The following guest post was provided by College staff member Ashley Cheung, Practice Reviews and Quality Assurance Coordinator.
On May 6-8th, I had the chance to attend the 2016 Professional Development Conference held by the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) in Ottawa. I was pleased to see pharmacy technician representation from all over the country, from British Columbia to Newfoundland. When I mentioned our Board is looking into a College name change to incorporate pharmacy technicians, the group was thrilled. The Saskatchewan College is the first and only Canadian regulator to undergo a name change, going by the Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy Professionals beginning in October 2015.
There is so much value in these conferences, not just with the accredited Continuing Education sessions, but in the professional connections you make. I met pharmacy technicians from various practice settings; from community to hospital, education to industry, and private auditors to those who work at their provincial College like myself.
The two days were filled with interesting presentations. The ones that really spoke to me were “Circle of Care: Optimizing Patient Care Through Collaboration” and “Pharmacists Going Global”. Phil Emberley from CPhA predicted how a pharmacy technician’s scope of practice will expand to include administering drugs by injection and clinical pharmacist Doret Cheng from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto shared her inspiring story of how pharmacists AND pharmacy technicians contributed to advancing patient care through a large hospital in rural Northern Uganda.
Since pharmacy technicians first became regulated in 2010, there are now over 6600 pharmacy technicians practising in Canada. The next 6 years should be an exciting time too, as pharmacists are set to move into a more clinical role, which will allow pharmacy technicians to expand their role as well.
The local association of pharmacy technicians is the Pharmacy Technician Society of British Columbia. They are hosting their 11th Annual Conference this year in late October. I had the pleasure of presenting at last year’s conference, and I’m looking forward to learn about some new educational topics and connect with even more pharmacy technicians!