pharmacy accuracy checking technician at Unichem Quin’s Gore Pharmacy, says “Pharmacy technicians do a lot of work behind the scenes that the public wouldn’t really know about.”

“My role frees up the pharmacist’s time so they can have face to face consultations with patients. People are very appreciative of having that time with the pharmacist.”

Amanda Rich, IT Specialist/Senior Technician, says the work she does at the Hawke’s Bay Hospital is really rewarding.

“I manage our ePharmacy database, which is the database that most of the District Health Boards in New Zealand use. It is our core pharmacy management system that holds patient and medicine information and covers multiple pharmacy processes such as dispensing, compounding and stock control. I look after the entire database. So, it’s quite a big responsibility.”

Amanda is also a qualified medicines reconciliation technician, which means she supports the pharmacists on the ward with researching and talking to patients about their medication history, so that pharmacists and medical staff have a baseline on a patient’s medical history before they come into hospital.

“My role is important because I free up the time of the pharmacists on the ward and allow them to spend more time with patients on more serious clinical issues.”

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